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Empower Your Clients_Final

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>> Hi again. I'm back to teach you how you can empower your clients by giving them autonomy and avoiding what's referred to as the expert trap. First, we'll go over why autonomy is important as a tool for empowering your clients, then I'll describe what the expert trap is and how it disempowers your clients. And finally, I'll provide you with three strategies you can use to make your coaching style more empowering. So let's talk about empowerment. Clients come to you looking for answers and expecting to be told what to do. But a teacher student type of relationship will make them feel small and passive. It also doesn't keep your clients engaged, and it makes them dependent on you. So instead, you need to let your clients in on this great secret that they already have all of the answers and that with some guidance and hard work they have infinite potential. Essentially, coaching is empowering your clients to succeed. And our end goal is for them to no longer be a client because you want them to be empowered to lead a vibrant, healthy life all on their own. Coaches are taught this, yet often struggle with how to develop and deliver an empowering coaching style. Do you know how to empower your clients beyond cheering them on and loving them up? How can we subtly weave empowerment into our dialogues? To answer that question, pause here and think about what's empowering to you. When do you feel most capable? Do you feel more empowered when you follow what you've been told or when you learn things for yourself? We tell our kids not to touch the hot stove because we don't want them to get hurt. But you have to touch the stove before you figure that out for yourself. Coaching is a lot like parenting. We have to let our clients make mistakes and learn things for themselves. This means trusting their process even if it leads them in the wrong direction. Did you have a negative experience in your life that ultimately shaped you into who you are today? Maybe it set you on the path to becoming a Health Coach. You may not have loved that negative experience when it was happening but you also can't deny that you wouldn't be where you are today or who you are without having experienced it. You don't know your client's path, you don't know what's perfect and right for them. And by trying to steer them to do what you think they should do, you're denying them the opportunity to do what they need to do. You always want your clients to feel like they're the number one experts on themselves because they are. They're the ones teaching you about who they are and what they're experiencing. It's empowering to them when you demonstrate your respect for this. Coaches should serve as mirrors and guides. An important way to convey that you respect your client's autonomy and self knowledge is to avoid what's referred to in motivational interviewing as the expert trap. This is when coaches mistakenly assume that because of their expertise, they understand what's best for their client and provide suggestions before first asking the client for ideas or direction. I know you might be thinking, "Well, duh, I wouldn't do that." But this comes out in our coaching more often than we think. From time to time, we're all guilty of letting our expert ego guide without even realizing it. Here's an example. Let's say you have a client Tony, and he says to you, "I'm really struggling with my lifting routine lately. I find that I'm not feeling that kind of energy anymore by the end of the day and I really need to motivate myself to put in full effort." You say, "I see, your energy is low and it's affecting your weightlifting routine. How's your diet and sleep lately? Could something be going on there?" Sounds good, right? You paraphrased Tony's concern. As a Health Coach, you know that our diet and sleep patterns are largely responsible for our energy levels, so you ask an open ended question to explore this. So what went wrong? You assumed that Tony must be looking for a solution to boost his energy, and now you've led the conversation in that direction. Tony tells you he's been sleeping less and that maybe that's affecting his performance. But now he's looking disconnected, and you can't figure out why. Let's see how this conversation might have unfolded a little bit differently if you hadn't imposed a direction on Tony. Okay, so again, Tony says, "I'm really struggling with my lifting routine lately. I find that I'm not feeling that kind of energy any more by the end of the day and I really need to motivate myself to put in the full effort." And you say, "I see. Your energy is low and it's affecting your weightlifting routine. Why do you think that is?" Tony responds, "You know, I hate to admit it, but I think I've just reached a point where weightlifting isn't my thing anymore. I love the gains I have made and all of the strength I've discovered within myself, but I don't get excited about it or look forward to my afternoons at the gym anymore. I think I'd like to try something new." Wow, look where that went when you respected Tony's autonomy and let him lead as the expert. In the first scenario, he might have disclosed to you that after a few more back and forth exchanges, but he also might have stayed silent trusting you as the expert and thinking, "Well, maybe I do just need to get more sleep." So by explaining to you the fallacy of the expert trap, I also gave away my first pointer for how you can empower your clients by supporting their autonomy. And that is, always elicit your client's ideas and suggestions before offering your own. By letting your clients always take the lead and taking you in the direction they establish, you give them the autonomy to feel empowered by their own solutions. Empower your clients by encouraging them to follow their inner compass, not by steering them to what you think is healthy or good. It's way more important to inspire transformation than to provide information coaching. My second pointer, always ask permission to give suggestions. To further elevate your client's autonomy after you've drawn out their own ideas and it's now appropriate for you to offer your own suggestions, do so by asking for their permission to share your idea or suggestion with them. Not only does this reiterate that you're not an authority, it primes your clients to be more receptive to whatever you're about to share by having them welcome your input. People don't like being told what to do, especially if it's unpleasant or it shakes up their status quo. Yes, your clients are coming to you because they want you to tell them what to do. But to some degree, they don't want to hear about the hard work they'll have to do or the sacrifices they might need to make. People have a tendency to rebel against or dismiss requests that make them feel uncomfortable. Think about how you react when someone gives you unsolicited advice. Anyone who's ever been a smoker or knows one well can relate here. Smokers know that their habit is deadly. Have you ever been approached by or seen a smoker approached by a well-intentioned passerby who says, "You shouldn't smoke. It could kill you." In the history of smoking, I'd be surprised if this drive by intervention has ever prompted someone to quit. When smokers receive this type of unsolicited recommendation, they typically get defensive and are like, "Who asked you?" Even if they know that what the person said is true. So you always want to present your recommendations in a way that makes your clients feel like they've asked for the information so that their defenses are lowered. Here's an example, your client tells you they want to eat more vegetables. You've asked how they'd like to try doing this, and they said they'd be interested in putting spinach in their morning smoothie. Now you want to come up with another idea. You could say something like, "Okay, so you're going to incorporate more vegetables into your diet by putting spinach in your morning smoothies. That's great. Let's come up with a few more ideas for those days that maybe you didn't have time to make a smoothie or you switched up your breakfast. Do you have any more ideas? No? Well, if you're interested, I have several ideas that I could share with you, would you like to hear them?" Instead of imposing on your client with shoulds or with an advice giving statement like, "Have you ever also thought about pureeing your veggies into soups?" You've invited them to hear some suggestions and try them on for size. My third pointer, make examples using other clients. Lastly, a way to avoid the expert trap and empower your clients is to make examples out of past clients rather than yourself. We have a tendency to want our clients to see us as these flawless Health Coaches who embody wellness and always walk our talk, but this can intimidate them also. When you always use yourself as the shiny example, it makes you seem less relatable, and this can ultimately be disempowering. This creates an us-and-them dynamic of client and coach. They'll compare themselves or try to measure up to your standards. And when they inevitably don't succeed at making a giant leap forward, they'll decide that they're just not cut out to be a healthy person like you and they aren't capable of improving their lives. When I work with clients I disclose about my journey and my struggles. This is empowering to them by showing them that they're not alone and that they too can overcome their challenges. I tell them that I have lost weight successfully, but I've also gained weight during my career, and that I've struggled with food. I tell my clients that I like spaghetti squash, but I also tell them that I love pizza. When I'm sharing about the struggle, I disclose my own experiences. But when I share about what's worked or what's helpful for making a change, I give them examples of what's worked for my clients. Doing this gives your recommendations more traction because you're sending the message that other people who are just like them, who have sat in that very chair have embraced this suggestion and found success. This is a really unique advantage of a coach. You could say, "You know what really shifted me into healthy eating? I start off every morning with a big green juice and it makes me feel great." Or you could say, "I had a client who was very much like you. While we work together, she got in a habit of starting off her day with a green juice. And she said this created a huge shift in her energy and opened her up to healthier eating." With the first approach, your client might think, "Well, that's great, little Miss Green Juice. I eat donuts for breakfast, I'm not like you." But in the second example, you've avoided creating an us-and-them divide between the perfect healthy coach and the unhealthy client. By sharing someone else's success story, they'll think, "Okay, well, if you helped someone else do this and it worked for them, maybe you can help me and it will work for me too." This approach will empower your clients by making them feel like they too can join a successful inner circle of change-makers rather than sweating over trying to achieve some ultimate vision of perfect health that they see you in. So to recap, by always drawing out your client's ideas before offering any of your own asking permission before making recommendations and making examples out of past clients rather than yourself, you empower your clients by removing the differential of the expert trap. And you convey your respect for your clients as autonomous beings and experts of their own lives. Do you find yourself falling into the expert trap with your clients? Why do you think this happens? And what can you do from here on out to make your clients feel more empowered. Let us know in the Facebook group. I can't wait to read what you've shared and support you. I'll see you over there, bye for now.

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Duration: 12 minutes and 50 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 5
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Jul 6, 2018

Empower Your Clients_Final

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