Aug. 29th, 2013

ellienihon: (Default)
This is from Precision Nutrition, and it's about talking to clients as a fitness professional, but I thought this would be great stuff to use in my self-talk. (http://www.precisionnutrition.com/effective-coach-talk)


You can help clients examine their behaviors and work towards their goals with the following kinds of questions.
EXPLORE
Ask open-ended questions that explore options, values, and possible outcomes, without judgement.
“What things are most important to you? How does your exercise and eating fit into this?”
“What sorts of things would you like to accomplish in your life?”
“What would you like to see change?”
“If things were better with your eating/exercise, what would be different?”
“What have you already tried? What worked/didn’t work?”
IMAGINE
Help clients visualize a new way of living by using their creative imaginations (just like in kindergarten).
“Imagine you can…”
“Imagine you are already…”
“Imagine that you have the body and health you desire. What did it take for you to achieve it?”
BREED SUCCESS
Be solution-focused and emphasize that often, clients have already succeeded. All you need to do is help them expand the awesome.
“In the past, when were you successful with this, even just a little bit?”
“How could we do more of that?”
SENSE INTO PROBLEMS
Share your observations and intuitions. This is non-confrontational, and helps to make sure you and the client are on the same page with the immediate issue.
“I get the sense that…”
“It seems to me like…”
SPECULATE
Open-ended, speculative statements can get clients thinking and responding to possible choices. These aren’t exactly questions, but act like them.
“I wonder what it would be like if you…”
“I wonder if we could try…”
EVOKE CHANGE TALK
Get the client talking about change on their own terms. Examples include:
“In what ways does this concern you?”
“If you decided to make a change, what makes you think you could do it?”
“How would you like things to be different?”
“How would things be better if you changed?”
“What concerns you now about your current exercise and eating patterns?”
ASSESS READINESS
Establish how confident and ready a client is to make a change. No readiness means no change — no matter how great a coach you are.
Once clients identify a behavior they want to change, follow up with this kind of question:
“If you decided to change, on a scale of 1-10, how confident are you that you could change, when 1 represents not at all confident and 10 equals extremely confident?”
If they respond with a 9 or 10, great. If they respond with a lower number, ask them how they can make the selected behavior less overwhelming.
We like to use the “Roland Rule,” named for our colleague Roland Fisher:
“If you suck at something, cut it in half.”
In other words, keep dividing a large problem or challenge into small, manageable steps until you can handle it.
PLAN NEXT STEPS
Instead of directing a client forward, have them generate their own solutions. Examples:
“So, given all this, what do you think you will do next?”
“What’s next for you?”
“If nothing changes, what do you see happening in five years? If you decide to change, what will it be like?”
“How would you like things to be different?”
GIVE ADVICE… CAREFULLY
Find out if clients want your advice. Some will, some won’t. If you do give advice, keep it general and experiential. For example:
“In my work with clients like yourself, I’ve found that…”

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ellienihon

August 2013

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