Mar 12th, 2021
Do you love to tell stories? In this week's episode, I want to show you how you can use that love of telling stories to help you to start your journey as a coach.
Hi, this is Grant Herbert, the Emotional Intelligence Speaker and Trainer of the Year and Master Coach Trainer, and today I want to continue our conversation around becoming a coach by helping you to understand the power of sharing your story. You and I have experienced many things in our life, and those experiences all tell a story. And one of the greatest gifts that we can give people as we become a coach, an educator, a trainer, facilitator, whatever it is that you want to do is the benefit of that experiential learning, not just giving them theory. And as you have a look back in your life and the experiences that you've been through, the journey that you've been on, there are many things within that gold nuggets that you can refer to when you're deciding whether or not you've got anything to share as a coach and as a key skillset for you to be able to engage with your potential clients and to stay in touch with them as you are working with them so that they know you, they like you, they trust you, and they can see that you're a real person.
Being a coach or any of these other disciplines we're talking about, it's not about being perfect. That's never going to be the goal. It's not about, "Well, okay, I'm now a coach. I've done some training so therefore now my life is on track." No, a lot of times it's exactly the opposite. What I've been able to do as a coach has developed strategies to be able to overcome negative inner dialogue, to be able to change unresourceful behaviour patterns, and to recognise when these things are coming up and therefore shift the mindset and the behaviour more quickly. It certainly doesn't mean I've got it all together and that I'm perfect and I'm never ever going to be there. So, what I want to do is help you to understand how sharing your story in a particular way, considering three key elements, will help you to not just put a story across, but to change the lives of the people that you're going to coach.
So, the first thing that I think is vitally important is be real. As I already said, it's not about being someone who's perfect. It's not about being someone who that you're not because you're now a coach. It's about being who you are. For many years, I was trying to be someone that I wasn't, and let me tell you, that's a tough gig to continually remember who it is that you're pretending to be. And being me, being who I am, teachable, humble, on a journey of imperfection is way less stressful and effortless than doing it the other way. So when you're interacting with people, the key element here is to be real, to be authentic, to put across your values, your beliefs, who you are, not to put on some persona in the public arena. So, when we're being real and we tell real stories, people are drawn to that and they not just hear the story, but they hear and see who it is that you really are. As I've already said, people need to know you, they need to like you, and they need to trust you before they'll ever let you coach them. So, being real is my greatest opportunity for that to happen.
The second element of great storytelling in regards to being a coach is to be relevant. A lot of times, we like to just talk about ourselves and we like to tell stories, however, it is not relevant to what's going on right now for the other person. If it doesn't tick any boxes with them emotionally and logically, then the story is going to fall on deaf ears. So, we need to make sure that we're telling stories from our life that are relevant in context to the person that we're talking to. For an example, if someone was going through a situation of loss, then I could, with their permission, tell a story from my life that was about how I overcame a loss in my own life. If I was telling a story about something totally different, then it's not relevant to what it is that they're going through right now. The purpose of telling the story is not to tell a story. The purpose of telling the story is for you to be able to guide and direct and help and encourage somebody else who might be going through something that you've already experienced.
And the third key element in telling a story is to be relatable. If we tell our story in a totally different language palette, or we tell it from a perspective of up here, when we're talking to someone about something down here, if there's no way that they can put themselves in the story, then once again, the story is just words. But when we are relatable and when we tell a story that's conversational and we check in with the other person, we see how it is relating to them. And we ask questions, which is one of the greatest skills of a coach is to ask great questions, and those questions are allowing them to put themselves in the story by asking, "How do you see that relates to what it is that you're going through?" So, being relatable to the other person, making sure that we can bring them in, draw them into the story is a key element of effective storytelling as a coach, as a trainer, as an educator, whatever it is, mentoring, whatever it is that you're doing.
Storytelling is way more than just telling a story. Storytelling is a great opportunity for people to see who you are, to see what it is that you stand for, what it is that you could perhaps do for them, and more importantly than all that, it's an opportunity to impart wisdom, knowledge, experience, to help people in a similar journey that they might be going through as well. What experiences have you gone through in your life that taught you things that you could pass on to others? Remember last week, we talked about passing the baton and the experiences that you've gone through have blessed you with knowledge, with strategies, and you've come through those situations and we've been blessed so that we can be a blessing to others. So, what I'd really love you to do is jump down in the comments and answer that question. Tell me what is an experience that you've gone through. Tell me a story about that so that I, and everybody else reading those comments, can see you in a real light. It's relevant to what we're through and it's relatable.
Well, that's it for me for another week. Join me again next week as we continue this conversation around all things becoming a coach by talking about turning our mistakes into miracles. I'll see you then.