Coaching is a useful way to develop the skills and abilities of individuals, and also boosting their performance at work. Coaching, when done correctly, can become a roadmap for success and in turn benefit the individual in many other areas of his or her life or career.

So what kind of coaching approach do you adopt when coaching? Here are 9 ways to coach your clients.

9 Ways to Coach your Clients — Which One Suits Your Client Best?

1. Focus on their Need to be Right

— Understand why is it so important for your client to follow all the rules and be precise most of, if not, all the time.
— Challenge his or her notions of perfection (i.e. what does it means to be doing things the right way or how much does it take to forgive oneself).
— Help him or her to find errors or flaws in their habit of criticising others and themselves.
— Help him or her to create meaning, or seek after options in their life.
— Help him or her to integrate fun into their daily living.

2. Focus on their Need for Affection

— Encourage him or her to find quality time alone to appreciate him or herself better.
— Help him or her to understand why is it so important to give themselves away. For instance, is it due to their desire to be appreciated in return for what they contributed or shared?
— Help him or her face the weariness of constantly seeking after people’s approval or trying to pander to their expectations most of the time.
— Empower them to take charge of their lives instead of indirectly blaming others of making others feel guilty just because he or she did not get what he or she wants.

3. Focus on their Need for Accomplishments

— Help him or her to become aware of the conflict between intimacy and achievement.
— Help him or her to own up to their vulnerabilities while showing positive regard.
— Help him or her to focus inwards and be true to their feelings.
— Encourage him or her to be part of a community, doing things together as a team to accomplish certain tasks.
— Challenge his or her tendency to be pretentious at times, without embarrassing them.

4. Focus on their Need to Understand Oneself

— Allow him or her to express his or her feelings and then listen intently without interrupting.
— Probe for the kind of feelings that are real for the client and get him or her to notice where these feelings are located in his or her body.
— Show the client his or her preoccupation with unrealistic or irrational beliefs that may have been expressed through his or her emotional ups and downs.
— Guide him or her to stay calm and focused instead of being too emotional (i.e. either having angry outburst, or withdrawing from others).

5. Focus on their Need to Understand the World

— Help the client to reframe his or her commitment as a sign of gain instead of a loss of money, time, and energy on his or her part.
— Encourage the client to practice articulating or expressing his or her feelings.
— Help him or her with a range of feelings and emotions.
— Motivate the client to take action on his or her goals.

6. Focus on their Need to be Secure

— Build rapport with the client first, because he or she needs to trust you before allowing you to coach them.
— Help them see that their fears or anxieties may not be real.
— Assist the client to release his or her past hurts and anxiety, which could have caused him or her to distrust others in the present moment.
— Challenge the client to question his or her certainty about his uncertainties.

7. Focus on their Need to be Happy

— Constantly remind the client to stay focused on the present moment.
— Support the client in staying committed to one task or project before moving on to other newer tasks or projects.
— Point out their avoidance patterns and help them take responsibility for their actions while staying positive at the same time.
— Remind them to listen more than to speak.

8. Focus on their Need to be Self-Reliant

— Help the client to get in touch with his or her vulnerability and to confront it.
— Help them to admit their needs and become more compassionate towards others.

9. Focus on their Need to Find Peace

— Be patient with the client as clients of this type does not know what he or she wants.
— Help the client to map out or list out his or her priorities.
— Assure the client that you are present with him or her throughout the coaching journey.
— Help the client stay focused and aligned to his or her values and priorities by getting him or her to create schedules and structures.
— Challenge the client to get out of his or her comfort zone and to take risks.


Now, your challenge is to find the need, and meet it!