Here are some considerations to help enhance your role as a coach…
Hope this helps you in some way as you fine-tune your coaching skills!
- Partner: The coach is not an expert in the client. Establish a relationship that is equal and ‘check-in’ from time to time. This helps build trust and openness. The exciting thing about coaching is that you don’t know where the conversation will go. Trust the client to take you to where they need to go. As in all partnerships though, you are free to test and challenge.
- Be curious: Seek to understand. Effective questioning approaches can really help here.
- Listen to…: EVERYTHING! Not easy but concentrate on the client’s choice of words and ‘listen’ to the body language. Now widen it out – consider the words you are using and notice your body language. Now widen again, what would a third party observer of the coach/client interaction spot? Hear it, feel it, sense it – what does it all mean?
- Notice things: “Did you notice that? That thing you just did!” Client looks confused… As a coach you hold the privileged position of mirroring back what you see. Often, it is this feedback which proves to be the most powerful part of the coaching relationship.
- Offer: If you have an insight, ask permission to share it rather than projecting your views, interpretations and conclusions.
- Pattern spotting: See what seems to be emerging. What is consistent/inconsistent? Do certain behaviours kick-in in particular conditions? What has happened during the coaching conversation itself? Perhaps the energy has shifted, or the goal has changed.
- Don’t panic: Things can get confused, become unclear and sometimes the coach may simply not know whether the current conversation is helpful. These feelings are invariably not exclusive to the coach! Share it. Don’t let your ego convince you that coaches must always be clear and in control.
- Just be you: Any attempt to be anything else will, however subtle, transmit to the client.
- Find your role: What exactly does the client want from you? If it’s not abundantly clear, you’re going to need to ask. Sometimes the answer is very surprising.
- Don’t expect miracles: There is an undeniable ‘buzz’ that a coach can get when a client makes a significant breakthrough during a coaching conversation. These won’t happen every time and sometimes they happen in a less conspicuous manner. Trust the process.
- Be progressive: Coaching is about moving forward and deepening self-learning. Check what the client has learned from the conversation and ensure they have something to take forwards. (OK – we cheated here and added an 11th! – remember coaching always carries an element of the unexpected!).
Annovista provides executive, business, team and group coaching throughout the UK and internationally. If you are interested in discussing how we can deliver coaching or support your existing coaches, please contact us at email@example.com