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Coaching Exercises to help your clients

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In a nutshell:

  • Coaches face many roadblocks in their journey to help their clients.
  • There are many coaching exercises designed to help coaches be more effective.
  • We cover a few of these exercises like Mindfulness Retreat, Put a Label on It, The Outcome Tool, The Art of Deep Listening, Self Coaching Task, Your Habit Worksheet and Wheel of Life.

The term ‘conscious’ is increasingly being used in regard to leadership, coaching, businesses, capitalism, and pretty much everything these days. The idea of waking up, becoming conscious, and recognising that we need to modify our ways of thinking and being is very much in vogue. 

The coaching process is based on increasing awareness and hence increasing choice, which leads to informed change. Thus, coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and

creative process to generate the best results. But this is often not easy. There are many roadblocks that a coach has to face in the due process. There are many coaching exercises designed to help the coach ease the life of their client. Let’s look at some of these coaching exercises and coaching tools.

Mindfulness Retreat

Mindfulness is an age-old method that has proven to be effective. Its origins can be traced back to Buddhist teachings from the historical Buddha (the name literally means “awakened one”), who lived more than 2,500 years ago in what is now Nepal. 

Mindfulness is a technique that incorporates three aspects: purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgemental. So mindfulness is being fully present in the moment non-judgmentally. It is a capacity that enables people to focus on what they experience in the moment inside themselves as well as in the outer environment with an attitude of openness, curiosity, and care. There are many ways that one can practice mindfulness. This is one such exercise to help you out.

Coaching Exercise: Mindfulness Retreat

Time: 5-10 minutes

Objective: 

  • To relax and relieve stress
  • Attain relationship satisfaction
  • Improve focus

Step 1

Sit in a quiet place for five minutes or so and become comfortable.

Step 2

Loosen your shoulders, rest your hands on your lap, and sit in an upright position. You can do this by closing your eyes or looking down at the floor. 

Step 3

Pay attention to where your body makes touch with the seat and where your feet make contact with the ground. 

Step 4

Take three deep breaths, then resume normal breathing.

Step 5

Listen to what’s going on around you. Listen without feeling obligated to do anything, without even labeling anything. Just take in the sounds that come and go. 

Step 6

After that, “return” to the room and open your eyes.

Put a Label on It

Every coach wants the best for their clients. But many times this dream of the coach is not fulfilled due to a number of obstacles and hindrances that come in the way. Either the coachee is not fully committed to the coaching process or he is not able to work with his emotions or the coach is biased in his judgments or maybe he is not putting all the core coaching skills in the right place. One such hindrance is emotions. 

Coaching Exercise: Put a Label on It

Time: 10 minutes

Objective: 

  • Identifying emotions
  • Improving the ability of the coachee to detect emotions
  • Improve and increase self-awareness

Step 1

Take a notepad.

Step 2

Get into an intentioned mindset using the mindfulness exercise.

Step 3

Notice and write down all the emotions that you experience most often. They may be linked to the person’s thoughts and body sensations but focus on the emotions.

For example, sadness, fear, anxiety, etc.

Always remember that there can be an n number of emotions or even none. The aim is to see if you can label them. Then there may be situations where you may find issues that you resonate with and get triggered even as a coach since you have also experienced it in the past. In such a case, it is best to acknowledge it yourself and ground yourself by focusing on your breathing and your body movement. You can also refer them to someone else who doesn’t have the same experience. So, it’s not about you but about your client.

The Outcome Tool

The process of coaching is designed in a way to cater to the needs of the client. So if the client is clear about the outcome, then it becomes easier for both the coach and the client to move towards it and achieve it. Thus both the coach and the coachee should have an outcome mindset. On the other hand, some people focus on what is wrong. And when your client focuses on what is wrong, they are more likely to feel bad and in turn, it becomes harder to achieve the goal. Thus the coach should always use the outcome frame to support their client in the coaching journey.

Coaching Exercise: The Outcome Tool

Time: 15 minutes

Objective: 

  • Adopt a positive approach
  • Focus on the outcome
  • Creating firm goals

Step 1:

Take a notepad and list down 3 to 8 difficult situations that you have handled successfully.

Step 2:

On another page, list down 3 to 8 difficult situations that you have handled less successfully.

Step 3:

Analyse both the sheets and note down whether you are focused more on the problem or the outcome.

Step 4:

Ask yourself, “Did I know what I wanted? How clear was my intended outcome? Was I really stating it as a positive result, something in my control?” 

Step 5:

Review the unsuccessful list. Did the less effective result happen when the aim(s) were less clear to you or seemed in some ways out of your control?

While there are many other factors that influence your results, you’ll most likely find that the “successful” circumstances were those in which you used the Outcome Frame and had a clear, defined goal in mind. Take note of how much your success is dependent on having a clear intended objective and an effective ‘outcome framing.’ Do you consider gaining outcomes in this manner? 

The Art of Deep Listening

The art of deep listening is a gift that only a few possess. People often focus on getting their words heard rather than giving the other person a chance to speak. Listening is one of the most important aspects that a coach and a coachee should incorporate. This exercise is specifically built to increase the ability of deep listening of a person. Make a conscious effort to listen fully the next time you meet someone, rather than being completely absorbed in what you’re doing and what you have to do next.

Coaching Exercise: The Art of Deep Listening

Time: 15 minutes

Objectives

  • Improving the art of deep listening 
  • Gaining deeper insight into what’s being said and what’s not being stated 
  • Strengthening relationships 
  • Increasing the likelihood that the other person feels heard and understood

Step 1:

To prepare for the activity, use the practice to get into a focused mentality.

Step 2:

Relax in your chair or stand up straight; look them in the eyes, and see if you can keep the aim of just being there for them, with no agenda of your own, and listen. There will be no interruptions. No advising. You’re just listening intently. With time and practice, you’ll be able to do it.

Step 3:

You may know them well enough and feel at ease enough to tell them what you’ve just done and even inquire about its impact. Feedback is beneficial. Take it positively. 

Self Coaching Task

What is SeIf Coaching? It’s the practice of using coaching approaches to empower oneself. Self-talk or a discussion with yourself; a conscious inner dialogue, self-empowerment, or the ability to self-manage thoughts and feelings are all terms that have been used to describe it.

You may coach yourself using a variety of tools, such as strong questions, models, and activities that you can use both for yourself and with others. This is one such exercise that can help you out. Remember to hit pause, get attentive, and reflect – we may ask ourselves the appropriate question at the right time only if we give ourselves a chance.

Coaching Exercise: Self Coaching Task

Time: 10 minutes

Objective: 

  • Resolving work conflicts 
  • Reflecting upon your attitude
  • Creating a better environment of work

Step 1:

Consider a small issue that you’d like to solve. It could be a meeting you’d like to enhance or a minor conflict amongst coworkers.

Step 2: 

To get into an intentioned attitude for the activity, do the ‘getting aware’ method described.

Step 3:

Reflect on the following questions as you go through them.

What would be a great result?

What has worked for me in the past when I’ve attempted something similar?

What single action could I do right now to help me achieve this goal?

Step 4:

Write down your thoughts in a journal.

Your Habit Worksheet

Exercise: Your Habit Worksheet

Time: 20 minutes

Objective: 

  • Defining your goals
  • Reflecting upon your habits
  • Creating clarity of what you want to achieve

Step 1:

Take a worksheet, either in notepad or on excel.

Step 2:

Create a 5*5 grid, such that you move 5 cells horizontally and 5 cells vertically. This will create a table of 25 cells.

Step 3:

Now sit in silence and think about your goal. 

Step 4:

Once your goal is set then divide a column into 5 parts- Stop doing, Do less of, keep doing, Do more of, Start doing. As shown in the image above.

Step 5:

Complete the worksheet in any order and remember that this is just the brainstorming exercise so even if you write it down it does not mean that you are obliged to do it these are just potential ideas that you would like to move forward towards.

Step 6:

To wrap up this exercise, circle the actions you would like to look up or will do.

Wheel of Life

Circle is one of the oldest and most dynamic shapes of the universe. Interestingly, a circle represents unity, wholeness, and infinity. It signifies a beginning without an end that is a continuous line without sides and corners. 

There is an amazing exercise called the wheel of life that brings this significance of the circle into the light. This exercise is basically a circle that encloses your life. This means that all the important parts of your life are the parts of the circle that helps individuals figure out ways to give more importance to the areas they want to improve.

Coaching Exercise: Wheel of Life

Time: 10 minutes

Objective: 

  • Resolving work conflicts 
  • Reflecting upon your attitude
  • Creating a better environment of work

Step 1:

Take a notepad and make a circle. Divide the circle into 8 equal parts as shown in the image.

Step 2:

List out all the things that are important to you in life.

For example: health, relationships, family, money

The key is to remember that no two individuals will have the same circle.

Step 3:

Rate these parts from 1 to 10 in order of priority you give to them in your life. In other words, put 1 on the most important part and 10 on the least.

Step 4:

Analyse the first 5 parts and look closely at what more you can add to these 5 parts to make it easier for you.

Always remember, coaching is a practice for you and your client. So there is no right or no wrong way. These exercises can vary from coach to coach. The key is to fulfill the needs of the clients in the best way it suits them. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the famous coaching exercises?

Mindfulness Retreat, Put a Label on It, The Outcome Tool, The Art of Deep Listening, Self Coaching Task, Your Habit Worksheet, and Wheel of Life are just a few of the exercises we go over.

What is the art of deep listening?

Deep listening is a skill that only a few people have. People are often more concerned with getting their words heard than with allowing the other person to speak. One of the most crucial skills both a coach and a coachee should have is the ability to listen. This practise is designed to help people improve their capacity to listen deeply.

What is the purpose of the coaching process?

The coaching process is centred on raising awareness and, as a result, expanding choice, which leads to informed change. As a result, coaching entails collaborating with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process in order to get the greatest outcomes. However, this is not always straightforward. In due procedure, a coach will encounter numerous hurdles.

What is a mindfulness retreat?

Mindfulness is a strategy that combines three elements: purpose, present moment awareness, and nonjudgmental behaviour. As a result, mindfulness entails being fully present in the moment while remaining nonjudgmental. It’s a skill that allows people to pay attention to what they’re feeling right now, both inside themselves and in their surroundings, with an open, curious, and caring attitude. Mindfulness can be practised in a variety of ways.

How does a coach help a client?

The coaching approach is tailored to the client’s specific requirements. As a result, if the client understands the desired outcome, it becomes easier for both the coach and the client to work toward and attain it. As a result, both the coach and the coachee should be focused on the end result. On the other side, some people are fixated on the flaws. When your customer concentrates on what’s wrong, they’re more likely to feel bad, which makes it more difficult to attain the goal. As a result, the coach should constantly use the outcome frame to guide their client through the coaching process.

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