Client-Centered Coaching - The Gift of Finding Purpose

Posted on August 23, 2023

Coaches who provide client-centered coaching are uniquely qualified to open a safe and confidential space for their clients. Given their non-judgmental support, professional training, adherence to confidentiality, and focus on the client’s growth, these coaches open endless possibilities for their clients enabling them to:

  • Connect with their vision of the future.
  • Uncover limiting beliefs and replace them with a powerful mindset that supports their vision.
  • Create goals that make achieving them a joy.
  • And, perhaps find their purpose, one that may have alluded them while they pursued other interests and obligations.

Of all the possibilities finding purpose is perhaps the most powerful.

Facilitating a client’s journey to connect with their true purpose happens in client-centered coaching conversations that are guided by the coach but driven by the client.

Finding our true purpose and creating a life around that purpose is an incredible accomplishment. Coaches can be the catalyst for helping their clients find and live their true purpose, resulting in pure joy for both you and your clients.

First, a word of caution… Be sure you are well on your way to knowing your own life’s purpose before you begin coaching your clients to find theirs. The steps you take along your journey will provide the experience needed to expertly guide your clients through this process.

Most people have an inkling of what their purpose is, but few acknowledge it. Generally, because they are so grounded in what they think they ought to do and how they ought to live that time slips away and they fail to connect to the “why” of their life. Life is too short to let this happen. Help your client find the thing they are most passionate about, something that makes them look forward to getting up in the morning.

Your client will send up red flags when they are ready to talk about purpose. We love those red flags, they are like little nuggets of gold, and we coaches get to excavate them and mine for more.

Your client may say something like….

“I dread going to work. It’s hard to even get out of bed each morning.”

It’s true that most people need a job to survive so this can be a scary topic for your client. They may have gone to college to study what they believed was their life purpose. But once they have been working in the field for a while, it’s lost its appeal. So, what is the first question you ask? “What could you be doing that would make you want to jump out of bed in the morning, eager to start your day?” That is sure to get a response. Remember the client has all the answers so let them talk.

“Lately, I can’t concentrate. I seem to be daydreaming at work all the time.”

Ask the client to focus on their recurring daydreams. The next time they catch themselves daydreaming about doing something different with their life, suggest they write it down. This is a great way to begin exploring what interests them most and perhaps what they really want to do with their life.

“I never spend time doing the things I really enjoy doing.”

This is an opportune time to have your client create a “perfect day.” Have them write down what a perfect day would look and feel like. What would they be doing? Where would they be? Who would they be with? This exercise can be the catalyst for creating the clarity your client needs and help them land on a plan for bringing more connectedness and purpose into their life.

Listen for clues and cues like those above to initiate purpose-driven conversations with your clients.

Discussing purpose can be a thought-provoking and rewarding experience for your clients. However, talking alone will not help them discover and pursue their life’s purpose. The following few tips will help you move your clients from conversation to action.

Having the right mindset is key. Clients need to believe they are worthy of finding happiness. If they don’t believe they deserve to live their ideal life, achieving it will be almost impossible. If a negative mindset is getting in your client’s way, suggest they focus on what it might feel like if every day held meaning for them.

Suggest your client begin journalling and write down the things they would like to have or experience in each area of their life: home/family, career, friendship, success, creativity, and more. Ask them to be as specific as possible. The first step in achieving anything is having a clear mental picture of exactly what it is you want.

Don’t let them settle for vague statements such as “I want to feel like I have accomplished something at the end of the day.” Yes, accomplishment is important, but encourage them to capture activities that would make them feel a sense of happiness and fulfillment at the end of the day. It might be mentoring a child in a homeless shelter, spending the day working in a community garden, or completing the next chapter in their book.

Once they complete this exercise for each aspect of their life, encourage them to spend time visualizing what life would look and feel like if they could make a living doing exactly what they are meant to do.

In the hands of a skilled coach and with the client front and center, the journey to finding one’s purpose can be achieved more quickly and with greater clarity than if a client tries to go it alone.

When you become skilled at helping your clients find their purpose, you will discover that both you and your clients experience a heightened sense of happiness and fulfillment.

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