How to start coaching a client

Knowing all about healthy nutrition is a good start, but knowing how to coach a client to success is vital if you want people to achieve their goals. Establishing a great relationship with your client is key to your success. You may have to challenge your client’s beliefs or talk about painful issues so it’s very important the client feels they are in a safe environment.

Establish rapport
It is very important to establish good rapport with clients. This is where clients feel their concerns have been understood and respected. You can improve rapport by talking with clients in a way they understand and appreciate.

Ways to have a safe environment
Make sure the setting is conducive to coaching. A noisy public place where strangers are looking on or listening in may not be the most appropriate place. Find somewhere quiet, private and away from distractions. If you are seeing the client at home, suggest that someone else takes the kids out or babysits them so that the client can give this time their full attention.

Establishing trust
The three most important attributes that develop client trust are confidentiality, autonomy and mentoring.
Make sure the client knows that everything that is said between you will be kept strictly confidential. This includes partners and children. You may not discuss anything that is said in the consultation with another person unless the client gives you clear permission.
This means the client has a say in what they want to do to their own body. Their decision to take your advice or not is theirs alone and is to be respected.
The mentor helps the client decide on the best course of action. A mentor does not dictate what is to be done or tell people what to do. We all know that doesn’t work. What we are trying to achieve is that the client comes to realise what is holding them back and makes the decision to move forward themselves. They decide what they will do and when and how. The mentor merely helps and guides them along the way.