The fifth step in becoming a coaching leader is to Sharpen Your Coaching Skills. When I speak to audiences in my Becoming a Coaching Leader Workshop, I coach them through 10 key skills that exceptional coaches have mastered.
Today, I want to go deep with you on four of the ten that I believe are absolutely essential to master.
Establishing Trust and Intimacy - This is the ability to create a safe, supportive environment that produces ongoing mutual respect and trust. This skill is easier said then done but I have found it comes down to showing genuine care for your clients. You can achieve this by remembering the small details and special events in their life - by listening before speaking, not judging but encouraging, and helping them to remember their purpose in life.
Active Listening - This is the ability to focus completely on what your client is saying and is not saying. It involves clarifying what another person says, noticing their body language, sharpening your awareness to the greater context of the conversation, as well as noticing the emotions or feelings behind the words. REMEMBER: there is a lot that is said in the unsaid.
Powerful Questioning - This is the ability to ask the right question at the right time resulting in greater understanding of a problem, a change in thought process, or a revelation of something that must be done for the situation to be resolved or improved. These questions do not have to be long deep questions about the meaning of life. They can be simple questions that force a client to stop, reflect, and be authentic in their response. I’ve included some sample questions in the resources below.
Designing Action - This is the ability to take your client’s ideas, goals, dreams, and desires and co-design a simple plan of action for them to implement. I want to stress the idea of co-designing action. You never want to task your client with something, you need them to co-design with you so they have ownership in the plan of action.
As you move from vision to implementation of your coaching vision you must give yourself some grace. You will not be a master of these skills immediately. I work every day on sharpening these skills. There are days where I nail it and days where I look back and say, “I missed an opportunity in that session to help my client”. Don’t let those “missed opportunity” days stop you or slow you down, keep practicing and sharpening your skills in each session. Mastery will come, but not overnight.
Make it a great day!