Celebrating progress – 2 cool coaching hacks!

What would I write if it weren’t for the participants in my trainings, free coaching meetups and my mentees! A few weeks ago, I noticed a really cool “coaching move” used by one of my mentees. He is a very senior German coach who is taking mentoring to get credentialed as MCC (taking ICF Onboarding for PCC first): what a wonderful exchange!

Here is the coaching move:

A really cool way to celebrate clients’ successes without sounding patronizing or evaluating is simply wishing clients well with their next experiments or with their insights after the session:

  • “I am so happy that you found such interesting experiments – have fun trying them out. I’m curious to hear what will come of them!”
  • “Lots of fun trying out your next steps – I wish you a lot of success!”
  • “I’m really happy for your insight of … – have fun implementing it”

Or any other way that you can wish someone all the best in a culturally appropriate way.

Another coaching move for celebrating progress and success came — I think — from a book on hostage negotiation that was recommended to me by SolutionsAcademy mentor and trainer Chris Bekker. The hack I picked up there was to always try and match the client’s emotion within a 4 point range on an intensity scale. So if the client is angry at an eight on a scale of 0 to 10, you need to match the energy at a 10 or a 6 (depending on which direction you would like the emotion to develop). So when celebrating progress, you can see how happy or exuberant your client is and adapt your response. That way you avoid sounding discouraging (when you are too bland) or patronizing or “over-the-top” when you are too exuberant.

Here is an example:

Client: “Yeah, I think that might work”

Coach: “Yup, sure sounds like it”


Client: “That’s the best idea I have ever had! I am so glad”

Coach: “Wow, fantastic!”

Of course, any response needs to be within your authentic realm of expression — but we all have a range: We talk differently to our mother-in-law than we talk to our best buddies.

If you have any questions or things that you would like us to address, let us know by writing an email: info@solutionsacademy.com. If you would like to explore topics like these or learn about our programs, come to one of our free coaching meetup and exchanges:


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