As a practitioner, knowing the science is important, but if you can’t communicate it then who cares? This is something I didn’t appreciate enough when I started out as a scientist. And appreciate all the more now, as a coach.
And communication, particularly as a coach, is two way. It is not just what a coach communicates, but how much communication they actively seek from their clients. And how they respond to what is communicated. The most effective coaches are those who truly listen to what their clients say, how they feel, what they struggle with. It is in doing this that they can give guidance that can and will be implemented by their clients.
Thinking about this, here is a short reflection on things I think are indicative of effective communication in any coach … including your nutritionist! Think about these when you choose yours. And if some of these are not a priority for you, knowing this should still help when choosing who you want to work with :).
· Does your prospective coach outline the purpose of your interactions, and what you should expect by the end?
I like to understand where I am and where I am going, to give me focus and clarity in my thoughts and conversations. By knowing these things my expectations are also managed and I can understand exactly the support I am going to get.
· Does your prospective coach listen?
If they don’t, how will they truly understand my issues, the goals I am trying to achieve, the barriers I am likely to face, and so help me develop a plan that is truly practical and sustainable?!
· Do your prospective involve you in the goal setting and decision making?
My goals and my life is my own, and I will have a view on what I really want and so what I will work for (my goals) and what is going to work for me to get there (point above!). And by being involved, I take ownership and I know this helps increase my adherence to a plan!
· Does your prospective coach ensure you have the knowledge, tools and support for the next steps?
Because if I don’t have the tools to implement it, even the perfect plan is useless!
So there, a short reflection on what I think is important and why! Some things to consider :).