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We know there are different types of coaches: business coaches, life coaches, executive coaches, career coaches, etc.

So, what’s a change fitness coach? Is it a new type of coaching, or is it something else? This is what we consider in this article.

The real goal

Before we go any further, we must discuss something very important. As coaches, we all have our preferences and our individual pathways through life. Some of us choose to become life coaches, some business coaches, and others to some other type of coaching. But we must never lose sight of the real goal of coaching. The real goal of coaching is the positive changes that clients experience as they progress towards their goals.

Coaching is a vehicle that can help clients navigate the change process in pursuit of their goals. The focus of coaching must remain firmly fixed on the client. The main issue for the coach to consider is ‘how’ – how can my coaching best support clients as they navigate the change process in pursuit of their goals? It is in relation to this question that change fitness coaching is best understood.

Approach and methodology

Don’t see change fitness coaching as just another category of coaching, like career coaching, or life coaching. Instead, see it as a coaching approach, framework, and methodology that builds clients’ capacity to successfully navigate the change process.

Change fitness coaching is a way of;

  • understanding your clients’ capacity to succeed at the change process, and
  • building their capacity to succeed at the change process

As you better understand your clients’ capacity to succeed at change and help them build their capacity to succeed, they will be more empowered to achieve their goals. That’s what’s in it for them.

What’s in it for you?

What’s in it for you, as a coach? When your clients develop their capacity to succeed at the change process, your coaching becomes more effective. You become a more effective coach and you can expect the benefits this brings – a deeper satisfaction at helping others shine, a growing sense of purpose that you’re really making a difference, kudos and appreciation from clients you have helped, positive word of mouth marketing and referrals, and a more rewarding coaching career.

Let’s take stand back and look at what we have seen so far.

Standing back

We have seen that change fitness coaching;

  • is a way to approach coaching clients and a methodology for how to work with them. As such, it can be applied to any type of coaching (such as business coaching, life coaching, career coaching, leadership coaching, etc).
  • is focused on building the capacity of clients to succeed at the change process. As such, it is important for all clients, especially for those whose change fitness is low.
  • helps all coaches become more effective.

Change fitness coaching is therefore important for all coaches and all clients.

Projects and process

You can see from what we have said so far that change fitness coaching is about the client’s capacity for the change process. But clients will almost never come to a coach with the change process in mind. They will come with a change project in mind.

The project will be either a problem to solve or a goal they want to achieve. Think about the clients who come to you – what problems do they want to solve? What things do they want to achieve? Some clients may be very clear about what they want to achieve, and others bring only a vague idea of what it is. But whether clear or not, it’s this ‘what’ that drives them seek out a coach. They know there’s something that needs to change.

Their job is to work out what they want to achieve. And your job is to work out how to help them get it.

Strategies and process

The how may involve strategies – like learning how to market a product, how to create a website, tackling a new course, or how to manage time. It can be tempting as a coach to launch into these strategies, imagining they are what’s most needed. But it’s important to understand these strategies are not the change process – they are simply the fine-textured elements of the change project.

At the deepest level, the how is not about strategies, it’s about the change process. If change projects are to succeed, if coaching is to ‘work’, the client must successfully navigate each step of the change process. There are no shortcuts and no trade-offs.

And here’s the important point: the demands of the change process are mostly psychological.

Why change fitness matters

Why is change sometimes hard? It’s hard when change involves learning new things, unlearning old things, developing new ways of thinking, and building new habits. It’s hard when it involves stepping outside the comfort zone and taking a risk. Those things are hard because they come with many psychological demands.

Think about it. In theory, losing weight shouldn’t be hard. All we need to do is to stop eating the wrong food, start eating the right food, and getting regular exercise. This may be relatively easy to do at first, but it usually gets harder over time. Why? Not because we don’t know what we ought to do, but because it’s psychologically challenging to change something we’re used to doing.

Change fitness means having the psychological fitness to meet these kinds of psychological demands associated with change. It is about what you think and how you think – it’s not primarily about the strategies you could employ to make the change. Don’t worry, the client will need some strategies, but there’s no point presenting the client with strategies if they lack the psychological fitness to execute at them.

When change fitness coaching is needed

What’s the important point here? It’s this – change fitness coaching is an approach that becomes most important when clients lack the psychological capacity to meet the psychological demands of the change process. It is a ‘tool’ a coach could use with clients who need to more capacity to succeed at change. Would you use it with every client? Not necessarily, but it would be good to use with every client who could benefit from more change fitness.

Understand that clients come to a coach with a ‘what’ (whatever it is they want to achieve through coaching). But the client isn’t expected to know ‘how’. It’s the coach who’s expected to know how to get the client from where they are to where they want to be. Of course, the client must do the work,