Coach Clients to their Emotional Honesty

Coach Clients to their Emotional HonestyOne of the often misunderstood areas of coaching is how to coach clients to express their emotions appropriately, and how to handle the emotions of others.

ICF core competency #4: Coaching Presence states that the coach, “demonstrates confidence in working with strong emotions, and can self-manage and not be overpowered or enmeshed by client’s emotions.” As coaches, we need to understand our own emotional makeup as we engage with clients, who may bring situations to coaching that are very emotionally charged.

Emotional Honesty Builds Trust

In the business environment, people can deal with expressions of happiness, joy or appreciation, but tiptoe around expressions of anger, frustration, fear or anxiety. Some people are emotionally avoidant meaning they avoid having conversations that involve theirs or others’ emotions. This is detrimental not only to the person, but to those they are in relationship with because it diminishes trust and is like having the proverbial elephant in the room.

Everyone can feel the undercurrent of emotion but nobody is willing to speak about the obvious. Helping clients to work through how to express not only their thoughts to others but also their emotions is fundamental to their success because emotional honesty builds trust, and trust is the foundation of any business or personal relationship.

Emotional Honesty Resources

In his book, “Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers,” Anthony Mersino outlines “The SASHET Families of Emotions” where SASHET stands for Sad, Angry, Scared, Happy, Excited and Tender. In his book, “Conscious Business,” Fred Kofman has a chapter on Emotional Mastery that I also find to be very enlightening. There are whole books on how to have a difficult conversation – just do a Google or Amazon search.

I don’t want to prescribe a way to work with emotions, just the request that all coaches learn more about how to help their clients identify and usefully express their emotions to the appropriate people.

Of course, every coach needs to be attending to their own ongoing personal development so they can be of better service to their clients.

In our Mentor Coaching Group, we encourage our clients to learn how to work with theirs and others’ emotions. If you have been tiptoeing around yours or others’ emotions, then I invite you to gain the skill necessary to have emotions be an easier topic of conversation.

Are you preparing to apply for your MCC, PCC or ACC credential and need 10 hours of mentor coaching that meet ICF requirements?

Or do you need core competency CCE’s to renew your credential?

Registration for the next 3 month Mentor Coaching Group is now open, commencing May 6 from 2pm-3.30pm Eastern. Space is Limited.


Carly Anderson and Karen Boskemper offer an awesome mentor coaching group and individual program that has many exclusive offerings for our participants.

One of those offerings is an extensive library of MCC, PCC and ACC coaching sessions for our participants to listen to, evaluate, debrief, and learn from, along with The Target Approach to demystifying the ICF core competencies. These are incredibly valuable learning tools, and will accelerate your understanding of competency distinctions.

Here’s where you’ll find more about The Mentor Coaching Group

Carly and Karen also offer other mentoring options which you can find in the Store