The International Coaching Federation modeled being positive for all coaches and coach training programs when, in updating the Code of Ethics, they intentionally changed to positive language as much as possible.
When someone is using negative language they are slower to process and act. Negative language limits at a subconscious level. Alternatively, positive language is motivating. Positive language opens up thinking and possibilities. Ultimately positive language is forward focused and coaching is forward focused.
How do coaches create a shift when clients use negative language so that they use positive language instead? Ask questions!
Here are a few examples of questions to ask:
- If not that, then what?
- If you don’t want that, what do you want instead?
- How do you want it to be?
- What is your ideal?
- What is your best possible scenario?
- What do you want?
On a personal level consider the impact on you when you are negative versus positive. When you catch yourself stuck in the negative, ask the questions listed here of yourself.
As a coach make positivity a habit and positive language a new normal. The more you are positive and use positive language the more natural it is and the easier to create the shift with coaching clients.