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10 more coaching tips

1. Arrive in good time

Coaching is important. Don't give the impression you're cramming it in between other urgent appointments. Arrive a few minutes before you're due, with an air of "This time's for you."

2. Don't plan too much

When coaching works well, the coachee develops a good plan. It defeats the purpose if you come in with a plan of your own. Only have a broad outline view of the sort of direction they might take. Let them decide the details.

3. Work through the stages

Some sessions may be free-ranging in the topics they cover, but you need a basic structure to make progress.

  • Establish rapport
  • Listen and observe
  • Assess the situation
  • Discuss with coachee
  • Establish specific goals

4. Match your style

Be yourself, but adapt to the style of the coachee. Don't be brash with an introvert, or coy with an extravert.

5. Value the differences

The aim of coaching is not to get everyone to a level of sameness, but to enable everyone to contribute their differing talents to the best advantage. Value the coachee's own abilities

6. Think development – not correction

Coaching is often seen as a method of correcting defects. This is discouragement in itself. Instead, present coaching as part of a development plan that could benefit anyone, including the brilliant.

7. Watch your body language

The coachee might make decisions that definitely wouldn't be right for you. Even when you inwardly acknowledge their right to do this, you might ooze disapproval through your body language.

8. Examine resistance positively

If the coachee doesn't do what they said they'd do, they probably felt it wasn't valuable. Asking them why they didn't value it is likely to get a more honest and helpful response than asking why they didn't do it.

9. Don't be afraid of silence

When people are thinking things through, they tend to pause a lot. It might seem like a long empty silence to you, but if you leap in with a comment, it could block their train of thought. Give them time to be silent.

10. Look for steps beyond

If the coachee is to be stretched, they need to think beyond what they can easily gain. Discuss the next step after the next one, and further, to what they can eventually achieve.

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© Copyright 2004 Trans4mation. Reproduced with permission. Any opinions or views contained in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Training Reference.

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