Sometimes you meet another person, and the two of you instantly click. You hit it off and keeping a conversation going becomes natural and effortless.
Other times, you meet someone and they either don’t leave an impression at all, or you can’t stand them from the start. The big question is what makes the difference? Why do we click with some people and not others?
The answer is rapport, which is defined as a harmonious relationship… people understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.
When we click with someone, we’re building rapport. We find some common ground, and that instantly connects us. Maybe we have kids the same age or enjoy gardening. Once you establish that connection, it is hard to break. Establishing rapport helps you be better at forging relationships with new clients or neighbors. You let your winning personality shine. This ensures you have that rapport with whoever you meet as often as possible.
Rapport actually starts by paying attention and listening intently. Play Sherlock Holmes and see what you can find out or deduce about the person across from you. Take a genuine interest in their passion and purpose. That’s all it takes to create that initial rapport, and your conversations and interactions will go that much smoother.
Then, you can choose to make the most of this initial connection and rapport. While this strategy may help you get your foot in the door, it’s up to you to treat a client or friend with honesty and respect and make sure that their needs are met. To continue a mutually beneficially relationship, keep in mind what value you provide for them going forward. In other words, clicking with another person is only the first step. It’s important because it gets the two of you off to a great start, but it’s not everything.
In interviewing Elizabeth about being a parenting coach, she asked, “But who would listen to me? What if I can’t connect to a client?”
Her questions were valid, and they also revealed low self-worth. This thinking could keep Elizabeth from achieving important goals and becoming all that she desired to be.
- Do you feel that you’re not good enough for people to pay you?
- Do you underestimate that your insight could have a positive influence on others?
- Have self-worth issues affected your friendships or personal relationships?
Many of our unworthy feelings might come from what we experienced in childhood or from negative life experiences as an adult. Have you dealt with low esteem at some point in your life? Or have low self-worth issues affected your choices? Upset your relationships? Then to improve your self-worth and gain confidence as a parent coach or a family consultant, try these three steps.
Step Out: Visit with a friend, who is also a parent, and ask his or her permission to speak up. Tihs is your practice session:
- “I’ve observed Ian’s behavior, and I have a suggestion to increase your results in getting him to sleep. Does that work for you?”
- “I’d like to suggest that…”
- “Can I practice coaching you as a parent…”
How much is an in-depth coaching session worth to you?
You Can Change
Why do you feel you don’t deserve a fair price for your work efforts? You can change that mindset. You can overcome your doubt. One way is to create new habits like these, for instance:
- Practice offering suggestions to friends several times a week. They key is to ask their permission or to ask how you can help?
- You can mentally reprogram those negative voices with positive ones so that you feel worthy of earning and gaining wealth.
Don’t I Have To Be an Expert?
When Elizabeth asked this question, she explained that she felt a lack of coaching experience. This problem is common for many of us until we get our feet wet.
Like Elizabeth, we have to remember which urgent feeling inside led to the place of wanting to build a business. The typical answer is that we are here to help others, provide connection and communication that serves the higher good.
Over time, Elizabeth felt assured that her listening skills would carry the coach-client conversation until she thought to add her two cents. And she was a patient listener, who learned to speak up and ask more question,s when she felt the client needed insight. At last, she had moved beyond feeling unworthy and needing to prove herself.
Sometimes, like Elizabeth, an entrepreneurial coach has a desire to learn and a passion for helping. Being honest with people who seek advice is another virtue that entrepreneurs need to cultivate, rather than advise or guess at answers. Or, offer to find solutions, which is how Linda grew in her confidence.
Grow Into Your Confidence
We want to feel good about ourselves. When we are confident, we feel better emotionally and mentally, and this reflects positively on our behaviors and improves our quality of life, from personal relationships to our professional endeavors.
Thus, whatever helps boost our self-confidence is good for us. One of the best ways to do this is by exercising regularly. Exercise is not only good for self-assurance but has excellent health benefits.
So how can exercise boost self-confidence? Try these steps, perhaps one every other day, to have a new experience of confidence.
A Step in Building Your Self Confidence
Your confidence is the accumulation of all your reactions to the experiences that life brought you. Many factors contribute to the personal understanding of confidence.
One determining influence is how right are the circumstances of your life. Do you tend to fall into the trap of creating unrealistic expectations? In the process, the losses could become too painful, and you eventually suffer the effects of lower self-confidence.
On the other hand, if you rely more on playing safe and creating more achievable goals that are easier to attain, then you act with confidence. Also, achievements add to the development of self-confidence.
People, especially those with low self-worth like Elizabeth, benefit from knowing that they are somehow capable of doing well. They should strive to gain the confidence.
You may already have heard the phrase, “It is all in your mind.” The statement is true for some psychological and emotional conditions that have mental roots. Thus, the antidote might as well come from the same source.
You can always condition yourself to feel the way you want or to feel the way you don’t want. You can suppress emotions, and in the process, you help feelings materialize. To deepen your confidence, watching your thoughts and the words you say are how you grow in awareness. What you speak are not mere words, but concepts that dug deep within and integrated into your being. If you believe in these phrases, then there is no way that you won’t understand their direct opposite expressions.
Central to building self-confidence is one’s belief about self, much like Elizabeth’s honest statements. Whatever you set your mind to believe will all be taken as factual. The motivation to change must come from you. You start with talking to yourself using positive statements. Self-talk research shows that you do not have to believe in such statements. However, saying, thinking, or reading the statements do sink in and have a positive effect.
You, the confident, can change your perspectives and live a different life that looks forward to better things.
Even with a clear communication plan and format in place, your client may push the limits. Setting boundaries is a primary task for your peach of mind and your client’s best coaching experience.
- Clients may keep you on the phone longer than you intended
- They will email you more than is allowed
- They might text you for non-emergencies
- They will send you messages on Facebook, on Twitter, on Voxer, or anywhere else that is convenient for them—regardless of your preferences
Does This Work Both Ways?
Are you tempted to reach out on the weekend to answer a question or schedule a call on a Sunday afternoon because that’s when your client is available. You might think this is good business—after all, you’re building a relationships.
The idea is not the best for you. The situation will lead to burn out because your boundaries are weak. You’ll always feel like you must do more for your clients. Sooner or later, you’ll lose touch with your own health and personal space.
Setting boundaries is the answer for both you and your customers. Establish from the outset exactly what your coaching package includes, and be sure to include when contact takes place.
For example, you might say:
Your coaching package includes one monthly, 50-minute phone call with me and one question by email each working day.
My workdays are Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 4 pm Eastern, and I’ll answer all calls and emails during that time.
With this format, you are setting boundaries and have included
- What the client gets (one phone call and once daily emails)
- When she gets it (Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 4 pm)
You’ll also need to establish exactly how your clients should contact you, and what will happen if they do not follow the procedures. Setting boundaries includes specific email addresses and phone numbers or conference lines exclusively for your client use.
Another step is to create “planned responses” to send out when a client attempts to contact you outside of your established boundaries.. For example, if you receive a Facebook message (and you don’t offer this as a form of contact) you might respond with:
Thank you for reaching out, and I’m happy to help you with this big issue. For better organization of my client files, though, I do ask that you send all your questions to my email address at email@example.com.
A gentle reminder for setting boundaries creates a better coaching relationship for both of you.
To keep phone calls shorter, use a simple kitchen timer. At the start of the call, tell your client, “We have XX minutes today, so I’m going to set a timer for YY minutes to remind us when it’s almost time to end. That will help ensure I can answer all your questions.”
Then set your timer for 5 minutes before the call is to end. When the timer goes off, let your client know you have 5 minutes remaining, and ask if she has any final questions before you hang up. Following this simple system will prevent those endless phone calls that trample all forms of boundaries.
Resist the temptation to allow calls to be booked outside of your working hours, or to respond to questions on the weekend, or to book additional appointments “just this once.”
Doing so will make it appear to your client that your boundaries are flexible, and will invite them to push the limits as well. After all, if you email on the weekend, it must be ok, right?
Exercise: Map Your Work Hours
Exercise: Craft Your Boundary Responses
How will you set the expectation at the start of a call, so it does not run too long?
How will you respond if a client contacts you outside your established system?
What will you tell yourself when you fail to respect your own boundaries?