May 29

9 Powerful Life Coach Strategies to Use with Clients Facing Challenges


Essential Life Coach Strategies You Need to Know.

Experienced Life Coaches will agree that much of what we work on with clients involve challenges and setbacks. If you are coaching other human beings, then for each goal they set, obstacles will present themselves, that is a given. Some will be minor and easy to work through, but others can set in motion a negative pattern resulting in loss of motivation and stress. The professional life coach is aware of this and uses different Life Coach Strategies to support their client through these setbacks.

life coach strategies

Understand, it is not the challenge that is damaging to your client it is the beliefs the clients have about themselves when being faced with a difficulty. A positive frame of, “I will figure out a way” or “let me try another way” are strong positive reactions when things do not go smoothly. However when issues turn negative or a client inappropriately lay blame towards themselves, then it can be impossible for them to reach their goals. At this point, the professional coach will need to dig into their arsenal of Life Coach Strategies to help their client.

Below are nine possible Life Coach Strategies that are commonly used in Life Coaching when working with clients up against a challenge.

Life Coach Strategy #1. A coach would ask what did the client learned anything from the experience. Things they know now that they would have done differently or will now do differently. Remember as a life coach we do not judge; this is about the clients experience and not about what we think as the coach they should have learned. There is no such thing as negative life coach strategies.

Life Coach Strategy #2. What advantages could there be in this not working out how you wanted? Looking at benefits can be a compelling point of view question by the Life Coach. Sometimes even the most challenging experiences have advantages. Knowing what not to do can be extremely helpful.

Life Coach Strategy #3. Are there lessons learned from failures? As a Life Coach, we want clients to understand the fact that there are always lessons learned from failures and that failures are part of the game. Be empathetic, life itself isn’t easy, but our ability to learn from our past experiences is our best shot at achieving great success. Once they accept, that for every negative situation, there is a definite lesson to be learned, they are no longer stuck, they now have options. The key to all of the Life Coach Strategies is to increase the client’s options.

coach strategies

Life Coach Strategy #4. Consider taking a break. Another important scenario a Life Coach may explore with the client is to take some time off to regroup. For instance, if the client is working on a particular project and at some point things don’t seem to work out the way they want even after putting in lots of effort, a bit of space or time off might be the best step.  Life coach strategies are just sometimes common sense we all forget when in the heat of the battle.

Often just a few hours or days can settle one’s mind and approach the task from a fresh perspective. As a Life Coach, we want our client to understand stress and anxiety are not going to help. A short break might be the best approach.

Life Coach Strategy #5. Discuss with the client that life is not always rosy. No matter how well organized a client is, no matter how easy things might always be moving in one's favor, there are bound to be situations where you will experience setbacks.  While we use different life coach strategies nothing in this world is guaranteed.

Failure is an unpredictable event, which can occur when one least expects it. Therefore, always anticipate the fact there is the possibility of failure knocking at your door irrespective of how careful and experienced you might be. Is your client response-able to the situation? While one of the Life Coach Strategies could be fear, a little dose of concern can keep our clients attentive.

client challenges

Life Coach Strategy #6. Support the client to take on a sense of curiosity instead of labeling the issue as good or bad. Things are what they are. When we jump in and label things bad, we are often cut off from the actual lesson. When police detectives investigate a crime, they focus on what they can learn following the clues. While they may have emotions their first job is to follow the process and investigate.

Life Coach Strategy #7. Dodging a bullet. What is the message? Is it better to find out a plan will not work now as opposed to later when even more time and money is invested? For instance, your client spent time, effort and a bit of money testing an advertising campaign that did not hit the mark. Isn’t it great to know now so adjustments can be made?

Life Coach Strategy #8. Resilience, working with clients on bouncing back or better yet, bouncing forward. When your client understands that accepting negative outcomes vs. holding onto them will make it easier for them, to jump forward towards success. Holding on and framing setbacks in a negative way is what keeps people frozen and unable to bounce back. That would be a great strategy if one wanted to guarantee failure.

Life Coach Strategy #9. Empathy, if these life coach strategies were listed in order, this strategy should be listed as #1. Often when facing setbacks or failures, we just want some simple understanding. The most important Life Coach Strategy is just acknowledgment. “I am sorry to hear it did not work out; I would imagine it might be tough to accept. However, I want you to know I am with you and will do everything I can, to support you in finding another solution.

Life is challenging for Life Coaches as well as Life Coach Clients. Coaching is a co-creative process of coming together and figuring things out. The truth is, we all are bound to experience negative situations in one way or another. Therefore, it is the responsibility of Life Coaches to understand the process of resiliency and assist their clients in accepting then moving forward towards their goals. Having a good set of Life Coach Strategies in one’s toolkit is certainly a huge help


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