10 Ways to Build Trust in Coaching Between You and Your Clients

build trust in coaching

10 Ways to Build Trust in Coaching Between You and Your Clients

In the transformative coaching journey, trust is not merely a component of the relationship; it is its very core. 

The foundation of transformative coaching lies in facilitating profound personal growth, a process that inherently involves navigating the depths of vulnerability, aspirations, and sometimes, the shadows of one’s psyche. 

Trust in this context transcends conventional rapport; it becomes a deeper connection between coach and client. It is the trust that whispers to the client, “You are safe here,” enabling them to bare their souls, confront their deepest fears, and embrace their highest truths. 

This delicate dance of deep connection and mutual respect sets the stage for transformation. Without trust, the journey of transformation remains superficial, unable to reach the depths where true change occurs. 

Below, we explore ten foundational practices specifically tailored for transformative coaches, designed to build trust in coaching and facilitate a journey of profound personal transformation.

1. Cultivate Deep Presence

Deep presence is about more than being physically attentive; it’s about immersing yourself completely in the client’s world, making them feel seen, heard, and understood on a profound level. 

This presence is a powerful form of non-verbal communication, signalling to clients that their innermost thoughts and feelings are worthy of attention and respect.

Enhanced Practice: Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your daily routine to enhance your ability to be fully present. Practise active listening, not just to the words spoken but to the story they weave and the emotions they convey.

2. Practice Radical Honesty

Radical honesty in transformative coaching involves sharing truths that can catalyse breakthroughs and foster growth. 

It requires a delicate balance, delivering honesty in a way that is both compassionate and constructive, encouraging clients to confront their own truths and the possibilities that lie beyond them.

Enhanced Practice: Develop the skill of delivering honest reflections and insights in a manner that empowers your client. Frame your observations as openings for exploration rather than judgments, fostering a space where truth becomes a pathway to transformation.

3. Ensure Absolute Confidentiality

Confidentiality is the bedrock of trust, especially in the deeply personal work of transformation. It reassures clients that their vulnerabilities are protected, creating a sanctuary for open exploration.

Enhanced Practice: Beyond verbal assurances, demonstrate your commitment to confidentiality through your actions and protocols. Ensure secure handling and storage of any notes or records from sessions, and discuss upfront how information will be protected.

4. Demonstrate Unconditional Positive Regard

Unconditional positive regard is about accepting and valuing clients precisely as they are, without judgement. This acceptance signals to clients that their worth is inherent and not contingent on external achievements or societal standards.

Enhanced Practice: Cultivate an attitude of non-judgment in all interactions. Reflect on your own biases and work actively to mitigate them, ensuring your clients feel genuinely supported and accepted.

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5. Empower Through Empathy

Empathy bridges the gap between understanding and feeling, allowing you to connect with your client’s experience on a deep, emotional level. This connection is crucial for transformative work, as it assures clients they are not alone in their journey.


Enhanced Practice: Use empathetic reflections to validate your clients’ feelings and experiences. This practice not only shows that you understand but also helps clients to see their experiences from a new perspective, often a catalyst for change.

6. Provide Insightful Feedback

Insightful feedback mirrors back to clients their inner world, offering new perspectives and highlighting paths forward. This feedback should be both reflective and forward-looking, anchored in the client’s goals for transformation.

Enhanced Practice: Tailor your feedback to align with your client’s journey and aspirations. Highlight strengths and areas for growth with equal emphasis, framing feedback as an opportunity for deep personal insight and development.

build trust in coaching

7. Encourage a Reflective Mindset

A reflective mindset invites clients to turn inwards, fostering self-awareness and personal insight. This internal exploration is key to understanding oneself and initiating lasting change.

Enhanced Practice: Introduce reflective exercises that clients can engage in between sessions, such as journaling prompts or mindfulness practices. These tools encourage ongoing self-reflection and personal discovery.

8. Create a Safe Space for Vulnerability

The transformative journey is paved with moments of vulnerability. 

Creating a space where clients feel safe to express their deepest fears and aspirations is essential for deep, meaningful change to occur.

Enhanced Practice: Use language and actions that reinforce safety and acceptance. Be transparent about the coaching process and what clients can expect, and regularly check in to ensure they feel supported and secure.

9. Celebrate Personal Growth

Celebrating growth, both big and small, reinforces the value of the transformative journey. 

It acknowledges the courage it takes to engage in such deep personal work and motivates clients to continue on their path.

Enhanced Practice: Create rituals or milestones to celebrate progress. These can be reflective sessions where achievements are acknowledged or simple gestures that recognize the effort and growth of your clients.

10. Foster Independence and Self-Discovery

The ultimate goal of transformative coaching is to guide clients towards self-discovery and independence. 

This empowerment enables clients to become the architects of their own lives, equipped with the tools and insights gained through coaching.

Enhanced Practice: Gradually shift the exploration process towards the client, encouraging them to lead discussions, set their goals, and reflect on their learnings. This shift not only fosters independence but also reinforces their capacity for self-guidance.


The core of the transformative coaching relationship is a profound trust that nurtures and supports the client’s journey towards personal and spiritual growth. 

By deepening our practice with these enhanced methods, we not only facilitate a space for transformation but also honour the sacredness of the coaching relationship. This deep trust not only empowers clients to navigate their path of growth but also enriches the coaching experience, making it a fulfilling and impactful practice for both coach and client.

Author Details
Justin is a professional writer and researcher and explores topics of coaching, coach training and personal development.
Justin Pickford

Justin is a professional writer and researcher and explores topics of coaching, coach training and personal development.

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