Clear, Direct Coaching Language

Many of us have been taught language that was intended to be polite and in reality it often lacks clarity. For example using “we” when it really means I or you can be confusing.

Clear, Direct Coaching LanguageClear, direct language is respectful. It is easily understood. It says what the speaker means and means what the speaker says.

Coaches that use language that is doubtful, or accept hesitancy in clients, fail to support the client to the greatest extent possible. Words that soften the impact, such as: try, perhaps, might, could, or would, also soften the significance and weaken the outcome. Instead say what you want it to be and use conviction with words such as will, commit to, plan to, want to, going to, or doing. Language that shames or blames is a waste of time and energy. Language that is open to possibilities and focuses forward creates the opportunity for meaningful change.

Clear, direct language also means getting to the point. Coaches talk very little – their talking most of the time is rephrasing and asking questions. (As appropriate a coach will join a brainstorm or role play with a client.) Whatever talking the coach does, it is incumbent on the coach to be succinct, to get to the point with as few words as possible.

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