Top 10 Tips for Managers as Coaches
Having facilitated a large number of coach training skills programmes this year, I have noticed how similar themes pop up time and again. So if you are just starting out on your journey as a coach or need a refresher then here are some quick tips:
- Only coach the person in the room: Take care when discussing a relationship issue that you don't focus too much on the "problem person"; they aren’t there! Focus on what your coachee can do with the “problem person”.
- Work to your coachee’s agenda bearing in mind to take them to the edge of their stretch.
- Working on the "inner game" (i.e. the coachee’s thoughts and feelings about the topic) will create bigger shifts than going straight to the outer game (the strategy) and outcomes.
- Explore the meaning of repeating words and themes (your coachee is throwing you clues!).
- Open questions lead to open thinking so use them
- Dr Peter Hawkins said that many coaches ask too many questions and not enough half-formed observations so try reflective statements much more and see what happens.
- Use of self. Learn to tap into your own emotional landscape and know what you can use and disclose for the benefit of your coachee.
- Noticing parallels in the coaching room that relate to the coachee issue and using them to aid insight
- If a coachee asks you a question consider getting them to answer it. Sometimes if we feel boxed into a corner by a coachee it's better to point to the box! i.e "I'm really curious about where that question is coming from".
- Relive emotion to help them connect with their inner wisdom by asking "how are you feeling right now?"
Effective timing for workplace coaching sessions
- The coachee should be talking for 70% of the time.
- Silence is a powerful intervention in itself so leave longer gaps. Another 10 seconds may make all the difference.
- Create space and slow the pace in order to create a container for your coachee to think and feel – see silence
- Pay particular attention to the first and last five minutes of a session. You will often find nuggets of insights there for you and your coachee i.e. things said while pouring the coffee /not said as hand is on the door knob.
If your coach training was a while ago and you are feeling a bit rusty then contact Julia to find out about refresher half/full day workshops which will bring your practice up to speed and introduce you to some new tools and techniques to use in your coaching.