People often don’t think straight when they are stressed.
That includes clients.
It’s as if an evil scientist has inserted a microchip into their brains – one that forces them to do things they swore they would never do again, like watching two seasons of shameless Even without a potty break.
Then they attend a training session and appear more angry, shy and/or nervous. They say things like:
“I don’t have time for this!”
or “I don’t know what’s wrong with me!”
or “I ate a whole gallon of ice cream again! I suck and will always suck and never will, so why bother?”
If the above sounds eerily familiar, you’ll love the six conversation techniques described in this article.
These strategies work like a weighted verbal blanket.
Use it to help clients…
- See their way out of the dark tunnel of tension.
- Finally break free from those annoying old habits.
- Go from “I can’t do this” to “I have this.”
Before we get to these styles, let’s explore why people hopelessly indulge in old styles to begin with.
We thank evolution for old, relentless habits.
Noting potential threats – like the faint crackling of a twig from hundreds of meters away – was what prevented ancient humans from devouring the large, fearsome creatures with sharp fangs.
Now, hundreds of generations later, this Intentional threat biasFocusing on risk rather than opportunity and advantage is essential.
While it’s very useful during those rare times when you stumble across an angry mama bear in your backyard, this threat bias doesn’t work very well in non-life-threatening situations.
Let’s say your dad jokes:
“Honey, the color of your shirt does not do your face justice in any way.”
Now, your threatening bias directs all your thoughts precisely to where you are don’t do I need them (“Why did you hang out with this guy for a parent?!”) and away from your place Act Need them (“Hey, don’t forget to buy asparagus for dinner and pack a gym bag for tomorrow”).
And if these relatively small threats accumulate, your brain will regress into rigid, protective, self-soothing behaviors.
Now the auto-text can take over “The whole bottle of whipped cream must be emptied straight into the mouth” or “Toddler’s tantrum”.
This evolutionary mechanism makes it difficult for you—and your weary clients—to change.
With the thoughts and attention being consumed by stressors, you don’t have the bandwidth to plan healthy meals, find time to exercise, or even chop veggies.
Stress management techniques can help.
Building the ability to self-regulate in difficult moments is like a muscle: You can train this ability and make it stronger (and help clients do that, too).
We’ll show you how.
Technique #1: Take a deep breath.
When your clients feel threatened, anxious or distressed, their heart rate rises and they breathe more shallowly.
Thanks to the actions of the vagus nerve pathways that run between their brains and much of their upper body, they won’t be able to see or hear the cause.
Fortunately, as a coach, You can help your customers calm down a bit Using your body to send signals that it will reflect.
Take a deep breath or two, out loud if you can. Slow down the pace of speaking and movement. With luck, clients will subconsciously pick up on your body’s soothing cues and imitate them.
what I say: “Let’s stop here to take a deep breath here as we consider some different options.”
Technique #2: Wipe them head.
Remind clients that they are responsible for their own change and growth. They don’t have to do anything they don’t want to do, until this threat system is turned off.
what I say: “Remember that this is your journey; I am only here to facilitate. I can offer advice and give you my opinion, but that is your decision in the end. You are the boss of what comes next.”
Technique #3: Tell customers that they are not alone.
Loneliness frightens most people. That’s why clients feel calm when they know they are being supported and guided by a trusted back-up.
what I say: “This would be a lot of change, but you’re not alone. As your coach, I’m here with you. I’d love for you to be in charge of your journey, but I’ll gladly give you all the navigation you need, suggestions and support. I know it’s hard to go through. Whatever the path What you’re going through is fine. I’m here to support you no matter what. I’m open to hearing whatever you have to say.”
Technique #4: Draw a picture of what customers can expect.
To help clients manage uncertainty, explain the processes clearly beforehand, as well as what to expect at each step.
what I say: “Initially, when you try to work on changing X, you may discover that Y is happening. And you may have more questions about it. That’s normal. Just so you know what to expect, we may have to explore several practices before we find one that works for you. Oh really “.
Technique #5: Take the change off the table.
Paradoxically, when you “allow” your customer Not To change, it tends to make them more willing to change.
what I say: “Want a new assignment for next week, or just want to stay here and practice for a while? It’s okay if you don’t feel ready to change behavior X now. If it works for you, great! “
Technique #6: Focus on what’s under customer control.
When clients focus on things out of their control (like noisy neighbors, age-related sleep changes, or being a new dad) they get nothing.
On the other hand, if they focus on the small daily actions they can do (such as adjusting their sleep environment, reducing caffeine, or being kind to themselves), they make progress.
How do I do it: using control areas worksheetWork with clients to identify stressors in each category. Talk about an action your customer takes can It will help them feel calmer, happier and more in control of their lives.
Change is really possible.
These training techniques (among others we teach) can help shift the customer’s attention away from threats to solutions.
Because staying up all night playing Candy Crush due to work stress sends you an imminent threat, red alert mode, but it’s not quite like a bear chase.
As a coach, you have a chance to bring some calm, cool, and collected energy into your clients’ stressful lives.
This may help them move from a place of “everything sucks” to a place of “I’m really okay.”
If you are a health and fitness coach…
Learning how to help clients manage stress, build resilience, and improve sleep and recovery can be profoundly transformative for both of you.
It helps clients “unlock” and makes everything else easier – whether they want to eat better, move more, lose weight, or get back in shape.
And for coaches: it gives you a rare skill that sets you apart as an outstanding change maker.
The all-new PN Level 1 Certification for Sleep, Stress Management, and Recovery Coaching will show you how.
I want to know more?