The Biggest Single Mistake in Personal Coaching

In personal coaching, the single biggest mistake is to fail to really connect with our clients and understand their authentic inner hopes and fears – their very being. You could call it being a good active listener, but just that is not it, at all. It actually defies a principle of physics: how can you get close enough to really understanding something without changing it? You can’t. Or can you? If you can, how can you do it? Here’s how.

Guide without Leading

Ask open questions that don’t imply a personal bias. Right or wrong is not the point. Ask simple questions like “Tell me about yourself?” or “What do you think about that?”or “What would you like to have happen?” And then listen, listen, listen.

Understand without Judging

Open yourself to your client without judging them. Channel the force of infinite love, and help them know that you accept them at the most fundamental levels, and that you are there to help. Not to forgive them, because forgiveness is not the issue or your job. You are simply there to accept and support them.

Connect beyond Hearing

Listen for the being beyond the words. But do not strain. Effortless listening. Infinite openness. For you and for the client. Openness is the key, not the questions. If they can relax and not feel the need to guard their feelings or their raw nerve endings, then they will spontaneously share their highest hopes and their deepest fears, without your asking a single question. This need to spontaneously share in a totally safe environment is one of God’s greatest gifts to us. In such a place, we and our clients have an opportunity for insights that can change our lives forever.

The Secret to Personal Coaching Success

The Secret to success in personal coaching is to simply be the coach. Guide without leading. Understand without judging. Connect beyond hearing. Simply that. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Hope you took some great value out of this post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. And also, you can click on the Twitter button below to retweet this article…Thank you!

Dave Iuppa
JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach

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  1. marquita herald says

    Great advice Dave. I coached new entrepreneurs for nearly a decade and one of the toughest things to get across to new leaders was the importance of listening more than we talk – taking the time to really understand what motivated the individual to start a business, and what they really hope to achieve. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. says

    Hey Dave,

    Enjoyed your article. A great personal coach indeed has to ask the right questions and then listen without judgement for the answers. Establishing open communication with your clients helps build a relationship of mutual trust, respect and understanding.

    Thanks for Sharing Dave.


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