coaching blog - staying silent as a coach, silence is golden
Coaching is a fantastic process for individuals to improve in any area of their life, both professionally and personally. I have found since mastering my coaching skills; staying silent can be an incredible experience. I genuinely love to see the change in individuals by asking the miracle question.
When you coach and watch the coachee, you start to feel what it is like sitting in their shoes. You genuinely must watch and notice and listen. If you listen with the intent to fully understand rather than the intent to reply to your next question, you will see so much more. This silence will direct you to your next open question, only if you allow it to happen. Remember, as a coach, you should question to guide the coachee, not to offer a solution. To begin to understand this process, you need to gain experience; it is not done overnight; this skill takes time.
Silence is golden and incredibly hard to sit with, especially if you have the extraverted preference. It is a discipline that needs to be trained and incredibly hard to do well. If someone is talking, people sometimes think how long before I intervene? Or jump in with their judgement, the key is not to. The coachee may speak for up to 10 mins, but whether it is 1 min or 10, most people will find themselves drawn-in, but it is essential as a coach that you stay silent. Then when the natural silence appears you can then offer what you have noticed, felt, heard, this can be incredibly powerful, the coachee tends to have a fantastic reaction — a completely different result than if you had stepped in.
This is where people can get confused between training and coaching. It is a thin line between both skills, but you need to understand the difference, with coaching, it is hugely important to sit in silence.
We at Target offer both training and coaching courses, uniquely so delegates can identify and learn the differences. We offer management coaching skills and one to one coaching, which is hugely beneficial both professionally and personally.
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.