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Ten Coaching Tips for Health Professionals

While you may have not thought of yourself as a ‘coach’ to your clients or if your environment may not allow the time for a full coaching conversation, consider this.

Using the tools and theories related to behavior change, you can take the “coach approach” even in a short office visit, during an intake or in a therapy session with the following ten tips in mind. At the bottom of this list download a free report suitable as a client education handout - one way of ‘coaching’ your clients. 

1. Be a Role Model. Engage in upgrading your own personal health behaviors in order to walk the walk. Be patient and understanding that change is hard.

2. Be Present. Give your undivided attention to a client without distracttions. Stop the clock and cultivate a deep level of presence to listen with all of your brain’s resources.

3. Share Positive Emotions. Ask your client what is going well in their lives, in their health, what they are enjoying most, what puts a spring in their step or what they are most grateful for. Positive emotions improve the brain’s potential to learn, strategize, and find creative solutions for challenges.

4. Improve Self-Compassion. In our high-achieving culture, most people are highly critical of themselves and lack self-compassionate toward their own ‘failings’, all of which assist in regulating negative emotions. Model self-compassion for your own suffering, and radiate compassion for the messiness of being human and the many challenges that make it hard to take care of one’s health.

5. Elicit Motivation. The bigger the why the easier the how. Help people dig deep to find what they treasure most about their lives.  Help them personally define why health is an important resource to them as the means to what they desire most in life.

6. Improve Confidence. Motivation goes to sleep when confidence is low. Help people articulate several ways that might work for them to overcome challenges - this helps builds confidence and hope. Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right. 

7. Welcome and Learn from Setbacks. Help clients adopt the growth mindset, not a success/fail or self-esteem based mindset. Every step is simply an experiment. Every result brings more learning. Every problem is an opportunity to grow. 

8. Foster Creativity. Brainstorm possibilities to overcome challenges in a light and playful manner in order to generate new ideas. Inspiring humor and outside-the-box thinking stirs new energy and insights to emerge.

9. Catalyze Insights. View your role as a catalyst for your clients’ insights, versus being the know-it-all expert. Utilize provocative open questions and creative reflections. 

10. Set a behavioral goal. Help clients define and commit to a behavioral goal. Any action, even small behavioral steps, starts momentum for the change journey. It’s easier to change course when there is momentum than to overcome inertia.

Discover more ways to guide your clients toward mind-body wellness with a coach-approach. Educating clients on stress managment empowers them toward better health. 

Working in the health and wellness field, you are well informed on how persistent stress contributes to chronic diseases. Today’s levels of distractions from technological devices are a major concern due to the effects on the brain of multi-tasking, disorganized minds and lack of focus. Most likely you have had a client answer a text, an email or a phone call during a session. 

Download a free report: Distraction Epidemic: Calm The Frenzied Brain, suitable as a client handout. Apply these six mindsets to your own life and share with your clients. Training the brain to focus in productive and satisfying ways is possible and contributes to well-being. COACH your clients to healthier lifestyles with inspiration and education.



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