Coaching Podcast: Building Your Coaching Toolbox

February 28, 2020

The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring JRNI Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. In this episode of the Everything Life Coaching Podcast, we discuss how you can build your coaching toolbox and what you may need to put inside it. Subscribe to get all our episodes!

A coaching toolbox is, well, pretty much the same as a plumber’s toolbox or a carpenter’s toolbox. It is a box where all the tools you’ll need to do your job well are placed. But why is having a toolbox is important for coaches? Because coaching is a nebulous field and when folks go into it, there’s this huge feeling of “... but how do I do it?”

When you start to acquire the tools you need and you start to add those tools to the toolbox, you start to gain confidence and the how becomes when. As in, “when can I do this because it is fun.” On the opposite side of the coin, when you don’t have a toolbox, you’re not going to be able to coach people. You may have the desire but until you have the right set of tools, you just won’t be able to effectively help people propel themselves into the future they want.

Understanding what coaches do and where they work

Coaches work in multiple areas, but there are three we want to focus on: intention, grit and positive psychology. Intention is basically all about future envisioning or what we want in life. In this area, part of the brain we use is our limbic system instead of our prefrontal cortex. Limbic is emotional, prefrontal is logical.

Coaches also work with grit. There is an accountability factor that allows people to adhere to grit for risk-taking and goal-accomplishment. Working in the area of grit is not just about encouraging your client to have grit and to take risks. It’s also about giving your clients the tools on how to develop courage and perseverance and shedding some light as to why being courageous is important and how it can help them.

Last on the three areas we want to focus on a little bit are the aspects of positive psychology. This contributes to the field of coaching which is flow, strength, working with yourself, living from the inside out. Positive psychology is both simple and complex and it’s a fairly important tool, which is why in the JRNI program, we spend a good amount of time unfolding positive psychology for our students.

Understanding coaching framework

Another important thing to add to the coaching toolbox is coaching framework. It is a process where if you put different techniques into your process that will help you work your client through a system of discovery, learning, and action. A framework provides you with a system or a blueprint or a sketch so you don’t just go into conversation aimlessly. There are three parts of the coaching framework we want to tackle a bit:

Theory - this is why an intervention works

Intervention - this is what you do in session with a client. As in, the exercise.

Framework - the framework is the process that holds it all together to move someone from point A to point B.

Future visioning as a framework

Let’s take future visioning as an example. This is what frames your intention for where you want to go and how you want to live your life. It is a validated applied positive intervention and it has been proven and studies have been published that holding a sustained focus in your future state decreases your stress response and increases your prefrontal cortex functioning. It’s, in so many ways, the foundation of coaching itself.

There are two interventions we can explore here. Creating a vision board which is based on the science of priming, a phenomenon where you hold something in your mind’s eye and you’re more likely to follow through. And narrative visioning, like the best possible future exercise adapted from the work of Caroline Miller. This could be something like a writing exercise where you can have your client write in a positive way about what their life could be like if everything goes as well as it possibly could. This gives the coach and the client a starter kit for an action plan.

These are all bits and pieces of what can be put in the coaching toolbox. More about this in the podcast episode and in the JRNI program itself.

Ready to Expand Your Toolkit?

Coaching is a rapidly growing field that's continuously evolving. Even for seasoned coaches, there’s always more to discover! If you’ve not already earned your coaching certification, there’s no better time than now to get started. At JRNI, we offer two coach training tracks: Essentials and Signature. Our Essentials program is grounded in science, with authentic instructors and fellow students who are dedicated to forging a unique path in the world of coaching. If you’re interested in pursuing International Coach Federation (ICF), our Signature program offers even greater depth to help prepare you for that process. Not sure about the difference between credentialing and ICF certification? You can read more about it here.

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