Top Matching And Mirroring Coaching Technique To Build Rapport

When it comes to coaching, matching and mirroring are important because it allows a coach to not just have a great connection, but to have an incredible level of influence over the client, so that they can be better assisted to create change.

Here is one of six core elements that will allow you as a life coach to have the perfect matching and mirroring to take place.

Match Their Modality

One of the matching and mirroring techniques that effective coaches use on their clients is to match their modality. If someone is talking very visually or auditorily, or they’re talking in a specific way, you can match that to build better rapport.

When I’m looking to match modality, I’m more interested in matching exact words. So, if someone says, “This idea is rock solid.” Then I will say those exact phrases.

The Power Of Keywords

The Power Of Keywords in coaching imageIn a client and coach relationship, the coach has to be mindful of the words that they’re using. This is where listening becomes very important.

When I’m listening to your problem for that five minutes that I give you, what I’m actually really listening for is any keywords that are relevant that I can say back to you at a later time.

That’s because when you use your client’s keywords, their whole experience changes for the better.

If you’re wondering how important matching and mirroring keywords are with clients, research was done where they got waiters in a restaurant. These specific waiters, at the end of taking your order, were only allowed to do one of two things: walk away and hand your order to the kitchen, or, stand there and repeat your order back to you.

The research was done to gauge if these things have any influence on how you feel about the waiter.

Here’s what they found. Waiters who walked to the kitchen without repeating the order got 10% tips on average.

However, waiters who repeated the order actually got 34% of their clients tipping. So, there’s a 24% increase because all the waiter did differently was repeat your order.

Waiter image

Now the reason that people tipped more when their order was repeated is because when the waiter said exactly what they ordered, they heard your keywords being fed back. They felt this person understands me. They understand me because they fed back exactly what I asked for.

Now let’s just say you’re a meat-eater and you eat eye fillet steaks. You say, “Waiter, I would like an eye fillet cooked rare please.”

Waiters won’t say, “So just to clarify, you would like a selection of meat cut from the loin of a cow, put onto a plate that is hot so they actually cook it a little bit, so that when you cut it open, there’s still blood on the inside, which is somewhat rawish in nature. Is that what you’ve ordered?”

If the waiter said that you, you’d be like, “What the heck is wrong with you?? I said eye fillet rare!”

But a waiter doesn’t do that. A good waiter says exactly what you ordered because they know that it feels good to have people acknowledge, understand and hear what you’re saying.

Matching And Mirroring Keywords

Matching And Mirroring Keywords imageAs an ICF-certified life coach, one of the things that I’d advise you to do is to listen intently to what your clients are saying, but, more importantly, listen to how they say it. If you notice the keywords they’re using, feed those keywords back to them.

I use my memory a lot in coaching and the thing I use it for most is remembering any keywords that you’re saying.

I remember a friend of mine’s keywords were “off the charts”. He just loved the phrase, “off the charts”. So, when it was his birthday, I bought him this DVD set on martial arts. The guy loves martial arts so I bought him this DVD set, and I wrote him a card that said, “Happy birthday! May this year be totally off the charts!

He opened up the card and you should’ve seen his face. It was like the ultimate card for him! It was because the card had his keywords in it.

Are you interested in coaching or growing your coaching business? Check out our ICF-certified Accelerated Coaching Certification course by filling in the form below.

Top Matching And Mirroring Coaching Technique To Build Rapport – In Conclusion

One of the quickest ways to build rapport with people is to utilise a matching and mirroring technique by matching the exact words that they use. As you get better in matching and mirroring techniques and the whole coaching process, you’ll start to learn how to do things like say, “So just to clarify, (repeat their keywords back to them).”

Or, “Hey, I’m human, like any other coach you’re probably going to work with, which means I can get things wrong. So, I just want to see in case I made any mistakes here, are you actually saying…?” Then you feed back their keywords.

And just by doing that, you’ll have an incredible connection with people because when people know they’ve been heard and understood, you’ve got rapport with that person. It’s really quite remarkable.

Top Matching And Mirroring Coaching Technique To Build Rapport – In Conclusion image

In fact, Oprah Winfrey once said, “Did you hear me? Did you see me? Did what I say mean anything to you?”, which basically means people want to be heard. It’s one of the driving force of every interaction between human beings.

So, as a coach, if you feed back their keywords, let them know that you absolutely heard them and that they have been listened to. That will deepen rapport, no doubt about it.

For me, matching keywords is absolutely the thing that works the best when it comes to matching a modality with someone.

If you would like to learn more effective matching and mirroring techniques to build rapport as well as how to become a life coach and be successful in coaching, then we invite you to our 1-day FREE event across Australia and New Zealand called, “How To Become A Successful Coach”. For all the details and to RESERVE YOUR FREE SEAT NOW for How To Become A Successful Coach, click here.

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Ben is the Difference-Maker Mentor and Co-founder of Authentic Education. He is exquisite at inspiring people to share their message, make a difference in the world and live abundantly on purpose.

Ben has been featured in media such as the Today Show,,, Huffington Post and