I think in life with any form meetings we do not always notice the approach of the individual and for me when they ask for a coaching session. The lack of eye contact, the feeling of being tense, embarrassed and unsure of what may come, I can see it and sense it. The positive is that the individual has asked and prepared to make a change in their life, the time is going to be vital to them.

I think it is essential to think about the individuals you are coaching, what they may be thinking, their judgement on your reactions and what they notice in you. If you spend a few seconds watching the person, imagine what they may be seeing about you. They may feel you have a sense of authority and they may be nervous about how they think you may be thinking about them, who knows.

I feel it is essential that you need to pay a lot of attention to your reaction when you are asked for coaching and the signals that you show. Those first signals can send a message, then a judgement may be created by the individual. The mixed messages that can come from a glance or a few seconds hesitation. This occurs because you as a coach were unprepared for the individual.  So much can come from those few seconds, vitally important you are disciplined with your reactions.

What is the right reaction? Is there a right reaction? The key is to show huge interest in making the person feel important moreover, to show that whatever the coachee has got to say is important to you also, if it is important to them then it is to you, so you can fully understand. This can create a solid rapport to start with and a relaxed feeling between the pair of you. Be careful when the coachee talks that something may trigger in you, a link from the conversation to your thoughts, attitudes and behaviours. You must stay disciplined and very aware of what is going on between you.

Critical that your self-awareness is strong in this process, you will be able to spot patterns in yourself if you reflect. In your reflection make notes in your diaries to how you respond, there will be lots more going on remember 55% communication is instinct and not words, words are 7%. We must be disciplined and say to ourselves what is going on for me.

Claire Moody is our head coach at Target Training and you can read more about her here.  She delivers training on coaching for managers courses, and you can read more about these courses here and see dates here