coaching blog - it is all data in the room
When coaching the key is to notice what is happening in yourself and the coachee. Everything you feel in the room is data, instinct. Always think what is missing, what am I not saying, what is the coachee not saying? then think about sharing this. Sometimes it is about taking a risk, but it is how you get it across that counts.
People believe it is all about question technique, well it is but this must be balanced with all the other data around you. The number of times in supervision when I witness people thinking about proper question technique; then they think about how to ask the next open question. This is hard to master, but the harder act to master is to not ask the question. At the point of asking the next question, think about sharing something you notice rather than questioning. The timing of this is also a key skill to learn and master.
Listening and sharing, great coaching skills can be an added skill to great training skills. Training and coaching as always get mixed up and boundaries crossed. Coaching can sometimes get fantastic results and can be amazing, with just three or four questions. The killer question can be the critical moment that comes from watching, noticing, feeling, and behaviours being shared.
I think sometimes we feel something but seem afraid to say it for fear of not wanting to get a reaction or hurt someone's feelings. But the key is how to say it. Something as simple as "If you don't mind something has come up for me would you mind if I share this"? or "I am noticing something do you mind if I say it", whatever 'It' is. This way, you are setting the coachee up for something, almost asking permission. This way, the coachee cannot come back with anything. Usually, you will see a reaction, look for this and then share it. For example "I noticed on that comment a second delay in your reaction" or "you sat back slightly or appeared to look more thoughtful". This can be a fantastic situation, creating lightbulb moments in coaching.
Coaching skills are fantastic, and when individuals understand the differences between training and coaching, they really will know when to use both sets of skills. I hear so many times (when delivering coaching courses) that they are so different (training and coaching), delegates often say "I never realised the differences before". In my coaching courses, there is always lightbulb moments with this.
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.