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Our Best Advice From 20 Years of Financial Coaching

4 Minute Read

Anyone who’s good at anything didn’t get there overnight. Success is never easy! It takes time and lots of practice. The same is true with good financial coaching. The best way to become an effective coach is to receive proper training and to practice, practice, practice. A little expert advice doesn’t hurt, though!

Fortunately, we’ve been helping people win with money for two decades. What began with Dave Ramsey coaching people one-on-one has grown to a team of expert coaches using the same principles Dave’s taught all these years. From those early days with Dave, to the last 13 years with team member and coach Lisa Barber, to a decade with finance expert and coach Chris Hogan, we’ve seen it all.

Looking for some advice on how to be an effective coach from these three? You’re in luck! Read on for what they want every coach to know.


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Dave Ramsey, on the value of a listening ear:

As you’re coaching people with budgets, you’re digging things out by the root. And when it comes to budgeting problems, they’re usually the symptom of something else going on. Now there’s really only one good tool for digging into someone’s life and digging out the problems: learning to listen.

When you’re spending time with someone helping them with their budget, you’re a professional listener. That’s going to give you all the clues you need to be able to lead them, to serve them, and to help them change their direction. Listening is the key.

When you listen to someone, you assign dignity to the person talking. You give honor to them. And of course it makes them think about what they’re saying and what’s really going on.

Lisa Barber, on the key to a coach’s longevity:

In mentorship, coaches often ask me how to avoid burnout. Self-care is essential. It all starts with building healthy boundaries physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Physically: We all have tremendous responsibilities that are magnets for our time and resources. Overextending your time doesn’t serve anyone well. So decide how much time you can realistically commit to coaching each week and stick to that.

Mentally: Schedule time into your week to feed your mind! Read good books. Watch TED Talks or read blogs. Find workshops that expand your skill set. Learn about issues that concern your clients. Network with like-minded people. Iron sharpens iron, after all.

Emotionally: You can never invest yourself in someone’s situation more deeply than they invest in it themselves. You cannot carry their load. This is hard for caregivers to accept, but it can lead to an unhealthy co-dependent relationship. As a coach you see the potential and the big picture, but your clients don’t. So establish good boundaries before your first coaching session.

Spiritually: The enemy will stop at nothing to keep you from coaching, so pray before each session! Ask for creativity, wisdom, and the fruit of the Spirit. And stay in the Word of God. You’ll need His sustenance. Assemble a prayer team, and remember 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV): "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Chris Hogan, on the importance of asking the right questions:

As I train coaches, I remind them to make sure that they’re asking good questions. A great question will allow you to get to the root of the problem. You want to remember that it’s typically not the surface issue that people bring up. A lot of times it ends up being more emotional than about money.

The right question asked at the appropriate time can yield a wealth of information. You just have to be ready for it. As you talk with people, you’re going to find out more and more about their stories. People need help, but often times they don’t just readily tell you what’s going on. It takes someone with the heart of a teacher to ask those questions, to care enough about them to want to help them.

Do you want to become a financial coach? Through our updated training experience, Financial Coach Master Training, you’ll learn to coach the way Dave, Lisa and Chris have been doing it all these years.

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