Trust is one of the fundamental building blocks to any successful, fruitful and sustainable relationship, let alone coaching… where clients talk about very personal and intimate things.
James Davis says, “Trust, it is choosing to be vulnerable and take risks.”
How do we lower that risk and make it worthy and rewarding to the clients? How can we create a safe space where they can express their thoughts and emotions freely and be themselves? How is it possible to help them listen to their inner wisdom without being afraid of unravelling their weaknesses, fears and doubts?
A coach needs to work on that first. So where does he start from? You may think of the coaching agreement, goals or models to follow to answer this question, but this is not the place to begin. Building trust starts from within. For people to trust you, you need to trust yourself.
And that applies to coaching. A coach needs to trust his knowledge, emotions and values throughout the different phases of the journey which actually requires a high level of self-awareness… knowing who he is, what he is doing and why he is doing it…
If a coach is confident, serene and transparent from within like a crystal-clear mirror, people would love to come and meet that coach to connect to their true nature.
Now, they trust the coach as a person, which is something… However, they may still not trust the coaching process which is another thing altogether. They may still have their doubts and fears about its usefulness.
There comes the importance of ICF coaching core competencies, like:
- Meeting Ethical Guidelines & Professional Standards, especially Confidentiality, to reassure the client:
- Establishing the Coaching Agreement to know exactly where we are heading to;
- Coaching Presence and Active Listening to connect to your clients’ feelings and emotions;
- And all the other competencies that make the process safe, purposeful and beneficial.
One last, but not least point to mention is that trust is not just a pre-requirement for coaching success, it is also the aim of it. It is by trusting themselves and their inner wisdom, that clients will find their ways and turn around their lives.