Think about writing your to do list — often the language used is “should” or “need to.” When using this language, a natural resistance to the task occurs and the motivation to accomplish it is minimized. A coach encourages clients to think in terms of “want to” or “choose to.” This language is motivating.
When setting specific goals, a client might talk about wanting to pay off their debts. A coach asks the client where they will be after achieving this goal, and the client talks about being financially secure, knowing things are paid in full, and saving for the future. The coach motivates the client by asking questions to create a positive, forward focus.
Have you ever had someone tell you they will “try” and realized it was not going to happen? A coach asks a question about the choice of words or simply rephrases it to “so you plan.” When a client chooses to plan, they are motivated to follow-through.
The choice of words influences understanding and decision-making. A coach motivates a client by asking questions so the client phrases it in positive, proactive terms. A coach develops skill in a client with rephrasing in positive, proactive terms. Choosing words that work is a skill and naturally motivates.