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How to Become a Great Coach

How to Become a Great Coach

The coaching profession is on fire right now. There are business coaches, executive coaches, relationship coaches, health coaches, life coaches, many other types of coaches and even coaches for coaches.

According to a 2012 study, 2 billion dollars are spent on life coaching services each year. Billions of dollars are also spent on business and executive coaching. The coaching field is growing as many people are becoming coaches.

In a world with many aspiring coaches, how can a coach stand out and become a great coach, delivering amazing results for client after client?

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1. Choose a niche

In order to be a highly effective coach, it’s a wise idea to choose a specific niche to focus on. The possibilities are endless. There are coaches who help postpartum moms get fit, coaches who help people find love and coaches who help business executives become more effective leaders.

If you try to help everybody in the world with problems, you won’t be as effective. Instead, decide who you want to serve and what problem you want to help them solve. By focusing on a specific niche, you can devote time and effort to becoming highly knowledgeable and skilled in that area and your clients will get much more results than if you had just surface knowledge of a variety of niches.

If you’re unsure which niche to focus on, check out this free workbook to help you choose your coaching niche. The best niche for you will be one that allows you to use your natural strengths and passions as it’s fulfilling and profitable for you and highly beneficial for your clients.

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2. Become an excellent communicator

In order to be a great coach, you’ll need to develop incredible interpersonal communication skills. You’ll need to be a great listener. You’ll need to be investigative to get to the root of your client’s problems.

You’ll need to be able to effectively explain the benefits of working with you in order to close sales calls with prospective clients. You’ll need to put aside your judgments during conversations and focus on helping your clients. When you become an excellent communicator, your clients will open up to you more quickly, leading to a faster results for them and a better business for you.

3. Be a sponge

To become an amazing coach, it’s important to realize that there’s always more to learn. Dedicate time each week to learning more about your niche. Read books, listen to the best experts, study research articles and soak up information about your niche.

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During coaching sessions, you never know what your client might tell you and when you’re highly educated about your subject, you have more information to draw from to help your client. Commit to being a lifelong learner and continue to implement what you learn and always improve the quality of your coaching sessions. Study, study, and study some more.

4. Improve your own life

Immerse yourself in activities involving personal development or business strategies. If you’re a health coach, work on continuing to improve your own health. If you’re a coach for business leaders, work on continuing to develop your own leadership qualities.

Your firsthand knowledge about transforming your life in the area of your niche can give you a deeper understanding of what your clients are going through.

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5. Practice

Gain experience coaching in your niche. When you are first starting out, it can be wise to offer sessions for free to people in exchange for their feedback. This will help you develop your confidence and help you see whether or not your techniques are effective.

Also, when you offer sessions for free, you’ll gain insight into whether or not you enjoy that niche and you’ll learn more about your ideal client.

Building a coaching business takes work and effort, but can be highly rewarding and incredibly fulfilling. Use the above strategies to help you become a great coach.

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Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Last Updated on November 3, 2020

How to Mind Map to Visualize Ideas (With Mind Map Examples)

How to Mind Map to Visualize Ideas (With Mind Map Examples)

When you have a lot of ideas in your mind, you may create a text document, or take a sheet of paper and start writing in a linear fashion. However, this type of document quickly becomes overwhelming. It lacks in clarity and makes it hard for you to get a full picture at a glance and see what is missing. Instead, try looking at some mind map examples to learn how to mind map and visualize your thoughts.

Mind maps can help you zoom out and see the whole hierarchy and how everything is connected. You may see connections you were missing before and find new ways of brainstorming solutions.

Below, you’ll find more information on mind maps and see some mind map examples to inspire you next time you need to organize information.

What Is a Mind Map?

A mind map is a simple hierarchical radial diagram invented by Tony Buzan[1]. In other words, you organize your thoughts around a central idea. This technique is especially useful whenever you need to declutter your brain or develop an idea, a project (for example, a new product or service), a problem, a solution, etc. By capturing what you have in your head, you make space for other thoughts.

In this article, we are focusing on the basics: mind mapping using a pen and paper.

The objective of a mind map is to clearly visualize all your thoughts and ideas. Don’t complicate a mind map with too many colors or distractions. Use different colors only when they serve a purpose. Always keep a mind map simple and easy to follow.

How to mind map: Mind map example

    Image Credit: English Central

    By following the three next steps below, you will be able to create such mind maps easily and quickly.

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    3 Simple Steps to Create a Mind Map

    The three steps are:

    1. Set a central topic
    2. Add branches of related ideas
    3. Add sub-branches for more relevant ideas

    Let’s take a look at an example Verbal To Visual illustrates on the benefits of mind mapping.[2]

    Step 1 : Set a Central Topic

    Take a blank sheet of paper, write down the topic you’ve been thinking about: a problem, a decision to make, an idea to develop, or a project to clarify.

    Word it in a clear and concise manner. It can be a single word or even a central image.

    How to mind map: start with a central idea

      Step 2 : Add Branches of Related Ideas

      What is the first idea that comes to mind when you think of the subject for your mind map? Draw a line (straight or curved) from the central topic, and write down that idea.

        Step 3 : Add Sub-Branches for More Relevant Ideas

        Then, what does that idea make you think of? What is related to it? List it out nearby by connecting it with shorter lines or a line of a different color. Ensure that it remains organized.

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          You can always add images or other branches later, but that’s good for now.

          In our example, we could detail the sub-branch “Benefits” by listing those benefits in sub-branches of the branch “Benefits.” Unfortunately, we already reached the side of the sheet, so we’re out of space to do so. You could always draw a line to a white space on the page and list them there, but it’s awkward.

          Since we created this mind map on a regular letter-format sheet of paper, the quantity of information that fits in there is very limited. That is one of the main reasons why I recommend that you use software rather than pen and paper for most of the mind mapping that you do.

          Repeat Step 2 and Step 3

          Repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as you need to flush out all of your ideas around the topic that you chose.

          Mind map example

            I added first-level (main) branches around the central topic mostly in a clockwise fashion, from top-right to top-left. That is how, by convention, a mind map is read.

            In the next section, we are covering the three strategies to building your maps.  

            Mind Map Examples to Illustrate Mind Mapping

            You can go about creating a mind map in various ways:

            • Branch by Branch: Adding whole branches (with all of their sub-branches), one by one.
            • Level by Level: Adding elements to the map, one level at a time. That means that firstly, you add elements around the central topic (main branches). Then, you add sub-branches to those main branches.
            • Free-Flow: Adding elements to your mind map as they come to you, in no particular order.

            Branch by Branch

            Start with the central topic, and add a first branch. Focus on that branch and detail it as much as you can by adding all the sub-branches that you can think of.

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              Then develop ideas branch by branch.

                One your ideas have filled the branches, the mind map is complete.

                Branch by branch mind map example

                  Level by Level

                  In this “Level by Level” strategy of mind map examples, you first add all the elements that you can think of around the central topic, one level deep only. Here, you add elements on level 1:

                    Then, go over each branch and add the immediate sub-branches (one level only). This is level 2:

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                      Do the same for the next level (level 3). You can have as many levels as you want in a mind map. In our example, we only have 3 levels. Now the map is complete:

                      Level by level mind map example

                        Free-Flow

                        Basically, a free flow strategy of mind mapping is to add main branches and sub-topics freely. There are no rules to restrict how ideas should flow in the mind map. The only thing to pay attention to is that you need to be careful about the level of the ideas you’re adding to the mind map — is it a main topic, or is it a subtopic?

                        Free flow mind map example

                          Try each strategy and combinations of strategies, and see what works best for you to help you start problem solving.

                          The Bottom Line

                          When you’re feeling stuck or when you’re just starting to think about a particular idea or project, take out a paper and start to brain dump your ideas and create a mind map using the mind map examples above. Mind mapping has the magic to clear your head and organize your thoughts.

                          If you can’t always have access to a paper and pen, don’t worry! Creating a mind map with software is very effective, and you get none of the drawbacks of pen and paper. You can also apply the above steps and strategies just the same when using a mind mapping tool on a phone and computer.

                          More Tools to Help You Organize Thoughts

                          Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Tony Buzan Group: Home
                          [2] Verbal to Visual: A Mind Mapping Approach To Your Sketchnotes

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