What is courage? Tips on how to implement courage in your coaching career

What is courage? Tips on how to implement courage in your coaching career

What is courage? Tips on how to implement courage in your coaching career

What is the first thing that pops in your mind when you hear the word courage?

For Rod Macdonald, CEO of CCF, the movie Braveheart comes to mind – the image of the warrior Wallace on that poster, painted in a blueish tint, always struck a courageous cord in him. 

When it comes to courage, maybe you have also had a fictional character in mind, or perhaps you’ve thought about a person closer to you. Mom, Dad, Granny, Grandpa – we all have at least one courageous person in our family. 

But…what is courage?

And more importantly, how can we use courage, to the best of our ability, to improve our careers and help our clients get the most out of coaching? We’ll talk about this and much more in today’s article: What is courage? Tips on how to implement courage in your coaching career.

What is courage?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, courage is the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty. 

Think about the last time you felt in danger. Or fearful. Or put in front of a difficult situation. Did you feel courageous? Did you manage to absorb all your mental and moral strength in order to venture, preserve and withstand the difficulty in front of you?

Take a moment to reflect on this question. Breath. Give yourself the true, right answer. And move on. If the answer is no, there is no shame in it – courage can be bred, you’re not born with it.

Challenges can trigger courage

If our ancestors had never been put face-to-face to imminent danger, how would we know about courage? Challenges, such as prehistoric predators or modern-day anxiety or even fear of commitment can represent ideal moments that can trigger courage.

As a coach, your clients should feel those challenges. They should know that life is, sometimes, tough. And they should also understand that you, as their coach, are here to help guide them to achieve their goals even in the face of adversity.

Courage is one of the key assets, in order to achieve those goals. As many successful people can attest, at more than one point in their journey, people will stumble and feel as though they are in a gradual fall. With courage, these hiccups can be overcome. Without courage, though, it may feel like nothing can stop that feeling of falling.

As their coach, you have the opportunity to be there for them – guiding them and providing words of encouragement letting them know they are on the right track. To show them how important challenges are, in order to trigger courage. 

A courageous coach means a courageous client

Each and every one of your clients possess a certain amount of courage. Of course, that courage may not be enough for them to act on so that they can reach their goals and objectives. That’s where the courageous coach (a.k.a YOU) comes in. 

Your client’s courage combined with your courage can help them through the first part of their difficult encounter. As such, they’ll be able to battle their problems in a curated way that works for them.

Over time, they will surely reach the necessary prowess to entangle any webby problem in their life!

Why do clients lack courage?

We’ve talked so much about courage up until this point, but what about the lack of courage? Why do people lack courage? Where is this lack of courage coming from?

Well, there could be multiple reasons:

  • Memories of past failures: those failures should not remain failures for them – they should instead rescript them into learning opportunities. Be sure to always ask the question: what did you learn from that?
  • Anxiety and fear: imagining the difficulty ahead can be a big stress factor and your courage may also take a big hit.
  • Unsupportive network: how many of you reading this article have ever felt like your friends, family and peers are never supportive of coaching?
  • Limiting Belief: this is quite a general term, but refers to a combination of what you were taught when you were a child and a certain powerful belief or a preconception about someone or something. 
  • Poor Coaching in the past: when a client experiences a poor coaching experience, it creates a question in their mind as to whether or not they can achieve something in the future with you as their coach.

How can you be courageous?

Now that we know why your clients may lack certain courage, let’s see how you, as a coach, can become courageous, in order to help them evolve towards the same ideal. 

Firstly, make sure that you replace judgment with curiosity. It’s very easy for us, as coaches, to snap back into the human being role and become judgemental. During this judgement, we may diminish the importance of the fact and tell our client, indirectly, that their problem is not that big. 

Secondly, encouragement is an important sign of courage from a coach. When your client reaches a certain milestone, congratulate them and celebrate their success before moving on to the next step! This is a wonderful opportunity to build up their sense of courage.

Working with a transformational client

Courageous clients work with transformational clients. Clients that are in a transformational state really want to reach a certain level of awareness about their surroundings and their objectives. 

When you’re working with such a client, be sure to ask powerful questions, in order to make them leave their comfort zone. When you ask powerful questions, you dig deeper to find the truth and can trigger a highly emotional state in your client, in a positive way, where you’re bringing empowering emotions to the forefront!

What do you get when you, as a coach, are courageous?

When coaches are courageous, they receive a lot of change from their clients. As a courageous coach, you’ll be able to understand what your client wants. You’ll get a much stronger commitment with your client and you’ll also receive powerful, tough affirmations, that can go a long way towards your client’s objective. 

You need to feel their passion when talking about a certain goal. That’s why a courageous coach goes the extra mile and always develops strong connections with a client. 

Also, if you’re courageous, you’re going to get more compliance from your client. They will listen to your advice, come to the meeting and do what they have to do in order to remain consistent.

Remember, a consistent client will also bring in the best results!

What happens when you’re not courageous?

As you’ve probably guessed, you should also wonder what happens when you’re not that courageous? 

Firstly, the client will feel unchallenged. They will get the impression that you’re not 100% in with them on their journey.

In order to let them know you’re in all the way, make sure to start calling out the behaviours that are not according to their objectives. Let them come up with their own strategy in order to really reach their courage.

How hard can you push your client?

You’ve already figured out that triggering a courageous behaviour will require you to do some extra work. Well, that extra work and push have a limit. When you don’t know exactly how deep can you dig, what can you do?

It may seem very simple…  but just ask your client “what’s your limit?” 

Asking these questions is a great way to foster an open and honest conversation about their limits and gain rapport with your client.

Why aren’t coaches courageous?

There are 2 main reasons that you may feel as though you lack courage as a coach:

  1. You haven’t had a courageous coach before – as you already know, a courageous coach can help anyone trigger their determination. If you didn’t have that experience in the past, get yourself a courageous coach.
  2. You got burned in the past by an experience – past experiences shape us as humans and as coaches. In order to evolve through that, you’ll have to recognise the traumatic experiences in the past and perceive them as opportunities!

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” – Nelson Mandel

This was our take on courage. We hope our tips will guide your path towards bravery and determination. Implement them in your coaching career and life and see what happens!

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