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Episode 48 - How I Am As A Coach, Pt 2


Welcome to Episode 48

What's most important when looking for a coach? Is it their training? Their experience? Their style? Rhiannon continues in Part 2 to answer more questions from Part 1 to provide insights into her coaching style and how she differs to other coaches; at the same time as giving you valuable questions to help guide you on:

  1. What to look for

  2. Important things to know; and 

  3. What beneficial qualities will serve you in a coach

In this podcast, you'll learn:

​As a coach:

  1. What problems do you help clients solve?

  2. How do you help keep me / your clients accountable? 

  3. How do you adapt your coaching to different personality types and learning styles?

  4. Have you ever had a coach? What was the best thing about working with a coach? How was your experience?

  5. Have you had a disagreement with a client? If so, how did you handle that? 

Episode Transcript:


EP #48


“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 48, with Rhiannon Bush


Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.


Questions to ask a prospective coach and how I am as a coach.


What problems do you help clients solve?

If I'm to boil it down to common problems amongst I'd say most of the clients I've worked with, whether it's been in sales or career or professionals or purist life coaching, it's been a combination of being stuck, procrastinating, feeling frustrated with their circumstances and not knowing the direction to follow or how they want something different they just know that they do, they just want to feel happier, more fulfilled by their lives, and they want to enjoy their lives more. Rarely can the client language the specific problem underlying problem, it's usually that there's something they're really unhappy about, and that they are experiencing it repeatedly, and that's what they want to change. They may not know what they want instead, that's work we do together, and others do not what they want, but they're stuck and procrastinating and they don't know how to get from A to B and that's where I offer the way forward and how to help. Clients often say that they never expected the impact of the coaching sessions, and it's always really lovely conversation to have, because i exceed their expectations. And to be honest i think any coach would, because it's a coaching thing, not necessarily a “me” thing but it's still really nice to know you've made such a big impact and someone’s life and their immediate nearest and dearest.


One thing that I think is quite common in coaching programmes is that in the beginning there are big, big jumps and big leaps, there's a lot of progress made really early, and then as time goes on with the coach the shininess, or the rosy coloured glasses come off. And the reason for that is that in the beginning it's new and it's different and when you start working with a coach, you do it because you're in the hole and  then the coach helps you climb out of the hole and that’s significant.  Feeling better than “normal” is significant and uplifting.  And… any good coach will want to work with you for a period of time after that, to ensure that the changes that have been made early on are integrated and sustained for the long term, for your life. And that you can keep going, on your own on on you and more solid foundation to build on continuously. Once those initial changes have implemented, the extreme emotional shifts aren't as extreme, which as a coach is what we want, because it means that it is integrating. But what a client often can make that mean is that the programme isn't being as effective as it was in the beginning which is completely false. I think that's an important thing to be aware of when you work with a coach.


Next question is approached accountability, and as a management consultant and project manager, I am all for accountability. I think that's one of the main reasons people work with a life coach, not only because of the skills they have them the impact they'll have, but because it's someone to hold them accountable. The beauty of a coach client relationship is that the coach is, at the very least, a sounding board And the reason that that is effective and important, is because you will give yourself different answers, and perhaps more honest answers with a coach present, then you would without. Because there are things you don't want to look at or identify, but with the coach it will come to light. I think it's one of the key reasons coaching works, because there is a coach and it's not just you trying to work things out on your own.


How do you adapt your coaching to different personality types and learning styles? Throughout our coach training we're taught how to build rapport, even with people like I was saying before, that we don't have a lot of similarities or common experience with. If you can't build rapport with different personality types and adapt to different learning styles, you either haven't had coach training, or you were asleep in those sessions. As a coach it's not an option. And i think it's even more important to understand your triggers, as a coach, for you to get coached yourself, because if you are triggered every time a client says a particular thing, or raises a particular experience, or gets defensive, which when you're doing deep emotional work can happen very easily and often, you need to be able to defuse that defensiveness to get to the root cause of the problem to help your client overcome it. Some clients you won't be able to easily, and that's where the client really has to come into the party. But as a coach, you need to be able to have a bunch of different tools in your toolkit to be able to diffuse tension, create a safe space, and allow your client to open right up and be vulnerable to move forward, otherwise, what's the point?


It's a mandatory requirement that as a coach you have a coach or have had a coach. And, you have used or had used all of the processes that you use with clients on yourself. I only use process is that I found had a big impact on me, that created some kind of shift. Modalities that I didn't resonate with, I don't tend to use. Unless I am digging really deep or I have got a particularly challenging client and I feel like that is necessary. The perfect example of that was slight of mouth with jasmine ching earlier. I was once working with a client who was resisting comment resisting, resisting and what that looks like in a clutch session is “I don't know”, you ask a different question they say “I don't know”. And it goes on and on and on. That's all you get. And this particular client who is an addict, and he wasn't in a good place at all, it took me a lot to even get him on the phone for the coaching session, let alone do any actual work, and he was very resistant. And I had tried multiple things and nothing was working, and I used sleight of mouth which is a technique where you act like a child and you mock. Which is why i don't like it. It's very sarcastic, and it has to be used very carefully. It is the only time as a coach I have used this technique, when i learned it i swore i wouldn't, but I was really concerned about this particular client's state of mind which is why I was so adamant to get him on the phone, i thought he may not B he moving forward if I couldn't get him on the phone. So i felt like the stakes in this conversation was very very high and I used this technique. And instead of the “I don't know” which is a very stagnant and stuck state of being, he said “what?”. And I repeated myself, and it made him angry. Understandably so. But what happened when he got angry was that I could use that, because you can feel what it feels like to be stuck, and you can feel what it feels like to be angry. And when you're angry, it has momentum, it has fire and I could use that to then begin coaching him. And I can't even explain to you the shifting him from the beginning of the coaching session where I could barely get him on the call, to the end of the session when he had some fire in his belly and at the very least was paying attention and was alert. It was actually one of my proudest moments and one of the biggest coaching sessions I've ever done. It changed me as a coach.


Conflicts and disagreements with clients is a really interesting one because there's two sorts of disagreements and arguments that you're going to have with the client as a coach. The first disagreement you'll have is about your agreement as in your coaching agreement. So it's about the contract, or the payments, or the real practical parts of your engagement in the coaching relationship. And I have fairly strict rules around that for myself, which I have learned the hard way. I am not willing to work with clients who don't want to work with me. I am very happy to fire clients if they're not doing the work and coming to the party. And let me be clear, there is a big difference between a client that doesn't want to come to the party because they are fearful, or nervous, or unsure, versus not valuing the programme of work that you're undertaking together. Coach client relationships are partnerships. They are collaborative, and as such, both coach and the client has to make an effort. And if someone's given me money, and then not showing up to their sessions, not replying to my text messages, or not engaging with the programme, then I question why they signed up in the first place and what they actually want to get out of it. And I'm happy to have that conversation.


The second type of disagreement you'll have with the client is where they're defensive. They go into protection mode, and their ego is fighting with you as their coach, because they don't want to go down a particular road. And as a wonderful mentor of mine once said her name was Helen, the thing you're most afraid to talk about, is where you should start. Because you're going to spend a lot of money to talk about that later on, when actually that is the thing not moving you forward, you better off addressing it right now. Disagreements that arise can often be out of defensiveness and defensiveness is a protection mechanism and that is where coaching skills and being a human really comes into play. Because really, when you experience that with a client, they are at what we call a boundary condition. It's like a metaphorical wall that they are unwilling to move past, and that's where as a coach, your work really starts because unless you hit those boundary conditions, your client is staying the same. And if your client is staying the same what are they paying you for?


Clients pay coaches for change. And change is hard, and it takes time. There's a reason clients don't change on their own, and i would include myself in that statement when i have been a client and worked with a coach. Which i have done a lot of. Clients want to change and grow, and the coach needs to be competent and aware enough to experience a client becoming defensive or shutting down or other ways they may express boundary conditions to help their client move forward.


I hope that has clarified some of the information or approach that coaches may take. If there are any questions you have i would love to hear from you, or if there are any other thoughts or insights that you would like to share, please reach out to me on my website.


Have a great week I'll see you next week.






Hey! Before you go, I always find reviews really helpful when looking for new information or insights…


I you’ve found this podcast valuable, please take a minute to write a quick review about what you’ve found most beneficial for you, so other people can benefit from your insights, and listen in too. I would LOVE that!

Also, if there are any topics you’d like me to cover specifically about life coaching or the life coaching industry, visit to contact me. Thanks for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode of Do I Need A Life Coach?!



Please note, this transcription may not be exact.

Questions? Topic Ideas?

Reach out to Rhiannon today
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