Top tips to refresh your coaching skills

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:

  1. 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”. 
  2. Work to your coachee’s agenda bearing in mind to take them to the edge of their stretch.  
  3. 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.  
  4. Explore the meaning of repeating words and themes (your coachee is throwing you clues!).  
  5. Open questions lead to open thinking so use them  
  6. 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.  
  7. 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.  
  8. Noticing parallels in the coaching room that relate to the coachee issue and using them to aid insight  
  9. 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".  
  10. 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. 


4 years ago : Mar 10, 2017

By Julia Menaul


It was great to see everyone engaging in the case studies and getting involved - you've got great facilitation skills. Dr Jenni Jones, Associate Professor in Coaching and Mentoring HR & Leadership Department Course Leader - PGCert/PGDip/MA in Coaching and Mentoring University of Wolverhampton Business School Faculty of Arts

Coaching and Training Accreditations

Spark Coaching Accreditations - Accredited Master Coach, Association of Coaching Supervisors & EMCC Member