Communication is incredibly important in every relationship we forge. Coaches who graduate from the Academy of Coaching and NLP comprehend the significance of building rapport with their clients. When we work to establish rapport, we’re constructing a relationship based on understanding, appreciation, and respect. NLP coaches learn many powerful tools to build a deep relationship with their clients. But how do coaches know what is appropriate when building rapport and what isn’t? Here are some major points we instill in our coaches regarding how to create a strong relationship with their clients.

Common Communication Blocks

When working to build a solid Coach/Client relationship, keep in mind that no two people will understand the same sentence, movement, or behavior in the same way. It’s best to keep the information you convey clear and concise to make sure you client understands where you are coming from. Always try to look at a situation from the client’s point of view and avoid giving these three types of responses.

  • Solution Giving
    Solution giving can range from lecturing the client to providing incorrect or unwarranted advice. You should also avoid jumping to conclusions, as the client will suspect you aren’t really listening and just want your opinion heard. In any of the given situations, the client will be left feeling like you’re not actively hearing what they are conveying to you.
  • Judgments
    Being judgmental can severely damage the relationship you have with your client. Placing blame on the client due to a mistake or how a situation was handled is unacceptable. The client may feel as though they are being attacked and will begin withholding information from you. Being judgmental makes it harder to maintain a trusting partnership.
  • Denying
    When you praise or reassure a client for a situation they did not learn from, you are denying them the chance to gain knowledge from this experience. Distracting a client from discussing a subject they feel is significant denies them the chance to talk the matter out. This may cause the client to think the information they present to you is unimportant.

Top Ways to Build Rapport

As a coach, you are not here to lead the client; you are here to walk beside them on their path to success. Here are the top five ways to build rapport with your client.

  • Be Honest – Always tell the truth and be gentle in your honesty.
  • Be Reliable – Keep your word at all times and be on time to appointments.
  • Give 100% – Provide the client with your full attention at all times.
  • Be Non-Judgmental – Avoid any right/wrong, good/bad calls on client’s beliefs or behaviors.
  • Be Human – Let the client know you’ve faced similar challenges to show them they are not alone.

Trust is the basis of a good coaching relationship. Always incorporate your attention, honesty, and reliability into coaching sessions while remaining non-judgmental. If you use trust along with tender guidance, you’ll have the perfect recipe to help your clients down the path towards a more gratifying life.

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