Best Glossary of Life Coaching Skills

Best Glossary of Life Coaching Skills

The Best Glossary of Coaching Skills 2016 - the complete definitive guide to Life Coaching Skills Strategies and Tools.


5 Benefits of an Accountability Partner or Group

1. Accountability accelerates your performance. When you connect with a coach (one-on-one or in a program) you can work the kinks out of your plan, develop a sure-fire winning strategy and execute with confidence, knowing you have been guided by the best to achieve your goals.

2. Accountability helps you measure your success and progress.  A good coach will help you define what success looks like and set milestones to measure your progress along the way. You can easily track how close you are to reaching your goals.

3. Accountability keeps you engaged. There are things that will come up that will distract you from your goals and take you off course. Even when you’re bored, distracted or tired, knowing that you have to answer for your progress will keep you going to the finish line.

4. Accountability will keep you responsible.  When you are working with someone who pushes you to make massive changes in a short amount of time and give a report…you finally realize that you are ultimately responsible for how much progress you make every day. Accounting for your actions weekly will cause you to take a good look at yourself, start eliminating the excuses and start making deliberate actions that bring about your intended success.

5. Accountability will validate your thoughts and ideas.  When you have someone to be accountable to you can silence your inner critic and bounce your ideas off someone else who can help you make sound decisions and give you constructive advice.

Articulating what’s going on

The importance of storytelling is key to effective Life Coaching.  

Bren Murphy Best Glossary of Life Coaching Skills
Articulating Your Story in the Coaching Context
The importance of coaches developing and articulating a personal coaching philosophy which encapsulates their values and beliefs is widely recognised.

Yet it is also acknowledged that many coaches resist what appears an abstract task or find it to be of limited use in their day-to-day practice. 

In this paper we explore the potential of an alternative approach to developing and articulating a personal coaching philosophy: storytelling

Be careful though, most of the time, it's best to keep your personal story to yourself... In almost all cases, it is inappropriate and a waste of the client's time for you to share your personal story. 

We say "in almost all cases" quite intentionally, because there may be times when a little of your story will be important in building trust and relationship with a client. 

The fact that you are human, not just an anonymous impersonal resource will contribute toward building a strong, co-active relationship.

The articulating skill involves telling clients what you see them doing. Sometimes, it is powerful to simply repeat their words back to them so they can really hear themselves.

“Uma, I know how much you want to change your relationship with your father, yet I hear you are continuing to interact with him the way you always have.”

Asking Permission

An effective coaching conversation requires an environment where people feel safe enough to explore their thoughts and reach new insights.  There are four elements that should be in place:

  • Permission: “Is this a good time to talk and explore your thinking?”
  • Placement: “Let’s see if you can come up with some ideas in the next few minutes.”
  • Questioning: “Is it OK if I ask you to share your thoughts with me?”
  • Clarifying: “Tell me more about this. What do you mean?”
  • "May we work with this issue?"
  • "Can I tell you what I see?"
  • "Would you like some feedback on that?" 

When the coach asks permission, it demonstrates that clients have power in the relationship.

It demonstrates, too, that the coach knows the limits of his or her power in the relationship.

The asking permission skill enables clients to allow the coaching relationship in to what might otherwise be considered intimate or uncomfortable areas of their lives.
  • “Can I call it like I'm seeing it?” 
  • “Is it all right to coach you on this issue?” 
  • “Do you mind if I  tell you what I'm seeing?” 
 Asking permission is a sign of self-management on the coach's part and allows clients to take responsibility for managing their relationship and their work. 

Clients are honored when you ask permission; and you are demonstrating that you respect their boundaries.


As a beginner coach I found myself stumbling over long explanations and bumbling through paragraphs when I might have better answered in a one liner.  

"Well, Bottom Line, I'm seeing that you are still doing things like you always have - and your frustration is from thinking you should be getting some different result."

This is the skill of brevity and succinctness on the part of both the coach and the client. 

Some people call it being down to earth, or keeping it real.  But it is more about being professional and knowing when a short answer will do.  Being succinct and to the point is not rude or uncaring - more often it is meeting the demand of the situation with efficiency and directness.

Never forget those who get your point early and be flexible enough to let it go immediately and move on. This can be a challenge especially when you have a great story you want to share. But let it go and move on.

It is also about having clients get to the essence of their communication rather than engaging in long descriptive stories.  In short (Bottom Line) being concise and mindful of having an economy of language.  Getting to the point mean everyone gets more value and less frustrated.

Signal-to-noise ratio (abbreviated SNR or S/N) is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise.

Bottom Lining - Signal to Noise Ratio in Coaching
Signal to Noise Ratio Life Coaching

Signal-to-noise ratio refers to the ratio of useful information to rrelevant information in a conversation or exchange. 

For example, in online communities, off-topic posts and spam are regarded as “noise” that interferes with the “signal” of appropriate discussion.

Signal-to-noise ratio is defined as the ratio of the power of a signal (meaningful information) and the power of background noise (unwanted signal):

The higher the SNR the less noise is in the conversation.   For example, a conversation that had 15 sentences on topic (signal) and 3 sentences off topic (noise) would have a SNR score of 5.  But, a conversation that had 15 sentences on topic (signal) and 23 sentences off topic (noise) would have an SNR score of .65 and would more than likely be a less clear and effective conversation.

When people feel the need to qualify their comments with explanations - the noise goes up and the signal becomes less clear.

Instead of becoming clearer - the meaning is lost in the excess language noise.

Another signal-to-noise ratio killer happens when people attempt to clarify questions by stacking other explanatory questions on top rather than just letting the question stand on its own merit.  

Questions become less powerful when the listener has to sort through multiple questions and determine which one to answer.  


Using the Brainstorming Skill, coach and client spawn their ideas, alternatives, and possible solutions. 

Thee is an energy and a unstructured aspect to this - some people believe the free flowing aspect encourages the release of thinking outside the box. Maybe.  It might be a factor  whatever - just let yourself go and flow with your ideas.  Other times it may take a moment Some may be outrageous and impractical. 

This is merely a creative exercise to expand the possibilities available to clients. Neither coach nor client is attached to any of the ideas suggested.


1. Avoid using the word “why.” Doing so implies that the client should do something. For example, the question “Why don’t you bring your lunch to work?” may cause resistance if clients feel they’re being shamed or told what to do. Asking the same question using the word “how” or “what” changes the tone. The questions “What keeps you from taking your lunch to work?” or “How would things have to change for you to prepare your lunch for work?” imply that a situation can be changed, not that the client is at fault.

2. Ask questions that move clients forward instead of those that seek to justify what went wrong. For example, “What can you try next time you’re hungry at 9 pm?” may prompt a solution, while “Tell me what you were thinking when you ate those cookies” focuses on what the client did wrong.

3. Don’t use “queggestions.” These are suggestions posing as questions, such as “What if you made your lunch the night before?” or “Could you keep a full water bottle at your desk?” 
These are ideas that may work for the coach, or someone else, and not necessarily for the client. 
The more open-ended the question, the more opportunity the client has to think of an answer that will work for him or her. 
Questions such as “How can you remind yourself to drink water more often?” or “What would be a convenient way for you to have water accessible?” leave the solution wide open. Clients can think of scenarios that may not occur to their coach and this is part of the expectation that clients are evolving and growing to help themselves.

>>  You can Download Glossary of Coaching Words pdf here.

To arrange a consultation or a just clarify what's happening for you in life right now - call me 1300 084 004.

#LifeCoach #PersonalCoach #BrenMurphy #FindALifeCoach #SydneyLifeCoach 

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1 comment:

  1. And it is there that the beautry of mindfulness lies. Mindfulness like so many other lifelong journeys of discovery and self exploration – is not something that is mastered with a workshop or by downloading something on your phone. Instead, with steady guidance and a no woo-woo approach, Bren Murphy will introduce you to a version of Mindfulness that is suited to all members of your organisation.