What happens when you meet someone, how does the rapport build, what do you do as a coach along with what the coachee does?

I am always amused by those first few moments in a meeting whether it is with the person, walking into an office, skype, etc. Think about you, what do you do? Notice your movements, your introductions. Is this the start of the rapport building, basically you putting someone at ease, or is it for you as you adjust yourself? Think about what the first impressions are that you receive from the coachee; how does this change your questioning, remember it can create your judgements in those first few seconds.

I love the movement with screens, and littles jiggles as the left is moved, the right, the nervous giggles, or slightly uncomfortable feeling, the anticipation.  I enjoy these moments; I gain a lot in my coaching from the first couple of minutes. What do I notice, what do I sense, what is my instinct telling me, what thoughts are then created and the behaviours that follow?

I think it is great to reflect and ask yourself, who is this for. Do you as the coach need to do this? Have you created a pattern or a habit, so you do it every time? Reflection on the first few moments can be incredibly powerful, really notice on your next meeting whether it is in a coaching room or on skype, really fascinating as you build your notes, ask yourself who is this for and start to write down those first few minutes.

Then look at any trends that have developed, do you always do the same? Are you stuck? Are you fully aware, or are you going through the motions settling yourself, these are always good questions to ask yourself and reflect on? You may find patterns between the different characters or ages? Hugely interesting to watch how you respond with those first few minutes.

I know my patterns, I know what may appear if I let it control me, so I sit, watch and notice what happens in front of me and my instinct tells me a lot, I am very aware of me.

Coaching, when learnt correctly, is just the most amazing skill set to be able to use if necessary. You will find it is helpful using tools and techniques in coaching, but it is not about a bag of techniques but really noticing and looking at yourself as you enter into the coaching relationship.

Watch that dance, hugely interesting and tells you a lot.

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.