Coaches and Trainers on the Front Lines of Stress Management
Like all Trainers and Coaches, our skills often translate directly to successful client outcomes – they are vital to the process. For example, our ability to perform assessments with our client needs to be done properly and carefully. One challenge before us is to be thorough, and for some, this alone can be the most difficult part of our client interactions. In recent weeks, a specialized form of coaching – Stress Management Coaching – has suddenly seen a surge in interest, becoming more important and necessary. We have a new focus: what does it mean to develop a Stress Profile for a client?
The current logistics of how we serve our clients may have changed but the skills we rely on to help others do not.
Trainers and Coaches Helping Clients
True, a Personal Trainer may have more limits on service currently (this is temporary), but training can still continue virtually; a Health or Wellness Coach may be more effective with an online model of service because they can still build solid client relationships. This is especially true in the area of personal client assessments related to perspectives, values and vision. As always, the process only works when clients are completely transparent. We need a tool to allow this to happen.
In times of crisis or uncertainty, we all face the consequences of stress. To be specific, our current pandemic has people responding in ways that directly tie to their ability to manage stress. No one could be expected to navigate life easily with what we are witnessing. But when we position ourselves as the leader, guide or manager of a client’s health or wellness, we are tapped to intervene immediately. This expectation is one we have to take seriously. We are more informed (i.e. effective) if we can perform a Stress Profile with our client.
There are some abstracts to the process. In some of our programs, we talk about “reflection of meaning”. This is a specific inquiry used by the professional to get more detail without sounding like we are interrogating the client. For example, a client may say “being successful is important to me”. Is that enough? Not really. This client may already be doing a lot of things right but in order for us to to assist this type of client, we have to know the full realm of what is meant by the term success. This is just one example of many possibilities.
Reflection of Meaning: What Our Client Believes
When we zero in on the topic of stress management, this becomes even more important. In fact, experienced Stress Management Coaches have learned that it is the unique perspectives of our client. This often drives clients toward thoughts and actions considered stressful reactive patterns. We have to learn more about why this happens to sort things out.
One key strength of any stress-related program is the process of building a client’s Stress Profile. Using specific questions to assess beliefs and values, we can find out what is important to our client. We can also see where they rank themselves in response to their self-professed challenges. A Stress Management Coach might use a screen to evaluate everything from personal stress to professional struggles that clients experience. Well-placed questions about relationships and responses to criticism are other important questions that create a profile for the coach to better understand their client.
If you’re not using a Stress Profile in your coaching practice, you have absolutely nothing to lose by bringing it into your session work; on the contrary, the benefits to using one significantly boost your effectiveness, your client’s results and your professionalism.