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Qualifying Marker #7: Creating Awareness

The previous three markers looked at what specifically a life coach does: listen, ask questions, and communicate directly. These next two categories look at the impact those coaching actions seek to create. A coach seeks to increase awareness and forward action. Creating awareness involves helping a client gain a deeper understanding of themselves or the situation at hand.

Does the coach ask the client what they are learning about the situation?

One of my favorite questions is “What are you learning about the situation?” or, more simply, “What is this situation trying to teach you?” Asking questions about learning puts the client into a growth mindset and helps them tap into more creativity and motivation to achieve challenging goals.

Does the coach ask questions about what the client is learning about themselves?

Another one of my go-to questions is asking a client what they are learning about themselves. It is incredibly powerful for a client to explore ways of being with the coach. Helping clients gain insight, learn about character strengths and weaknesses, and explore personality habits are all extremely valuable to them. This is the territory where you have the opportunity to change a client’s life by asking questions that provoke such deep insight that the client gains a completely new understanding of themselves.

Does the coach share with the client what they see to seek the client’s input for further exploration?

This marker is a combination of direct communication and creating awareness. It involves your ability to be bold in a way that helps your client think and create more learning. It is not necessarily an action step as much as sharing observations with the client that is useful and sometimes very hard for people to see themselves. In other words, you are acting as a mirror to help your clients see things so close to them that sometimes they are impossible to notice without help.

Does the coach ask the client questions about how they will apply the learning?

This marker blends creating awareness with designing actions. In many coaching calls, once the conditions of learning are met, the client has sufficient new insight, and the direction of the action that needs to be taken becomes clear. 

Does the coach’s communication have the potential to create new learning for the client?

This marker acts as a summation of all the others. It points to a coach’s ability to create awareness using all aspects of communication, including listening, questions, and direct communication. This marker is a global check for whether or not you are focused and helping further your client’s learning.

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