I still like Timothy Gallwey's statement on performance coaching. He said the worst opponent is in your head, this is so true. The most critical person about your performance will be you, and most of it will be self-created by your inner voice, the voice that only you hear and only you listen to.

Coaching provides techniques to take away the barriers that are in coachee's heads. Work is like sport; it is about managing what goes on in the head. Another statement from Tim Gallwey was "Fighting the mind does not work, what works best is learning to focus it.” Coaching provides the focus in a safe environment where changes can take place.

Coaching can give an increased awareness of the coachee from the coach by only guiding around the data that presents itself in the room. Performance coaching will drive coachees using simple techniques like Grow. Relational/Gestalt coaching will look at all of the data in the room the feelings and instincts that pop up. The balance is the use of both to develop the coachee.

For the coach, the question has to be how to give good questions in such a way as to help the natural learning process of the coachee and not interfere with it. Question Technique is crucial to a good coaching session. Guiding not telling is the key as this gives the coachee the time to focus on any area they wish to.  All the coach is doing is directing or guiding the thinking; the coach is not doing the thinking; the coachee is. The coach is allowing this to happen. The only open question I think about using less than others is the use of 'Why', this is because it takes the coachee to the analytical process in their brain and may be negative. You must be very skilled to know when to use this.

To develop into a great coach, you require practice; coaching is all about increasing awareness and is why it continues to grow. It is fantastic in the workplace and is improving performance in individuals, which enhances the performance in the business they are employed in.

Claire Moody is our head coach at Target Training, and you can read more about her here.  She delivers training on all coaching and numerous training the trainer courses.