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Skills & tools

This section provides a range of tools and resources for developing health coaching skills.

Social networks and care maps

There is increasing evidence demonstrating that an individual's social network can enable people to self-manage, maintain social integration and individual identity. There is value in asking, learning about and recording a person’s social network and sharing with their wider healthcare team. Click here to read more in the module.

Ask – Build - Check

Ask Build Check is a three-step model that can be used for better health literacy. Step 1, “Ask”, is the most important step where you ask people what they know, think, believe or do. In step 2, “Build”, you build new information onto what people already know. In step 3, “Check”, you check how clearly and effectively you communicated (also known as “Closing the loop”). Click here to read more in the module.

Providing information

Providing people with information about their condition, treatment and self-care options is a crucial element of delivering self-management support. The range of information needs will vary widely from person to person, as will the range of skills and strategies required to communicate that information. Click here to read more.


There are two types of listening: Listening to reply (usually when health professionals are asking questions to make a diagnosis) and listening to understand. As a health provider, you need to listen to understand. This is a skill that you can learn and practice. Click here to read more in the module.

Structured problem solving

We all face problems in life and structured problem solving is an evidence-based approach that many people have found helpful for working through difficult problems no matter what it is. As a health professional this is a simple yet effective tool that you can use yourself and teach your patients.

Asking questions to stop making assumptions

Assumptions are really helpful in our daily lives. We assume the sun will come up in the morning, that the alarm will wake us up. However, assumptions are not helpful in healthcare settings and can put patients at risk. To make sure you don't make assumptions you need to ask more questions, especially open questions. Click here to read more in the training module.

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