Wellness Coaching Australia's Blog

The Language of Connection - Connecting with Wellness Coaching Clients


As a Wellness Coach, our first and foremost aim is to connect with the client. But often it’s quite tricky to define how we actually do this. 

There are many meanings of the word “connect” but some of the less obvious that may resonate with you include “meld with”, “come aboard”, “relate”, “ally” and “unite”. All of these words really describe what we try to do as coaches. Connecting is an extremely important first step – we want to engage the client, gain their trust and create a solid foundation to work from. We know the importance of body language and the human skills of coaching: warmth, zest, calmness and authenticity, but how much difference do the words we choose and how we use them make?    

Here are some reminders of their significance:

Speak slowly, allow pauses.  There is nothing quite so overwhelming as a coach who rattles off observations and questions.  When you slow down, the client slows down.  In a fast-paced world this can be a really restful experience.  

Ask more than tell – come in with curiosity and go where the client wants to go.  If you are curious, your questions will come from the right place and be delivered in an engaging manner.  Clients know when they are being “led” in a certain direction.  Curiosity without judgment reveals interest and suggests caring!

Reflect what they say and know that this can be as effective as any probing question in helping the client connect more deeply to their emotions and to the truth.  Questions are great but they often make the client go into analysis mode, searching for the right answer.  Reflections activate a more emotional response.

Use the same framework as they do.  If a client uses a metaphor that involves physicality, such as “I’m stuck”, don’t respond with, “How does that make you feel (emotion)”, but ask how “they can move forward”, for example.

Never talk over the top of someone.  This would have to be one of the biggest mistakes and often comes from the excitement of sensing something that the coach wants to share with their client or a great idea of their own.  Remember that the client’s own words are much more powerful than anything we can say. 

Creating a connection is an essential element in providing valuable and significant Wellness Coaching experiences to clients, it is a foundation "puzzle" piece. Becoming a Wellness Coach is a career path for those of us who are passionate about supporting individuals in healthy lifestyles and empowering clients to achieve their health and wellness goals. Even the most experienced Wellness Coaches often reflect on the language of connection, and revisit the points above as each client may present a new perspective.

Why You Should Be Flying “Three Mistakes High”




Whenever you’re learning something new, including running a new business and learning how to work with customers, you’re going to make a mistake.
 
At least one mistake.

And if you’re anything like me, you’re so excited in the beginning. You start with a swing set (your simple service), and you quickly turn it into a theme park, an uncontrollable juggernaut of ideas (a multi-faceted business).

Of course you know that you can only focus effectively on one thing at a time. Any more than that is spreading yourself too thin, and that can affect the quality of your work.

But you’re excited!  Even so, the last thing you want to do is make a costly mistake in your business, like letting down a customer, or having an epic public crash.

So how do you avoid this?
My husband inadvertently gave me the answer.

He is an avid remote control aircraft fanatic. He is constantly in his man-cave, building scale model planes and helicopters, testing out new wing designs and adding and removing parts for looks, speed and performance. 

One day, while testing out his latest model jet at a local airfield, his plane came down hard and shattered into smithereens. Tiny pieces of foam lay all over the grass.

His friend came over and said, “Ah, you were only flying one mistake high – too close to the ground. You should have been at least three mistakes high”.

In other words, when you’re testing out a new concept, service or product, it’s important to:
  • Keep it simple enough to control easily 
  • Tread carefully, anticipating worst-case disasters 
  • Allow enough space and time to manage any mistakes. 
Fly your craft high enough to test it safely, do short flights, and temper your bravado. It could save you some costly reputation or financial business mistakes. 

The Importance of Authentic Business


Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, first screened in 1895, is a farcical comedy about maintaining fictitious peronae in order to escape burdensome social obligations. Fast forward to 2013 in your business, and let’s consider the importance of your business persona – the face you present to your customer. 

Let’s face it – your persona is the thing that dictates whether your business sells, or smells. How many times have you bought a widget, or a service, and been put off by a disinterested service person or salesperson who is most obviously resenting your presence and, is irritated that you would interrupt their crossword?

Or have you ever seen right through that service person’s ‘interest’ in your problem, realising that they’re really only ‘interested’ in your money?

Unfortunately, these things happen all too often. Why would a business owner or staff member behave like this?
  • they don’t want to be there
  • they’re overworked
  • they hate the job
  • the job is a ‘filler’ until something better comes up
  • they are driven by money above all else.
You can see the pattern. The persona might need an attitude check in order to retain happy customers! 

The magic ingredients that create this switch are PASSION AND AUTHENTICITY. 
Passion is loving what you do; living and breathing it; knowing it inside out. Authenticity encompasses truthfulness (honesty), sincerity and openness. Genuine passion for your business gives you authenticity by default – it’s obvious that you believe in what you’re doing and it’s value. 

An authentic business persona offers great benefits for your customers.  They will: 
  • be drawn to your passion 
  • tell others about your knowledge and enthusiasm
  • feel that you’re genuinely interested in them
  • feel that you understand their need/problem 
  • trust you – therefore be more likely to buy from you
  • feel that your value and ethics match theirs. 
In other words, an authentic persona becomes a client-magnet. There are also clear links to Martin Seligman’s five elements of well being (PERMA): 
  • Positive emotion
  • Engagement
  • Positive relationships
  • Meaning
  • Accomplishment
Your passion drives inspiration and aspiration. You are a role-model; a living, breathing advocate of your craft. Your skill, confidence and belief in your product is real – tangible. You love helping people and building relationships with people who share your beliefs and convictions. Clients trust your genuine passion. Trust builds rapport. 

Your meaning and values are loud and clear – right there on your face and the face of your business.

The Importance of Being Earnest is about being the person you want to attract, then engaging those you attract in a way that is mutually meaningful and ‘profitable’. 

Top Three Tips for Building a Successful Wellness Coaching Business


If you've ever started a new business venture, you’re probably familiar with the rush of excitement and anticipation to get your great idea out there. You simply can’t WAIT to do this amazing thing that you've dreamed up, it’s such an amazing opportunity!


A business typically starts in one of two ways:
  • Your idea for a nifty product/service, which you then try to sell, OR, 
  • You identify a need in the market, then develop a product/service to meet the need.  
With your passion and huge investment of time and money, you would think that success is guaranteed! However, the statistics that are bandied about tell a different story: 
  1. 95% of new businesses fail in their first year of operation 
  2. Of the 5% who make it through the first year, 95% fail within their first five years.  
There are a variety of reasons behind business failures including fear of failure or success, problems with time management, delegation and/or monitoring.  

Yet the most important reasons are a lack of vision and planning. A vision says why you are in business – it is your business ethos.Planning helps you work out exactly: 
  1. what you’re selling 
  2. to whom 
  3. where you sell 
  4. how you sell 
  5. which systems and outside experts will help you run your business.
With all this in mind, how can a wellness coach start out on the right foot in business? 
These top three tips may help you define a clear vision of what you want, and some key concepts to start your business plan.

Tip #1: ASK
Discover your business vision - ask yourself why you want to do this.  
What is your greatest passion and what will it bring to your life? 
If you could describe your ideal working day, what would it look like?

Tip #2: ACTIVELY LISTEN
Here’s your chance to put your number one coaching skill into practice – ACTIVELY LISTEN – and you will discover a variety of ways to introduce wellness coaching into your new or existing business. 
Pay attention to the conversations with your potential or actual customers. 

What do they ask when they phone up to enquire about your services? What are they complaining about?  What do they need? What frustrates them? What clues can you pick up in their conversation? What are they struggling with? 

And then, most importantly, how does your proposed service solve their problems?
HINT: If you really understand your clients, you will already be able to answer most of these questions.

Tip #3: THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Is there another way to think of this? 
Brainstorming and mind mapping can help you discover different ways of packaging and delivering your services and products. Then, you can distil your brainstorm into a few realistic, fantastic ideas which you can go on to “reality-check”.

If you’re working on your own, you can expand your ideas and think about different options with the help of a friend, colleague or business coach.

Wellness Coaching Australia offers Business Mentoring services for graduate Wellness Coaches who want help to get started in business. Click here to enquire. 


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