How much do I want to read more? 8/10
I like the author's advices, style and psychology about coaching.
"At the most basic level coaching is a conversation."
"an effective coaching session should be hard work for both the coach and their client"
"To be successful in coaching you will need to build a good quality relationship with every client."
"It is the coach’s job to listen and reflect back key points to the client in order to help them focus on how they will bring about change. A coach who says too much is unlikely to be meeting the client’s needs."
"Helping people find out what they want to do and how they are going to do it is the essence of coaching."
"When your clients trust you enough to open up and begin to share their innermost thoughts, their dreams and their nightmares you have the raw material for making your coaching work effectively."
"Never dominate the coaching conversation. Let your clients do most of the talking at every stage of your interaction."
1- What is Coaching?
At the most basic level coaching is a conversation. Only it isn’t the kind of conversation most of us would want to have with our friends when we are out to have fun. For a start, an effective coaching session should be hard work for both the coach and their client. The client has to do a lot of thinking and talking. The coach has to do a lot of thinking and listening. Both have to be 100 per cent focused on the coaching session and 100 per cent committed to bringing it to a successful conclusion. If they are not, then the session will not deliver the best possible results.
None of this is captured by the dictionary definition of coaching. Almost anyone with adequate knowledge of a subject can do what the Concise Oxford Dictionary defines as coaching, which is to:
tutor, train, give hints to, prime with facts
This definition barely skims the surface of what you will do in your new business. To be successful in coaching you will need to build a good quality relationship with every client. This is because coaching works by encouraging and enabling the client to take responsibility for their learning and achievements.
There is very little teaching involved in a coaching. The process of coaching is designed to help people to learn by drawing on their own resources and resources they set out to find. It is not about spoon- feeding clients with facts or a great deal of information.
This is why conversations which form the basis of all coaching work must be quite one-sided. It is the coach’s job to listen and reflect back key points to the client in order to help them focus on how they will bring about change. A coach who says too much is unlikely to be meeting the client’s needs.
Coaching is still not widely understood. Most of us want information and advice to help us change our lives. Lots of your clients will try to extract information and advice from you. Don’t let them succeed. You are not an expert advisor. You are a coach. If your prospective clients do not understand what it is that you have to offer then make sure you have a short, clear way of letting them know.
CREATING YOUR ‘ELEVATOR PITCH’
An elevator pitch is just a short, sharp, motivating and engaging summary of their TV or film idea. when you share a lift, when you meet someone you want to influence. You can’t risk boring them and they are too busy to make an appointment to see you.
A successful coach needs to be able to do this too.
What will your elevator pitch be? Try writing down some options. Then say them out loud. Do they roll off the tongue easily?
Do they get your meaning? Are they excited by the idea of coaching?
This elevator pitch is really important because an excellent coach leads a process that differs quite a lot from the general common sense understanding of what coaching entails. This is possibly because the first ideas that come to mind when most of us think about ‘coaching’ are examples from sport. The sports coach is the most well-known example of a coach in action.
we often imagine someone who tells the athletes or players what to do and how to do it. For example, explaining or demonstrating better techniques for running.
The coach will probably pat the sportsperson on the back when they have done well and give them a pep talk when they haven’t achieved a hoped-for result or a personal best. We don’t tend to imagine the athlete saying much when the coach is on the scene. In this scenario we invest the coach with the expertise, knowledge, solutions and authority and the athletes just do what is asked of them.
Luckily, this is not how the best sports coaches work and it is certainly not the best way for you to help anyone achieve their personal best.
Like Dick Fosbury decided to try a different style of jump coaching is also about supporting clients. Our clients are often trying to do something new, different and challenging. Everyone needs support when they decide to push themselves to achieve more or achieve things differently.
HELPING PEOPLE FIND OUT WHAT THEY WANT TO DO
Helping people find out what they want to do and how they are going to do it is the essence of coaching. So if someone asks you what you do as a coach try telling them this: ‘I help you find out what you really want to do. Then I help you work out how you will do it and when.’
The ‘when’ is the golden key in coaching. It is only when the majority of your coaching sessions end with your clients knowing what they want, what they will do to get it, how they will do it and when they will do it, that you can ever really claim to be coaching successfully. And never forget that real success is defined by goals achieved. Good intentions are the starting point not the end point of effective coaching.
TOP FOUR COACHING RULES
Coaching successfully is a thrilling, engaging occupation. It is also highly challenging because so much of the success of every coaching session depends on you. You cannot achieve goals for your client but by abiding by some clear coaching principles you can ensure that you maximise your client’s ability to set and achieve ambitious goals as a result of your coaching.
For your coaching to be successful you must be working with a client who has the will to make change happen. Your job is to inspire them and help them find the motivation to take the first step and follow through to the end.
There are four key principles which must always inform your behaviour as a coach. As a coach you should always:
- Build your coaching relationships on the basis of honesty, openness and trust.
- Accept that your client is responsible for the results they achieve.
- Always focus on the client.
- Always believe in your client’s ability to achieve more and better results.
The skilled coach makes putting these principles into action look easy but it is challenging work. If you hold to these four principles you will create a sound basis for effective coaching.
When your clients trust you enough to open up and begin to share their innermost thoughts, their dreams and their nightmares you have the raw material for making your coaching work effectively.
Clients will always open up to you if they firmly believe that you are listening to them and have their best interests at heart.
The trick is to make this happen quickly. Clients want to feel they are moving forward. You do not have the luxury of lengthy sessions for building trust. Clients want progress from the very first session. And why not?
So, you can build relationships quickly by sticking to the very basics of coaching.
- Never dominate the coaching conversation. Let your clients do most of the talking at every stage of your interaction. This is where your elevator pitch comes in handy too. You need to explain what you do very quickly to allow space for clients to talk.
- Don’t play the expert. It is often useful if you ‘give hints’ and coaches may well ‘prime with facts’, as suggested by the dictionary definition of coaching. However, it is not your job to dominate the conversation or assume the expert role in the relationship.
- Show quickly that you trust your clients to find the best solutions for them. Trusting your client includes trusting them to set their own challenges and find their own solutions. Start by responding to their concerns with a phrase that lets them know you believe in their ability to make changes happen. Sounds hard? Look at the examples in the box. How hard can it be to come up with your own phrases along these lines?
‘You probably know what would be best in this situation. Tell me what you’ve been thinking so far.’
‘It sounds as if you know what to do. Tell me what you want to do next.’
‘You’ve obviously thought about this a lot. What would make it easier to reach a decision?’
‘I’m impressed by your insights. When will you make a decision?’
‘You’ve obviously worked hard on developing these skills/ideas/ options. Tell me what your next step will be.’
Every time you show you trust your client you will boost their confidence. Confident people find it a whole lot easier to place their trust in others.
Remember, the importance of trust in the coaching relationship applies to every party. If you do not trust a client, particularly when this lack of trust takes the form of doubting the client’s ability to succeed in their chosen field, you should not work with that client. Coaching is based on the belief that goals are most likely to be achieved when the clients set them for themselves and work out their own ways of achieving them. If you are cynical about a client’s ability you have no useful role to play in this process and almost certainly risk undermining your client.
You will limit your client’s achievements if you hold limiting beliefs about them and their abilities. However good you are at covering your true feeling they are likely to leak out during your contact with a client and have a negative impact on your client. If you do not believe in your client’s ability then your client will pick up negative signals from you either consciously or unconsciously. This will undermine trust. A client who does not trust you is unlikely to achieve their full potential with you as their coach.
What are limiting beliefs?
A limiting belief is an untested idea about yourself which prevents you from taking certain actions or believing in certain possibilities.
If you believe you cannot learn to drive you are unlikely to take lessons. If you take a driving lesson and do not do very well you have not tested your belief. To test the belief you would have to stick at driving lessons for quite some time. You would need some objective proof of your assumed inability.
If you believe you are too ugly to find a lover you might think you have proved the fact because you don’t have a special person in your life. In reality you probably didn't socialise a lot, ask people out or try Internet and other dating services.
Limiting beliefs stop you from making changes in your life because you don’t see the point. They:
- undermine confidence
- stop you from acting to change your situation
- make you unhappy
- affect the way other people relate to you
- keep a vicious circle going in which not trying leads to not succeeding which is interpreted, wrongly, as objective proof of inability.
Coaching is about removing limiting beliefs and keeping the client convinced of his/her ability to make positive change happen.
WHAT COACHING IS NOT
- Coaching is not therapy.
- Coaching is not counselling.
- Coaching is not advice-giving.
People might feel coaching has helped them to feel happier or less stressed. has led them to feel healthier and more energised.
It's a consequence. But it's not a therapy.
Some coaches say that there are so many different forms of counselling and therapy, and that some resemble coaching so closely that it is meaningless to try to define the ‘difference’ between them.
Still, it is really helpful if you remain clear about what coaching is and what it entails. Coaching makes demands on your clients and you have to work only with those clients who are sufficiently robust to respond to those demands.
You cannot tailor your coaching to make it more like counselling. It is what it is and should not be watered down when you suspect a client is not coping with life very well. Use your listening skills to work out what is going on for a client and help them set goals they can achieve at this stage of their lives.
Coaching and mental health
It would be absolutely wrong to insist that anyone with any form of mental illness was unsuited to coaching either as a coach or a client. Depression is a mental illness, a very common one which most people experience at least once in their lives.
You should NEVER work with clients who manifest obvious signs of serious mental ill health without ensuring they are being adequately supported and/or treated by others.
you should encourage them to seek appropriate professional help. You should give serious consideration to suspending your coaching until they are feeling better or getting the additional help they need elsewhere.
WHAT COACHING ENTAILS
Coaching focuses on results and outcomes
The coaching session might be described by the client as having cheered them up or made them feel better but the session is never an end in itself. Every session should result in goals having been set by the client.
Coaching focuses on the future
The client might want to explore why they behave as they do but the coach should always push for action rather than diagnosis. The objective of every session is to move through reflection (if this is useful for the client) and towards action. Coaching is about what a client will do rather than why they haven’t done it yet.
Coaching requires the coach to believe in the client’s capacity to achieve
There are no conditions which are exceptions to this rule. The only variables are when and how. There are no ‘ifs’ in coaching.
Coaching will be terminated if the coach is confident that the client does not have the will to change
This should always be done with sensitivity and include referral to a more appropriate service if the coach believes the client needs help.
Coaching will not continue if the coach suspects there are serious mental health issues
This is vital. Successful coaching requires a degree of toughness and insistence on achievement that could be damaging to a person made particularly vulnerable as a result of problems with mental health.
However, Many people who are accessing appropriate support for their particular illness could also benefit from good quality coaching.
2- Developing your coaching skills
ARE YOU A SUCCESSFUL COACH?
You have to believe in your skills so that others believe in you too.
Have you ever been coached?
Most successful athletes talk about the importance of focus and of believing in themselves.
Linford Christie talked often about visualising the race, of seeing himself out in front of the field and crossing the finishing line first.
The inner game
Timothy Gallwey coined the phrase ‘the inner game’, to capture the significance of the psychological aspects of achievement in sport. a player who could win the ‘inner game’ would tap into a natural ability which would unleash latent skills and help turn them into a winner.
Gallwey was an early proponent of the idea that internal, psychological obstacles to achieving are often more damaging to our performance than external factors.
The game in our heads is all about overcoming the destructive and negative inner voice which most of us hear from time to time. You know the one. It tells you that you are useless at serving, that you are too tired to do your best and that your opponent is a Grand Slam champion so you don’t stand a chance.
This is the voice which might be telling you that you are not sure you have what it takes to be an excellent coach or to run a successful coaching business. If you have this voice in your head you need to silence it sooner rather than later.
Remember limiting beliefs? We aren’t born with them. No baby believes they’ll never walk or talk. But many schoolchildren feel they won’t ever do well in exams, get a good job, be a good person, and live out their dreams. They didn’t just grow those ideas. Someone or some series of events planted the seed and the climate around them let the limiting beliefs flourish.
You are not a child. You have the power to change the microclimate around you. Make sure you do.
Chicken and egg
In the run up to the 2004 Olympics a senior British coach caused an outcry when he referred to the poor prospects of Britain in terms of medal wins.
He got angry response from athletes.
Do you think that negative ideas can produce poor results? Or do poor results breed negative ideas?
Instead of worrying about which came first – the chicken or the egg – take action.
Be your own coach and start combating any negative thoughts now.
Are you 100 per cent confident about starting up your coaching business? Have you some fears or nagging doubts about being successful as a coach? Choose one example of a fear or a doubt your have about your future coaching career and write it.
Now work out how to banish that fear by taking an appropriate action.