Your Beliefs—The Best Way to Create Trust in Coaching

Trust is everything.

Without trust in a relationship, your client will withdraw. And with withdrawal comes withholding. And when withholding, the client hides.

Hiding is a defense mechanism that every one of us uses—to protect ourselves from being betrayed, or embarrassed, or judged, or rejected.

And when hiding happens, we block the client’s ability to be vulnerable, we disinvite honesty, and we squash authenticity. And the client cannot learn, nor grow, nor progress.

So how do we grow trust?

What if it started with our own beliefs as coaches? Our beliefs reflect our behavior—the words we use, the actions we take.

What if our beliefs displayed to the client these assumptions… 

  • I believe you are, and always have been, doing the best you can—given your role models, your hurts, your restedness/nutrition, your humanity.
  • I believe you are capable of making choices that will allow you to evolve.
  • I believe you are creative, resourceful, and whole (hat tip to CoActive Coaching).
  • I believe that Life is on your side, mysteriously recycling and redeeming every “mis-step” as part of the beautiful tapestry of your life.
  • I believe that for every fear, there is abundant provision for the need—the ideas, the energy, the people, the resources, the patience—everything…and that we’ll work together to discover that provision.

Do you believe these for yourself? For your clients? 

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Let’s Agree on What Agreements Mean


Do they bring to mind any of these thoughts?

“Don’t fence me in! … I don’t want to have to comply … I better get it right or I’m in trouble … I feel guilty because I didn’t do what I said I’d do!”  🙁

Why do we not always jump in and make agreements?

Maybe: We are afraid that what we want isn’t what the other wants.
Consider: This assumes that the two of you won’t be able to find creative options, alternatives, and solutions. This is an invitation to get creative!

Maybe: We don’t want to be held accountable or hold the other person accountable.
Consider: Do your agreements involve creating situations that you truly want?

Maybe: We don’t want to feel guilty if we don’t follow through.
Consider: How about giving yourself a dose of self-compassion when you don’t follow through? Welcome to the human race.

Maybe: We forget to be intentional.
Consider: Create tiny habits that help you be intentional. For example, as you pass from one meeting to the next, pause to take a breath and ask, what are our intentions for our time together?

Agreements are Good

So if you have any hesitations or negative feelings about agreements, consider associating them with positive meaning, such as:

  • Agreements help our brains to focus on what we want.
  • Agreements give us healthy boundaries.
  • Agreements are positive intentions in action.
  • Agreements lend us a sense of what to expect.
  • Agreements add a layer of psychological safety.
  • Agreements are ways of expressing respect to one another.
  • Agreements can and should be re-aligned when they aren’t working.
  • Agreements, when not met, are invitations to connect and co-create with our fellow human beings

What kind of agreements would you like to make with yourself?

What kind of agreements would you like to make with others?

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Conscious Coaching

Transformation. It’s a big word. For many, it conjures up the thought of “having” to do something difficult, such as change longstanding behaviors or beliefs. We think, “I have so far to go” or “I have so much to learn.” The transformation trajectory can look like a long and unending arc.

I’ve just finished reading (for the second time) Dr. David Hawkins book, “Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior.” The book reminds me that transformation comes through progressively higher states of consciousness.

Hawkins arranges a hierarchy of levels of consciousness—from shame and guilt at the bottom of the spectrum, to love, joy, peace, and enlightenment at the top—and calibrates/logs each at a specific number.

As coaches, we can be aware of this framework and compassionately make observations or ask questions that shift the client from a “Force” state (calibration of 200 or below) to a “Power” state (calibration of 200 or above). Force states create struggle and drain energy; power states create ease, and buoy energy.

Note that we do not want to tediously move a person step-by-step from Shame, to Guilt, to Fear, to Anger, etc., because anything below Courage is a Force state. However, any upward movement is positive. 

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You Belong

Belonging means to be a part of something—part of a friendship, or a romantic relationship, or a work team, or a community, or a group working toward a common cause, or, or, or.

The longing to belong, like the longing to be loved, is wired-from-birth within each one of us—it is a human need that every one of us has. We find meaning and inspiration in connecting and co-creating with the people we belong to; and we find comfort and solace in walking through the moments in life that are disappointing or painful.

So in honor of the month of Love, consider these 28 belonging messages:

  1. You are loved…Love.
  2. You are wanted…Go.
  3. You are equal…Respect.
  4. You are human…Feel.
  5. You are wise…Know.
  6. You know…Speak up.
  7. You are creative…Create.
  8. You are brilliant…Shine.
  9. You are welcomed…Collaborate.
  10. You are accepted…Enjoy.
  11. You are enough…Be.
  12. You have value…Contribute.
  13. You are appreciated…Appreciate.
  14. You are connected…Find commonalities.
  15. You are perfect…Evolve.
  16. You are imperfect…Breathe.
  17. You are safe…Create.
  18. You are guided…Align.
  19. You have enough…Rest.
  20. You are protected…Accept.
  21. You are alive…Expand.
  22. You are beautiful…Blossom.
  23. You are in process…Be grateful.
  24. You are where you should be…Keep moving.
  25. You are energy…Flow.
  26. You are needed…Show up.
  27. You are powerful…Generate.
  28. You belong…Thrive.
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