THREE TOP TIPS FROM COACHING
Since October 2015, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working towards my ACC coaching credential with the International Coach Federation (ICF). I’ve been lucky enough to complete my training with a super group of people and learnt a lot from an inspirational group of mentor coaches. As time goes on, it’s become clear to me that three key coaching principles have positively impacted my interactions outside of coaching conversations:
One of my brilliant mentor coaches commented that, in her experience, an issue which is first presented by a client is not necessarily reflective of the deeper underlying issue(s). Her advice was not to accept things at surface value, but instead to recognise the possibility that whatever is happening on the surface is not necessarily what is happening underneath. Digging deeper as a coach guides your client in really zeroing in on the crux of the matter. In business, I’ve found this skill to be invaluable during meetings with a potential client. Using powerful questions helps me really get to the heart of the issue. As a result, I have a much better grasp of challenges, limitations and aspirations the client is facing. It follows from this that I can then tailor my services and offerings to tackle their exact issue, so my services are personalised to each client.
Presence is a vital aspect of coaching. Basically, it means focusing your attention exactly on what’s happening in that moment. If thoughts come in to your head, you might acknowledge them, but your attention is focused on your client. Being present allows you to respond to your client and their conversation. It means you don’t ask the list of questions you may have prepared beforehand. It means that the conversation might veer away from the topic you expected the client to talk about. It means that you go with the flow and are led by the client. As with the concept of digging deeper, I found being present to be so useful when I am pitching for new business. Bringing my presence to the meeting ensures the conversation is focused on the needs of the client. I know I am listening to them absolutely and have a much clearer understanding of their needs before I suggest how to move forward. As a result, my suggestions are more personalised. Being present is also an asset in all of my personal relationships; it’s made me a better listener, as I now focus solely on the conversation. I hadn’t realised the extent to which various distractions and pressures of life sneaked into my thoughts before I began my coaching journey.
When I started coaching, I was aware that in guiding my client, it would be so easy to draw upon my own assumptions of what is best for them. I quickly realised that assumptions have the potential to really get in the way of guiding your client to their preferred course of action. In business, this has helped me to realise the danger of making the assumption that I know best for a client. Instead, I make sure I dig deeper to discover what the client actually wants and needs. On a personal basis, this skill has made me cautious about giving anyone advice. Through coaching, I’ve learned that decisions are so much more powerful when people connect the dots themselves, and in making assumptions, I’m hindering this dot-connection process.
It’s been so fascinating to me to see the value of these coaching skills, both in conversations and in the wider world. I firmly believe that becoming a coach has given me a great advantage in approaching business opportunities and has given me insight into supporting others in a more meaningful way.
Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about coaching, either for your personal development or to support emotional wellbeing through relocation.