6 Steps to Building Trust with your Clients - The International Association of Wellness Professionals


Have you ever wondered how to build trust with new clients? If you’re a coach or other practitioner who helps clients, then you know that trust is essential to helping your clients. Most people believe trust builds over time. It’s true, yet most Wellness Coaches would agree that in order for their clients to make changes, the client needs to open up about their challenges, fears, goals and successes and the sooner they do, the sooner they will see results. So how do you help your client to trust you and open up, so you can make a big breakthrough together?

Before a coach can find ways to help a client change patterns in their life, the coach needs to build a helping and caring relationship with the client in a way that the client knows that the coach cares, and understands them. Keep in mind as a coach, you may be the first person the client has met in a long time that truly listens to them without complaint and prejudice, and who can be trusted completely. Then the coach needs to build rapport so that trust can be formed. This trust leads to your client feeling comfortable and opening up about themselves.

Students of the IAWP’s Wellness Coach Certification program go through extensive training in how to build rapport and trust when working with clients. Our students learn specific skills and tools to support their clients to create changes. At the IAWP, we teach our students our proprietary coaching method called The Core Coaching Method (CCM). Through CCM, students practice these skills with their peer coach, in coaching labs, with their own personal coach and even in their own personal lives so by the time they graduate, they are super-skilled in how to support people. All of these things help our students to be very successful in coaching their clients.

Let’s take a look at just 6 of the trust-building techniques we teach here at the IAWP so you can begin to be a better coach now. You can practice these tips with your own clients if you’re already in practice or with family members and friends, for all of you aspiring Wellness Coaches!

1. Create a Safe Space

Encourage your client to talk about themselves and what they feel. Your clients must feel safe to tell you about failures so that changes can be made that will enable them to be successful. Make sure your client knows that all information shared is kept confidential.

2. Be a Guide rather than an Expert

Avoid being the “know-it-all” and allow your client to discover what works for them. Being a guide mean means holding their hand through their own journey, rather than forcing them to do things a certain way. Share information in a way in which the client can learn new thought patterns while keeping the information at the clients’ level. Each client will be different, and you will need to know how to balance information to keep it from being either too elementary, or over the clients head.

3. Listen and Ask

Be more than just a good listener. Learn through training how to perceive and understand all aspects of communication. Improve your listening skills during coaching sessions. If you find that you are generally a talkative person, practice focusing on your breath while your client shares. If the client has trouble sharing, ask questions to get them talking rather than chattering on to fill the gap.

4. Remember, It’s Their Time

It is important for you as the coach to help your client express their feelings without delving into your own personal feelings. This is not a time for you to get into your own personal dilemmas. While sharing personal stories can be helpful, divulging personal problems should be saved for relationships outside of coaching.

5. Learn Advanced Trust Building

Building trust isn’t just about what you say. Words are important, but non-verbal cues also help to build rapport. Posture, gestures, and listening all play a role in how your client experiences you as their coach. At the IAWP, we teach our students advanced trust building techniques because we know that it’s the difference between an average coach and an excellent one. One of these techniques, Mirroring, you can start practicing now….

6. Practice the Art of Mirroring


Mirroring is the process of subtly mimicking behavior during communication. People often use mirroring without even realizing it. It’s human nature to mimic each other’s speech or physical behaviors. We often mirror one another in our most intimate relationships because it makes us feel connected. Groups of people over time begin to mirror one another without realizing it through speech and movement. Even though it’s a natural behavior, learning to develop your mirroring skills can be very valuable for building rapport with your clients. A few examples of mirroring include:

  • Standing or sitting the way your client is standing or sitting.
  • Folding your hands if your client’s hands are folded
  • Increasing/decreasing the speed of your speech
  • Repeating a phrase back to your client
  • Using the same words your client uses to describe things

Now that you’ve learned 6 trust building tips you can implement, either as a coach or an aspiring one in your own relationships, we’d love to hear from you! What tips will you try out?

Love, Health and Success,

Suzanne Monroe is the Founder of The International Association of Wellness Professionals and Director of the IAWP’s Wellness Coach Certification & Training Program. The IAWP has given away over $100,000 in scholarships to support people who are passionate about health and wellness. If you’re interested in learning more about a career as a Wellness Coach, you can chat with an Admissions Advisor by scheduling your appointment here.
P.S. The IAWP Wellness Coach Certification and Training Program is Open for Enrollment! Would you like to speak to an Admissions Advisor to learn more and get all of your questions answered? Just go here to sign up for a chat.

Want your questions answered right away? Call us at 888.836.2362

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