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So, you want to be a Cash Flow Coach.

Coaching and the Levels of Competence

The main role of a cash flow coach is to guide and support their clients as they develop new habits and the mindfulness that will drive them towards financial security and prosperity. However, each new client will have a different level of understanding, awareness and skill. These are known as the levels of competence, and before a coach can begin working with a client, they need to determine at which level the client sits. Relevant questions and active listening can help with this.

Coaching works within the following four levels of competence.

1. Unconscious Incompetence (Blissful ignorance/They don’t know what they don’t know)

In unconscious incompetence, the client (or potential client) isn’t aware of the importance and benefits that cash flow coaching can bring. They may have been referred by someone but are, in essence, blind to the need for change and development.

When faced with this client, the cash flow coach will need to initiate and build insight and recognition on the advantages of developing strong cash flow management habits. There will normally be resistance in this stage and focussing on the positive outcomes, as opposed to the approach is key.

2. Conscious Incompetence (Fear, challenge and self-doubt/They know they don’t know but are not doing anything about it)

In conscious incompetence, the client is aware of their cash flow shortfalls and understands the importance of changing habits and acquiring new skills.

It’s at this stage that coaching can begin and the cash flow coach engages with the client, asking for a commitment to self-develop new approaches and diligence. This can be difficult and uncomfortable, and the cash flow coach needs to keep engagement levels high and work collaboratively with the client to help them move forward.

3. Conscious Competence (Practice, transition zone/They know how, but have to work hard at it)

In conscious competence, the client knows how to manage their cash flow, but doing so requires practice, conscious thought, hard work and discipline.

The coach’s role is to build the client’s confidence, so they are comfortable to keep themselves accountable, whilst knowing your assistance and guidance is readily available. A detailed plan and high-level focus on the goals, objectives and outcomes can avoid complacency rearing its ugly head during this stage.

4. Unconscious Competence (Autopilot/The habits have become second nature)

In unconscious competence, the client has enough experience with cash flow management that they undertake it without thinking.

At this stage, it is important that the coach reinforces the outcomes the cash flow management skills is providing the client and praise them for the transition they have made. It is also imperative to stick to the program by building innovative ways to enhance the habits and skills that have been developed.


As well as the initial evaluation, cash flow coaches need to re-evaluate at which level their client sits. The journey is not always smooth, and some clients will regress, especially from conscious competence, back to conscious incompetence.

In reference to the different levels, the cash flow coach can ‘ask’ the following questions.

1. Unconscious Incompetence

  • Does the client know the cash flow habits they need to develop?

  • Do they recognise their weaknesses?

  • Do they deny the relevance and benefits of cash flow coaching?

2. Conscious Incompetence

  • Do they recognise their cash flow shortfalls?

  • Do they see the benefits of improving their cash flow?

  • Are they committed to changing habits?

3. Conscious Competence

  • Are they managing their cash flow without assistance?

  • Is it still an effort for them to remain disciplined?

  • Do they require further oversight?

4. Unconscious Competence

  • Are their habits fully embedded?

  • Is cash flow management fully integrated into their lifestyle?

  • Are they an advocate of cash flow coaching?

Understanding the four levels of competence helps a cash flow coach identify with a client and expedite their journey towards financial and lifestyle success.

elevateB provides the training program as well as support and ongoing development for certified cash flow coaches. Individuals who choose to work with a certified cash flow coach are better placed to achieve financial independence and security. If you would like to make a difference and help everyday Australians be more financially prudent and savvy, consider becoming a cash flow coach today. Click here.


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