When you meet a person who’s suffering, do you know how to help them?
There are few things more painful than meeting a person who’s struggling, and not knowing what to say or do to help alleviate their distress.
We want to help them, to say the right thing… and the last thing we want is to give them the same unhelpful or uninspiring advice that they’ve already received from the last ten people who tried to help.
So how can you be there when your life coaching client is in pain and need us, and help them to see the hope that lies beyond their pain, without trivializing their struggles or making them feel worse?
Three methods that will help you make the positive difference that you desire for the people in need.
METHOD #1: Listen to them in a different, and more effective, way
“Hear them out” may sound like overused advice, but just sitting there while the other person shares how they’re feeling can be profoundly helpful.
Listening compassionately, and without interrupting, allows the person you’re with to sort through their own feelings, and this often leads them to discover their own clarity on what to do next to find a path out of their pain.
But listening well takes more than simply being in the same room as the other person while they talk…
You have to truly listen to what they’re sharing, to tune in and be present, rather than focusing on planning your response while they’re still talking.
It’s also important to try to understand the feelings and needs behind their words.
Sometimes, people struggle to find the right words to convey what’s happening in their hearts and minds, and it helps if you give them time to sort through their thoughts, and perhaps ask questions to help them clarify what they’re saying.
METHOD #2: Help them discover what they want
While you’re listening to them share their thoughts and feelings, try to discover what they want to experience.
If they could release the pain or the problem that’s weighing on them, what would their life look like? What are they longing for, and what would their daily experience be like if they fulfilled that dream?
Sometimes, people are generally happy with their lives, aside from challenging circumstances, like the loss of a job, the ending of a relationship or the passing of a loved one.
But other times, their pain stems from a dream that they don’t know how to fulfill, or a problem that’s been plaguing them for years, with no end in sight.
They may not be completely clear on what this dream or problem is — they may simply know that something is missing or wrong, and wish they could find clarity on what would make them happy.
By helping them discover their desires and dreams, and finding out what’s keeping them stuck in their painful circumstances, you help them find a path to joy.
METHOD #3: Seek guidance
When you find out what the other person truly desires, send that thought out to a Higher Power on their behalf. Whether you believe in God, the Universe, your Best Self, or something else, ask that source of wisdom for help in assisting the suffering person.
Then listen carefully to your next thoughts, and share them.
Sometimes guidance will come through you, and trying to analyze or judge it before it can reach its intended recipient will only keep it from helping them.
So, if you ask for guidance, and questions or comments come to mind, voice them to the person you’re speaking to gently and respectfully.
I’ve given you some valuable starting points here for how to help a life coaching client who is in pain, but there’s a great deal more to the process of helping people overcome their challenges and create a life they truly love living.
At Life Mastery Institute, I train and certify heart-centered life coaches on how to masterfully coach their clients to move through obstacles and on to designing the life of their dreams, and then actually stepping into that life!
For more proven, step-by-step strategies on how to start or grow a successful life-coaching business that makes a profound and lasting difference in the lives of others, while creating a life you love, click here to download my FREE ebook, “Are You Meant to Be a Life Coach?”