Oftentimes than not, career coaches, teachers, professors, and even parents struggle with bonding with their students and getting through their point of view to them, and making them open up about their dreams, aspirations, and feelings.
Agreed, it is difficult to establish a worthy connection with students and make them trust you with their problems.
To build a strong relationship with the students, career coaches should become supporting, and mature friends to them, who they can trust. Children of certain age groups need someone who will unjudgmentally listen to them, guide them towards the path of self-actualization to learn to accept and celebrate who they are rather than preaching and forcing the kids to become better human beings.
We understand how difficult it can be for newly-appointed career counsellors to make their clients comfortable enough to open up to them and take their feedback constructively.
For this reason, we have for you- 10 innovative ways to build a relationship with students. We promise you it’s not as overwhelming as it seems!
10 Ways of Building Rapport with Students as a Career Coach
1. Make the Students Feel Welcome
Out of all the professional challenges faced by career counsellors, making students feel comfortable at talking is the most difficult one.
Students often feel apprehensive about talking to adults about their dilemmas, especially during the initial sessions. As a career coach, you must make them feel as comfortable and welcome as possible. You can start the conversation by using some casual ice breakers and taking an interest in their daily life, hobbies, friends, and classes.
Insisting the child to address you by the first name, is also an effective way to establish a friendly and trusting relationship and a comfortable environment.
Recommended Read: 5 Professional Challenges Faced By Career Counsellors
2. Create a Cheerful and Trustworthy Impression
The overall impression of a career coach is known to affect the client’s psyche. Having a cheerful and calming aura is shown to be more effective in establishing a relationship with the student. This is so because having a relaxing ecosystem, calm voice and maturity help the student loosen up and feel pleasant which results in a beneficial discussion.
According to renowned international career coaches, listening is an art that is on the downslide for the last few decades.
However, to become a successful career coach who is popular with kids, you need to bring this art back and exercise it with your young clients, who need your ears.
Listening is important not just to establish a relationship with the students but to also understand their problems, and come up with lucrative solutions. It helps you get deeper clarity and understanding of their situations, which makes you a better career coach at the end of the day.
4. Validate Their Ideas and Feelings
One of the roots of underconfidence and lack of career clarity, is the fact that the ideas, feelings, and thoughts of the children are not validated, and taken into thoughtful consideration.
Some children spend their growth period keeping their thoughts to themselves, because of the fear and learning that they will be shunned and not valued. Therefore, their letting unconfidence and lack of career clarity affect their career decision largely.
To be a considerate career coach, and help such children out of their shells, you must provide validation where needed, treat them like adults- with respect and cherish their thoughts and ideas so that they are encouraged to speak up about whatever is going on in their minds.
5. Focus on Growth Opportunities
It is a common human tendency to point out the mistakes, failures of ourselves as well as of people around us. As a career coach, it is essential to avoid this approach with the students. We must remember that we are not sitting with them to pinpoint what they are doing wrong, and to make them think too much about their failures. We are here to help them focus on mining and encashing the future opportunities that promote growth, success, and happiness. That said, we can guide young adults towards making mindful decisions to make improvements in their past choices.
6. Third-Party Insights
The purpose of advising your young clients is to provide them with valuable information, not to gain credit for it. Presenting the idea as if it came from a third party such as a newspaper, magazine or a friend will allow the student to look at it without being biased about the source.
7. Don’t Ponder Too Much on Failure
Thinking too much about the past mistakes, and failures mar the growth of an adult, and can additionally bog down the confidence of a child. Career coaches are trained to help their clients get over the setbacks, however minor or major by creating a safe space for them.
The primary role of a career coach is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the students and help to understand the same so that they get self-awareness, which results in choosing that career where their strengths evolve and weaknesses improved.
As a professional, you should help the students love and accept themselves, and learn to measure their mistakes as progress. Helping the students see how far they have come, and staying neutral towards their experiences is the mark of a good career coach.
8. Confidentiality Assurance
Successful counselling is based on the pillars of trust and confidentiality. Assuring your client that their problems are safe with you is a way to make them feel supported and comfortable while sharing with you.
9. They are not Alone (Trends Link)
The best thing a career coach can do to help their students feel comfortable and transparent during their sessions is to make them feel that they are not alone in their struggles. Sharing similar experiences not only improves the bond between you and your clients but also helps them open up better with you since they can imagine you as an imperfect human being, outside the aura of a career coach, like them.
At Mindler we aim for an alliance between the career coach and the client, where they have relatable experiences for positive effects, feedback, and student development. This is one of the most important concepts out of the top 5 career coaching trends of 2021.
Recommended Read: Top 5 Career Coaching Trends of 2021
10. Importance of Storytelling
Another effective way to help your clients feel less apprehensive about sharing with you is through the art of interactive storytelling. Beginning the problem-solving process with an engaging personal story not only builds a foundation of trust, companionship, and relatability but also helps the client understand your point of view better.
Unable to crack the key to a student’s heart? We have got you!
The International Certified Career Coach (ICCC) is a three-level proficient skill-building program aiming to provide an interactive career counseling skill set. We also provide real-time insight through knowledge of countless career options, psychometric testing, research skills with Mindler’s world-class career planning tools to aspiring professionals.