In the space of great rapport, anything is possible” – Milton Erikson
When we know with certainty that it is all about the client we serve, then it is vital to build up a level of rapport to build the trust and responsiveness in the client that our words become their thoughts.
True rapport can be matched through a variety of things
- matching the angle of the spine
- mirroring blinking, breathing rate, tonality
- other body language such as drinking just after a client has had a sip of their water, arms gestures same when it is your turn to talk etc
When on a coaching call, however you have 55% less communication cues to utilise. Our communication is made up of 55% body language, 38% tonality and 7% words. When you become proficient at creating rapport through tonality and words, then you gain even more expertise as a coach.
Some of the keys to creating great rapport with phone coaching is firstly to assume a level of rapport. Get an agreement frame at the commencement of the session, three “yesses” from the client support them to create that connection of rapport quickly.
The next main key… is to listen and be present.
When coaching, LISTEN intently to the tonality and the words that your client uses. Focus on your client.
Listen to the language that is used, whether it is resourceful or unresourceful, at cause or at effect, in the positive or negative, big picture or detailed.
Notice the predicates they use (words that refer to certain representational systems). Eg- if your client says “I see what you mean, Im looking forward to that”… or “Im hearing you, that really resonates with me”… or ” I have a gut feeling about this” …. or “give me time to process and analyse the facts”- it allows you to know whether their preferred or dominant representational system is visual, auditory, kinaesthetic or auditory digital. Then you can match their preferred modality to build even greater rapport.
Rapport is a must for keeping it all about the client, because it rapidly builds a level of trust, makes the client comfortable to disclose with openness and means we are able to create transformation at a much faster rate. Rapport builds client confidence in the coaches skills for the current coaching session, and creates a reference point for future sessions with you as their coach.
Listening to the voice quality and tonality of the client will also assist you to create great rapport.
The biggest key of all is to coach from the heart space, be in the moment, and listen… The client has come to you to grow into living at cause and become the best they can be.
Prior to your coaching session, give yourself a few minutes to remind yourself who YOU need to BE to coach and create transformation. Then future pace yourself – go to the successful completion of the coaching session and see what you are seeing, hear what you are hearing, notice what you’re telling yourself and just notice how great that feels. You may choose to have a poster in front of you that reads “Be Present” or “In the Moment”… and reduce all distractions to ensure you can remain present for the coaching session.
After all, its all about the client :)