Acceptance is a Skill and Way of Being that Allows your Client to Feel Supported in a Coaching Relationship

Acceptance is a skill and way of being and needs to be at the center of a coaching relationship. Acceptance provides a sense of support that your client can be themselves when you are working with them as a credentialed professional coach.

In communication, acceptance comes when great listening is provided to a client. Listening at a level that you accept the thoughts, feelings, intentions or actions your client is sharing with you without judgment. By accepting your client’s reality you get to know where they are truly at – their situation. Acceptance could be described as the opposite of criticism. When you listen with acceptance you provide support to your client. From here you can challenge your client respectfully to work on and build their best marriage, business, or personal and professional life.

It is important in coaching to be more situation focused, this is what we need to accept in terms of a clients reality.

Coaching is not counseling or therapy, coaching is about helping clients to develop the skills to succeed in any area of their life or business, and holding them accountable to reaching their greatest potential. Feelings and the expression of feelings doesn’t change a person’s life – greater skills, consistent actioning of priorities and the accomplishment of clear set goals changes a person’s life. This is why in coaching we need to be situation-based, not feelings based.

We must know as a professional credentialed coach it is only action that will change a situation, thoughts and feelings will not. This is why the development of skills and the accomplishment of goals is vital to a client’s success.

Accepting your client’s thoughts, feelings, intentions, actions and situation does not imply accepting your client’s sabotaging their success, or not actioning what they have agreed to do by the next coaching session. We must hold clients accountable to what they want to achieve.

It is important to help clients to get clear on the priorities, goals, and skills they are continually working on, as this limits behavior that is not needed or expected, and actually develops the clients character.

Acceptance works best when clients have worked to get clear on their values and goals, so their personal and professional road map is aligned and clear. Clients who do not have values and goals written down should work with you to get clear. Otherwise they will experience stress, overwhelm or be muddy and unclear on who they really are, and what they need to do to succeed in their life. People who are clear achieve what they set out to do in life, people who are unclear do not.

Coaching is not about labeling a client with ADHD or any other diagnosis – labeling can generate awareness of a person’s behavior, but is restrictive to their growth. This is why acceptance in coaching is important because If a client has attention deficit issues, analysis or labeling is putting this person in a box. It is only the development of skills and the accomplishment of goals that will change this person for the better and accomplish long lasting behavior change.

Curiosity is the foundation to listening with acceptance to whatever is going on in your client’s world: thoughts, feelings, behavior or life – their situation. Once we know and accept the client’s situation fully, we can then work with them to change it.

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