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Develop confidence in your coaching skills

When you first begin coaching others, it’s normal to be strapped with imposter syndrome. Confidence can be elusive for coaches too!  

While you’ll possess techniques to improve confidence, let’s explore specific ways to develop your confidence as a coach, and explore what mindset shifts you need to make. 

1) Remember, you’re not going to be for everyone, and that’s OK

If you think you’re going to be the best coach for every one of your clients, think again. The truth is you can’t be the right coach for every single person. Every coach has their own style of coaching, along with approaches they prefer and their specialisms.  

As a coach, you also have your own personality. This means you won’t gel with every client. Your approaches and your way of working might not be a match. The sooner you realise this, the easier it’ll be to keep your confidence intact when a client decides you aren’t for them (and it’ll happen). 

2) Reflect on your performance after each session                                                                                                                           We encourage coaches to always reflect on their performances. Without taking some reflection time, it’s difficult to evaluate what went well and what didn’t. With an awareness of how a session went, you can continuously improve and you can see where your strengths lie, allowing you to feel confident in your abilities and where to go next. 

3) Invest in ICF-accredited training                                                                                                                                                            If you aren’t ICF-accredited yet, consider getting onto an ICF-accredited training course. Why? Without ICF-accreditation, there’s no guarantee that your training covers everything a coach needs. ICF-accreditation ensures core competencies are covered and that the course comes with sufficient opportunities for practical experience and mentoring. Becoming an ICF coach is an easy way to boost your confidence in your abilities as a coach. YOU KNOW you’re trained to a high level. 

4) Monitor and measure the progress of your clients                                                                                                                                   Collect evidence that your coaching works by monitoring and measuring the progress of your clients. Coaching takes time and often the bulk of the work is done in between sessions. It can be difficult, after a session, to feel like you’re making a difference. However, track progress over time can help you see the impact you’re having and can instil you with more confidence. 

5) Pick a niche or specialism                                                                                                                                                                There are a lot of coaches in the world, and so many of them focus on a broad gamut of life’s issues. Instead of trying to be an expert in everything, pick an area in which you’d like to specialise. This could be confidence for women in the workplace, or trauma-based coaching. You could choose to work with entrepreneurs on embodying their brand. By choosing to laser focus on one area, you’ll quickly become confident as you develop your knowledge. 

6) Ask your clients for feedback                                                                                                                                                           You’ll need testimonials for your website! But these aren’t just useful for showing others you’re capable – they can remind you of that fact too! Recall your successes in coaching to fuel your confidence and remind you of your skills. 

7) Practical experience counts for a lot when you’re starting                                                                                                                Coaches need to practise with clients before they even start charging. If your training doesn’t involve practical experience, you won’t be confident. You need to practice AND gain feedback from professional coaches to strengthen your coaching skills and establish confidence. 

8) Remember why you started coaching in the first place.                                                                                                     Feeling connected to our sense of purpose can help us push through even if we’re dealing with low confidence. 

Remember why you started coaching in the first place… to help others and make a difference (we imagine). The more you push through and remind yourself you’re doing this for others, the less you’ll focus on ‘you’ and your possible flaws, and the more confident you’ll become.

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