How to level-up your work-life balance coaching

Montreal - 2022 | 05 | 18

As someone who is continuously building their coaching practice, you know better than anyone else the value of hard work. Putting in the long hours, doing your best, and hitting your target goals every week is rewarding, but can be exhausting.

You also know the importance of taking those days off and powering down your brain for a bit. After all, catching up on rest is an important part of building your business. It can help avoid burnout, puts you in a better mood, and gets you ready to tackle new challenges that can (and will!) come your way.

Unfortunately, many people have fully adapted to the toxic hustle culture and believe that if they take even a second to slow down, their route to success is no longer accessible.

This is why work-life balance coaching is so important in today’s society, where all work and no play is in full effect for those who feel the pressure of needing to achieve all of their goals. Here’s how you as a coach can help your clients establish work-life balance strategies that can improve their lives and establish healthy boundaries where needed.

Help them identify their non-negotiables

In order to truly come up with ways to help them feel like they can, and should, indulge in their personal life and mental rest, establish non-negotiables.

A non-negotiable can be described as anything that is important to the client outside of their work or career obligations and aspirations. This can be anything from spending time with family members, like spouses, parents, and children, seeing friends and showing up to social occasions, or simply setting time aside for a hobby or relaxing solo activity, like reading a good book, going for a walk, or even running errands.

By determining these non-negotiables, it becomes easier for your client to envision what exactly they want their days to look like, and what their priorities really are. Balancing work and family can be a challenge for many individuals, as some feel overwhelmed and stressed at work when there are so many deadlines to meet. As their work-life balance coach, it’s important for you to remind them that in most circumstances, the sky will not fall if they don’t answer an email or are a day late on a deliverable.

A good idea for a simple coaching and work-life balance exercise? Get your clients to visualize all the things they are dreading could happen if they don’t put work first every second of every day. Have them write it all out, and then go through this list and encourage them to come up with an alternative for each predicted disaster.

“If I don’t get this report out by Monday morning, I won’t get promoted next quarter.”

By helping them think of an alternative, this can turn into:

“If I don’t get this report out by Monday morning, I can talk to my boss on why it’s taking more time than usual. Some information beyond my access is missing, and I have a great idea for how we can make sure our time management is better for this the next time around. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy my weekend and recharge from this hectic week.”

By helping your client exercise their minds and find a more positive outlook when faced with some hills, they are more likely to avoid stress and burnout, and will feel less guilty spending time doing things outside of their career that bring them joy.

Reassure them that if balance isn’t the answer, there’s another way

For most people, separation of work and personal life is a good thing. It’s normal to be a little stressed out by some aspects of the job even outside of work hours on rare occasions. But for some, the sleepless nights and feelings of despair when not near a laptop are not worth the work it might take to establish a work-life balance routine.

Unlike work-life balance, where the goal is to keep work and personal life separately thriving, work-life integration is the process of incorporating both together in a harmonious and easy-flowing routine.

If your client’s job has relatively flexible scheduling, there are many ways to adopt a work-life integration approach that can help your client enjoy life a little more, without the intense stress.

The best way to adopt work-life integration is a shift in mindset. The idea of work-life balance vs. integration can be confusing at first, and maybe even a bit daunting, but for those who it’s meant for, it can make a world of a difference.

A mindset shift to incorporate work-life integration can mean to establish a schedule that fits in the most important things to them, both work and personal life related, and give these the most fitting time slot during the day.

For example, if your client likes to keep active by going to the gym, but only feels like they can go either at 5 in the morning and then feels tired the rest of the day, or after work where the facility is packed, they can instead block off time in the middle of the day and dedicate it to working out, making up for that time later in the evening, or whenever they see fit.

Being familiar with the difference between work-life balance vs. integration and incorporating whichever approach fits them best could also give your client sense of freedom and control over their schedule, helping them increase productivity and optimism at work and ultimately reducing mental strain while looking forward to a new day.

Remind them that messy days are inevitable, even with a concrete routine

When it comes to establishing the perfect work-life balance or work-life integration, it’s great to see clients get excited about their new schedules. It can feel empowering to have an answer sheet on how to maximize your time and feel good about it, too!

However, coaches need to remind clients that while implementing work-life balance strategies is incredibly rewarding, some days won’t always go as planned.

Interruptions, like family emergencies, innocent time management mistakes, and everything under the sun can throw a wrench in someone’s day, or sometimes just a part of it. Despite that, it’s important to coach your client on how to react and respond. As everyone is different, pushing through to a positive response on a bad day can look different on everyone.

Reminding your clients that messy days are inevitable may seem like a small, almost useless reality to remind them of, but talking about it and placing importance on how they choose to react and proceed can help them for when the times do come. Reacting positively to a situation is harder than letting negative emotions take over, so opening the gates to a conversation about emotional responses may soften the blow for when this choice is necessary.

Amplify their strengths, it can unlock so much

For some of your clients, it can be difficult to figure out what sort of balance or integration is right for them. Even if you establish their priorities, like family or alone time, the schedule and routine you help them craft is not always going to the most comfortable fit.

Consequently, it’s important for you as a coach to make sure your client is self-aware and have a detailed breakdown of their natural behavioral preferences.

With behavioral data in hand, you can give your client the boost of a lifetime by giving them a fully science-backed look at their strengths. With the knowledge of where they naturally thrive, this can help you and your client come up with something they can actually look forward to – a daily schedule they can conquer and feel satisfied knowing it was made uniquely for them.

For a coach to be able to provide this kind of support to their clients, a behavioral assessment like SuccessFinder is the way to go. After your client takes no more than 45 minutes to complete the assessment, you’ll have a full breakdown of their natural preferences and an in-depth analysis of many competencies.

Whether your client is looking to for the best work-life balance strategies, trying to figure out work-life balance vs. integration, or how they can balance work and family in a healthy and fulfilling way, SuccessFinder can help you help your clients by showing you who exactly they are, and in what areas they can succeed.


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Written by
Galina Gharibian