Steps To Create Right Balance Between

Empathy And Action

Empathy benefits a client in many ways. When facing a difficult issue, a client often feels like she or he is the only one who is struggling. A lot of comfort comes from the knowledge that your client is not alone and that it is okay to feel this way. Acknowledging and expressing emotions helps calm down the brain and allow the perspective needed to solve problems.

The mistake many coaches make is to go straight to problem solving. Here are four steps to create the right balance between empathy and action.

Step # 1: Create Emotional Safety

Remind the client that the coaching conversation is a safe place, where the client has the permission to feel all feelings and express them without feeling judged. Such a validation can allow the client to let go of some of the emotion and eventually be ready to move to action. 

Step # 2: Validate Emotions

Often naming an emotion goes a long way to making a client feel understood. By saying, “I can see that this makes you feel very frustrated,” creates an opening for a client to acknowledge his or her own feelings and feel validated.  This helps to build a powerful environment of trust and support in the coaching space. 

Step # 3: Share Your Own Experiences And Insights

The most powerful part of coaching is when you are able to offer the client a wonderful insight. For e.g. “As I am hearing you speak, I am wondering if this issue could be a result of not saying no at the appropriate moment?” “Does that connect with you?”

Also as a Coach, you may also choose to share your experiences in way that is comforting and inspirational to the client.

Step # 4 : Check If The Client Is Ready To Get To Solution

The longer the issue has been festering, the longer it may take for the client to let go of the emotions. If the emotions haven’t been fully explored or expressed, the client may find it difficult to move on. Check to see if the client feels ready to think about solutions yet. 

Once your client starts to move toward action, you can start helping the client to be accountable and stay on track. 

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