HOW TO DECIDE IF YOU CAN HELP
A coach needs to decide if they can actually help a client or not. There may be reasons why the coach may not feel they can help the client, as we mentioned before, such as personality clashes, and so forth. A life coach will need to talk to the client in an initial interview before the client and coach decide whether they can work together. In order to arrive at this decision, the coach may:
- Interview the client - to gain a better understanding of what the client wants and how feasible their goals are. They may also draw upon observational data during the interview such as body language, tone of voice, physical appearance, and so on.
- Ask them to complete a questionnaire - a general lifestyle questionnaire or perhaps one pertaining to a specific area e.g. self-esteem. A questionnaire might also be used as a screening tool prior to an interview.
- Review their health - in order to gain a clearer picture you might want to know about things like the client's medical and psychological history i.e. are they taking any medication? (this could affect their ability to engage in exercise, their choice of diet, their concentration, etc.), have they had or do they have a mental health disorder? (which could affect their sleeping patterns, self-confidence, anxiety levels, and so forth), have they suffered any injuries which affects their motor skills, and so on?
- Look at the client's past experiences - do they have any experience which would help them to achieve their goals.
- Consider your own past experiences and similar cases - if you share no common experiences with the client in the area with which they seek help, or have had no similar cases, will you still be able to help them? (you might, but you should consider this carefully).
- Consider your own personal experiences – will they have an effect on your work that is detrimental to the coaching session? For example, if you have had a negative experience that your client is currently experiencing you may have an emotional response to their situation so may not be able to effectively support them.
If a life coach cannot help the client, then they should point them towards another coach or professional who possibly can.
As we said earlier, sometimes clients are not open about what their real issues are, so a life coach will have to try and find as much information as possible from the client to be able to help them.