Coaching & Training

Clearly, to become a master coach you need to learn how to coach and you must master a number of techniques.

In essence your aim as a coach, whether it is how to be a life coach, executive coach, career coach, business coach is to enhance the performance and learning ability of other people.

It involves knowing how to motivate and how to use effective questioning.

It requires giving and receiving feedback.

Great coaches know how to overcome their own blocks and it’s no surprise to find that enlightened leaders are always emotionally engaged.

They understand that coaching by asking is far more powerful than coaching by telling. And they do this naturally.

Being rational, most coaches realise that to reach an outcome requires truly knowing what the goal is, having an accurate assessment of where a person currently is in relation to the goal, identifying the steps and the range of options to get to the destination, all governed by a commitment to action with a time frame in mind.

In short, having a plan and executing it in a timely manner.A coach should keep you on track, point out where you can make positive changes, and support your endeavours in making and maintaining change.

Why Emotional Intelligence?

Well, what is Emotional intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to monitor your own and other people’s emotions.

It is essential to be able to discriminate between these feelings and to use the information wisely to guide your thinking and actions.

Any attempt to motivate or persuade somebody without using emotion is doomed to failure.

You simply won’t get consistent results.

If you fail to tap into a person’s emotions, your message will lack energy.

You might get agreement, but it will lack the firepower to make it happen.

People will remain unconvinced.

Productivity is centred on motivation.

Motivation is a strong emotion.

So, we choose to coach with Emotional Intelligence.

The best coaches understand the reciprocal relationship between logic and emotion.

In this short series we will look at how heart and mind can work closely together to produce far superior result.

Successful coaching, again whether your focus is on how to be a life coach, executive coach, career coach, business coach, or team coach is to enhance the performance and learning ability of other people.

This is built through trust, rapport, insightful questioning, and emotional wisdom.

So, EQ is the ability to monitor your own and other people’s emotions.

And if you fail to tap into a person’s emotions you will be unable to influence their actions.

They will almost certainly find a way to distance themselves from your message.

This applies whether your focus is on how to be a life coach, executive coach, career coach, business coach is to enhance the performance and learning ability of other people.

However, most coaches focus entirely on a logical approach to change.

That makes sense to them given coaches are rational, sensible people.

And we know goals do have processes, steps, procedures, deliverables, timelines, end dates, and so on.

But, what is more crucial, what is more critical, logic or emotion?

Well, it’s smart to realise that emotions guide our every waking moment.

Logic plays a somewhat secondary even inferior role.

We can say that Logic is the conscious mind at work.

Whereas Emotion is the unconscious mind at play.

Work or play?

Which do you prefer?

But seriously, which mind is the most powerful?

You guessed it!

In truth, we rarely think about how we feel when something happens.

We just feel it.

We constantly react emotionally to our environment.

When we want to pursue a goal we need to generate a strong feeling of what it will be like to achieve the goal.

We need this feeling about the goal to stir the juices and get the motivation to act.

What will you see, hear and feel when you get the goal?
What will you experience?
What will you believe?
How will your life be different?

Now make a picture of the final step with you getting the goal.

Make it picture perfect. Bigger, brighter, bolder.

Keep in mind that when people buy, they decide emotionally and then justify with logic.

But you cannot overlook the steps, processes, and procedures involved in getting the goal.

You must logically understand what it will take to achieve the goal.

To be a complete coach you need to use emotion to get people to buy into the change, and then back it up with reasons why and how they should do this by supplying the facts and benefits.

To pursue a goal efficiently and effectively requires a binding relationship between the situation, thoughts, emotions, and behaviour.

Combine these and you will exert enormous influence.

The best framework?

Emotion and logic working harmoniously together.

Remember, successful coaching, again whether your focus is on how to be a life coach, executive coach, career coach, business coach, or team coach is to enhance the performance and learning ability of other people.

So, to pursue a goal requires a binding relationship between the situation, thoughts, emotions, and behaviour.

And the best framework to adopt is to approach coaching with emotion and logic working in tandem.

In this part we will complete the logic and emotion equation and set the scene for moving on to the crucial coaching process of how to use questions with insight.

But first, let’s complete the discussion logic and emotion.

It seems many coaches are hesitant, unable or unwilling, or lack the confidence to negotiate the best emotional state for a person to be in to achieve a desired target.

Emotions are frequently treated as peripheral to the coaching process.

If you stop for a moment and think of the phrase “desired target”, it is plain that we have a collective emotional and logical combination that makes perfect sense when we want to achieve something worthwhile.

It’s a target, so steps to get to the target exist, and it is desired which, of course, creates the passion to go and get it.

Now all outcome-based thinking requires knowing what the person needs to do to get the result.

This is hard fact.

Thomas Gradgrind in Dickens’s Hard Times would be nodding his head in agreement.

But it’s not enough.

A coaching framework based on EIQ will allow a coach to guide cognitive activities such as planning and problem solving with the optimal emotional behaviours to reach the desired outcome.

So, emotions and thoughts are mutually dependent.

A master coach highlights the relationship between emotions, thoughts and behaviours.

It is crucial to recognise that certain types of thinking and actions require tailored moods to have the best chance of success.

I think we all recognise that at heart we are creatures of habit.

When we are faced with a problem we naturally look for answers using our own experiences in dealing with something similar.

So, we rely on what is familiar.

However, when a problem is unfamiliar we have difficulty finding an answer simply because we have no experience to fall back on.

The answer is not where we are looking.

By asking powerful, well-constructed questions, you can get a person to create a new way of using their resources and experiences.

This process could even lead to creating new neural networks.

They will be surprised to learn they have answers they never realised were available.

Now we have completed a discussion on logic and emotion.

We recognise the best framework is to approach coaching with emotion and logic working in harmony.

We began to look at the vital coaching process of mastering the art of asking questions.

Here we will continue with how to ask empowering questions.

Coaching needs a structure and questions shine the spotlight on what we need to know.

All questions contain presuppositions.

Generally, we tend to accept these presuppositions given we are unduly suspicious and we naturally want to make sense of a question.

However, it is easy to overlook the meaning behind a question.

We are at liberty to challenge the presuppositions in a question, though they can fly by so quickly particularly when the question contains multiple presuppositions.

So, they rarely get challenged,

Questions are an art and a science.

A master coach should build positive presuppositions into their questions because questions have the power to change a person’s emotional state.

We want to empower people, not disempower them.

This is one of the reasons why we use a combination of logic and emotion.

So, begin to ask questions that make a person feel more resourceful.

To do this we can simply focus on the resources a person truly has available.

Here’s a few examples of empowering questions:

“What prevents you from deciding to make this change right now?”

This question reveals that the person is quite able to make the change required and they do not need any other resource.

“When you consider all the resources you have, can you select the ones that will assist you best in achieving this outcome?”

This question tells a person that they have many resources from which they can choose, and that these resources can produce the result they are looking for.

“When you think about the progress you have made and the number of important things you have already learned, what do you regard as the most useful in this particular context?”  

This question assumes a person has made significant improvement and has learned so much that can be exploited to achieve what is required in a given situation.

It also assumes that the application of certain skills lend themselves to specific contexts.

In the previous part, we looked at questions that empower people.

This is achieved by building positive presuppositions into coaching questions.

Questions can be very powerful and to make the best use of them it pays to be meticulous – be very precise.

Well-constructed, well-directed, emotionally-based questions, can alter the thinking and state of the person you are coaching.

Look at these two questions and decide which you prefer:

  1. “If you manage to get this goal, what will it achieve?”
  2. “When you manage get this goal, what will it achieve?”                                                     

The first question begins with “If” so it presupposes that the person may not get the goal.

The second questions is much better because it presupposes the person will get the goal. It’s just a matter of when.

This simple example shows how precise you need to be when asking some questions.

A useful process for asking questions has a “What, How, When” structure.

Beginning a question with “What” sets up the agenda and points directly at the goal.

“What is the problem?”

“What is important to you?”

How questions refer to the means by which the goal can be achieved.

“How exactly do you intend to pursue this goal?”

“How will you get the resources you need?”

When questions introduce the critical element of time.

“When can we get started?”

“When should the first deliverable be completed?”

“What do you want?”

“How will you know you’ve got it?”

“When shall we meet again?”

Be aware that when you ask questions you are assuming a form of control over the thought processes of the other person.

This permits you to direct their attention by asking the right questions.

The use of precision is essential because it is quite possible to influence a person to answer a question in a certain way by leading them intentionally or unintentionally.

The words used can have a profound effect on how a person will respond.

For example: “How fast was the car travelling?” results in a radically different response than “At what speed was the car travelling?”

The first statement attempts to force agreement along the lines:

“The car was travelling too fast, wasn’t it?”

So, you can word a question to receive the answer you want.

It is necessary to watch the inadvertent use of leading questions.

This is done by tacking a phrase such as “isn’t it?” or won’t you?” at the end of a sentence. This makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

Now, let me state the obvious: We all want to be happy, successful, healthy, and wealthy, don’t we?

These feelings are universal, emotional hooks.

Make sure some of your questions tap into this kind of emotional need.

The response you get will be positive.

The skilful use of questions presented with a strong emotional appeal can be really uplifting and get a person to accept your point of view and take positive action to move towards the goal.

The point to keep in mind is that by asking questions you can control the situation.

And then you can aim for a win-win outcome.

We looked at questions based on a simple yet highly effective structure.

Now, let’s look at two key areas of EIQ.

It’s makes sense to realize that there are basically three competencies – 3 intelligences:

Cognitive Intelligence –Thinking.

EIQ – Feeling.

Behavioral Intelligence – Acting.

Personal Power comes from a healthy combination of:

How I Think!

How I Feel!

What I Do!

A coach should be emotionally self-aware.

This self-awareness is derived from an accurate self-assessment, and sensible self-management of their feelings.

This creates self-confidence and allows a coach to build positive, empathetic relationships.

Be mindful that it’s so easy to become a victim of your own emotions.

Once this happens you will largely be unable to accurately read the emotions of other people.

Reading their own feelings and the emotional state of other people is a hallmark of a master coach because it gets results.

In truth there are an enormous number of emotions.

And when we try to label these emotions we are prone to think cognitively instead of feeling emotionally.

This is a drawback to becoming more emotionally intelligent.

Labelling is important but we must feel those feelings.

First begin to Identify Emotions

If you are weak in this area, it is likely that you will:                             

Ignore your own and other people’s emotions and                     

Have difficulty recognising faked emotions.

You may be prone to acting on incorrect information.

If you are strong in this area it is likely that you will:          

Pay attention to your own emotions and watch people, read the signals, and more correctly identify what they are feeling.


Periodically during the day ask yourself how you are feeling.

Observe people and try to determine how they are feeling.

Now Learn to Use Your Emotions More Precisely.

If you are weak in this area, it is likely that you will:           

Have flat moods and struggle to feel what other people are feeling,

This characteristic can hinder your creativity.

If you are strong in this area it is likely that you will:          

Generate moods appropriate to a given situation and generate considerable empathy.

You have the ability to influence others.

You are probably quite creative – another terrific characteristic of a master coach.


Ask yourself: How do you want to feel in the immediate situation and then anchor yourself into this state.

Picture yourself in this mood and go ahead and alter your physiology and breathing to how you would if you were perfectly in the desired state.

Do this often.

Decide to become a master at doing this.

Teach people you are coaching to do this.

Make a decision to follow these steps:

  1. Take the time every day to appreciate what is enjoyable in your life. Feel the feelings!
  2. Increase your emotional vocabulary – develop a rich set of emotional words.
  3. Listen attentively, both cognitively and emotionally – use your heart as well as your head!
  4. Tell yourself how you feel.

Take this feedback and feed it forward.

Change state if and when you need to. Step into it!

  1. Tune in to your physical body.

Your physiology is a game changer. Use it!

  1. Smile more! Much more!

Here we look at another two key areas.

The Key to a Better Understanding of Emotions

If you are weak in this area, it is likely that you will:           

Fail to connect with other people and struggle with understanding more complex emotions.

It’s probable you will miss the point and be surprised by other people’s emotions.

If you are strong in this area, it is likely that you will:         

Understand what others feel and why and be good at “reading” people.

You take the time to understand other people’s points of view and are blessed with insight into the way people think and behave.


Pick the emotion a person is revealing and imagine how this mood may change during the day.

At the beginning of the day assess how you feel and presuppose what this may mean for you for the rest of the day.

If you feel somewhat dull, alter your state immediately.

Let’s Move on to How to Manage Your Own Emotions and Your Valued Relationships

Managing emotions means…

If you are weak in this area, it is likely that you will:           

Probably get overly emotional rather often and are somewhat controlled by emotions.

This results in being overwhelmed by many situations.

If you are strong in this area, it is likely that you will:         

Feel your emotions but are not controlled by them and you like to solve problems in which emotions are involved.

You like to make things happen.


Spend some time thinking about those people you seem to have difficulty with and find a way to spend some time with them.

Alter how you think, feel and behave when you are with them.

See if this makes a difference.

Consider spending more time with those people you care about.

Tell them how you feel about them.

Strong, healthy and effective emotional relationships require:

Excellent Relationship management,

Social Awareness,

Competent Self-management and

Accurate Self-awareness.

Self-management is basically about Self-control through Adaptability.

It helps enormously if you have an optimistic nature and enjoy using your Initiative.

Emotional IQ has several additional competences to the ones mentioned including the skill to easily motivate ourselves and being Empathetic towards others.

It is useful to keenly developing your Empathy.

You can achieve this by:

Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.

Try to see the world from their perspective.

You can also seek to understand the pressures, responsibilities, expectations, and demands placed upon the other person.

Instead of judging them make an enquiry.

Ask them to explain by saying:

“I’d like to know more about that.”

Explore why they are reasoning this way.

Behind every “position” and argument is a set of thoughts and feelings that underpin the position a person takes.

By seeking to understand the other person’s reasoning, it builds a bridge to understanding why they think and behave in the way that they do.

Now let’s take a look at some of the key attributes that distinguishes a master coach from a capable coach.

Emotional IQ has several additional competences to the ones already mentioned.

A master coach has these skills.

These competencies will provide you with the skill to easily motivate both yourself and others, and get the very best out of the people you coach.

People sense this concern and will readily respond.

If there is a trick, it is to see the world from their perspective.

But beware – you want to avoid being hypnotised into their problem state, so remain a little detached, but genuinely curious.

It is enormously useful to keenly develop your empathy.

Reading the body language of people and using influence and persuasion to get the best out of them is key to this.

The simplest approach is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, being somewhat dissociated at times, and begin to see the world from their perspective.

You can seek to understand the pressures, responsibilities, expectations, and demands they feel are placed upon them.

Make enquires about their world before judging and jumping to conclusions.

If you don’t understand something, go ahead and ask!

Ask them to explain certain things, by saying something along the lines: “I’d like to know more about that.”

Explore why they reason in the way they do.

Behind every “position” and argument is a set of thoughts and feelings underpinning the position a person takes.

Habit plays a part in this.

By seeking to understand the other person’s reasoning, it builds a bridge to an understanding of why they think and behave in the way that they do.

This reasoning directly affects the results they achieve.

Always ask pertinent questions.

For example you can ask: What do you really, really want?

To create confidence, you could suggest:

How would you feel if we double that goal?

Then you map the actions and ask:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited do you feel about taking these actions?

Then move on to:

How could you increase that score?

This will overcome procrastination, limiting beliefs and so on.

If appropriate ask:

How can we make this something you’re aiming towards, rather than something you’re trying to move away from?

Also ask: If you were your own coach, what coaching would you give yourself right now?

A master coach always shows poise, and knows how to be outgoing.

They are committed to people and their causes, and are sympathetic and caring.

It is not about being soft – a master coach knows when to get tough and sets realistic, challenging goals.

Above all, they are comfortable within themselves.

So, some of the attributes a master coach should aim for include:

  1. Have clear, concise, and advanced communication skills.
  2. Enjoy problem solving and making decisions.
  3. Prefer to listen rather than talk!
  4. Have developed natural empathy, patience and caring.
  5. Know when to be gentle and when to be tough.
  6. Are consistently objective and persevering.
  7. Are ever ready to share their knowledge and skills.
  8. Have self-awareness, self-control and are self-motivated.
  9. A master coach has a philosophy of lifetime learning.
  10. One characteristic stands out – a master coach is easy to get along with.

Ongoing development of these skills and attributes is vital and will make the difference between competence  and mastery.

Why not take some time to assess your own strengths and weaknesses in these areas?

The payoff will be enormous and you can do it!

It’s time to look at simple ways to improve your own skills as you head towards becoming a master coach.

It goes without saying that you want to get results for your clients.

However, at times getting the best result can seem a bit elusive.

It is easy to feel nonplussed about why a session didn’t quite go according to plan – what you truly desired.

Now, by seeking to understand your own reasoning, it can build a bridge to an understanding to why you think and behave in the way that you do and why this may affect your results.

Your internal dialogue may be directly affects the results you achieve.

Now a master coach should know how to adapt and be excellent at inducing desirable states in the people they coach.

And, quite rightly, you want to inspire, influence, and develop the skillset of the people you coach.

When you become dissatisfied with your results it is useful to take a step back and look at your own habits.

Here’s a little exercise you can use:

Make a list of your desirable undesirable habits.

Then take one habit that you would like to change and ask yourself these simple questions:

“When did the habit start?”

“What triggers the habit?”

“Does the habit fit properly into my life right now?”

Make a decision to eliminate or replace the habit today.

Then next time you are aware of the habit, stop for a moment and tell yourself what you have chosen to do instead.

Assess how you feel.

Continue doing this until a new, more desirable habit becomes established.

When you’re ready, move on to the next unwelcome habit.

Life and your results will never be the same!

Another useful approach is to relax at the end of the day and think through your thoughts, feelings and actions.

Keep a diary and write down some notes.

You can use this to think about:

“What goals will you work on tomorrow?”

“What will you do differently tomorrow?”

“What additional resources will you need?”

As an aside, never be afraid or reluctant to ask for help.

You can even ask the person you are coaching for advice.

There is power in asking for help.

If you frame an interaction with:

“I’ve got a problem and I’m wondering if you can help me with it?”

This is powerful frame because a person will feel they are in a more powerful position, and it provides them with an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and ability to you.

It will make them feel good about your relationship.

You don’t need to know everything!

Let’s face it, we all like to be the sort of person who can help another person.

No doubt you are probably used to hearing the language your clients habitually use about their capabilities.

Negative comments and limiting beliefs can be liberally sprinkled in their conversation about themselves.

They are often unaware that they do this.

It is useful to stop for a moment and analyse your own thoughts.

You might discover you have fallen into the same trap when you think about yourself.

Take the time to determine whether you should alter your own language.

The first step to changing a belief is to change your language.

Catch yourself and reframe.

Do this for the next few days.

Try these small but powerful initiatives to give yourself a hand in getting improved results.

Of course, it helps enormously if you have an optimistic nature, so keep in mind that mastery is within your grasp, so why not take it!

The big questions:

What triggers the emotion of motivation?

How are important decisions made?

How can emotions be used to influence and persuade?

How do prospective clients choose you as the coach they want to work with?

One more question:

Why is EQ so important, so vital?

Without being too elaborate, it can be said that you actually have three brains. That’s how smart you are!

The brain has evolved overtime.

The new brain, the neo-cortex, contains your core cognitive intelligence, and higher brain functions such as thought.

It separates humans from other primates.

It provides you with the ability to analyse, rationalize and deal with complex intellectual matters.

The mid brain, the mammalian brain, primarily looks after your emotions, your gut feelings.

The old brain, sometimes known as the reptilian or primitive brain, has been around forever and has enormous influence over decision making, particularly where and when it matters.

So, we have three brains, but basically one powerful decision maker because the old brain will override the other two specifically when critical decisions are made.

So, perhaps it can be said that, the new brain thinks.

The middle brain feels.

And the old brain uses information from the other two brains to make the big decisions.

The Limbic System is buried deep within the middle brain and is formed on top of the reptilian brain.

In evolutionary terms, it is much older than the cortex, just like the old brain.

This system contains the thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus. It is the site of enabled learning – the freeze, flight or fight response, and of emotions and emotional memory.

The amygdala is fascinating.

It performs a primary role in the formation and storage of memories associated with emotional events.

As a coach, to get the best results, ideally you want to be aware that the amygdala has a greater influence over the cortex than the cortex has over the amygdala.

So, emotional arousal dominates rational thinking.

I’m sure you have experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed when your emotions dominate your thinking and actions.

The interesting thing about overwhelm is that when you feel overwhelmed with one thing, you can quickly feel overwhelmed with everything.

We have said that a master coach is highly adaptive and an expert at generating positive states in themselves and others.

Having the ability to inspire and influence emotionally is extraordinarily valuable and gets amazing results.

Now, the old brain is only triggered by emotion.

When an emotion is felt, an event is far easier to remember.

If the person you would like to coach fails to remember your message, how can you expect them to choose you, and if chosen, how can you expect to deliver excellent results for them?

Put best, and in essence, you are a feeling machine that thinks, rather than a thinking machine that feels.

So, engaging more emotionally is the key to getting clients and producing outstanding results with them.

To get more clients, and produce great results do the following:

  1. Focus 100% on the person you are with, and not on yourself.
  2. Make sure they know what can be done for them,
  3. State where they are now and where they will be when you have completed your journey with them.
  4. Ensure your message contains smple to understand concepts, such as “making more money”, “promotion”, “success”.
  5. Open your conversation strongly and repeat this message at the end. The middle part will quickly be forgotten.
  6. Find a way to use visual stimuli – the optic nerve is faster than the auditory nerve.
  7. Get into the emotional states that produce the best response.
  8. Become a master at changing state several times, easily and effortlessly.