Active Listening, Powerful Questioning, and Direct Communication are skills many have studied and at the same time, in coaching, the application is different. The irony is that many of us believe we are pretty good communicators and it is true that many come to coach training with a high level of skill. At the same time, communication in coaching is completely different – we often joke that learning coaching is like learning a different language. During coaching certification, specific techniques are taught for applying these competencies as a professional coach.
Because the application of these competencies is very different in coaching compared to other service professions, this list serves as a good reminder of what to do when coaching:
- Apply listening techniques when coaching.
- Listen with intention and all your senses.
- Rephrase what they say with their key words.
- Ask coaching questions:
- Short and simple.
- For the benefit of the coachee.
- With awareness that the coachee knows their answer.
- Be clear:
- Use positive, proactive language.
- Be respectful, supportive, and give them ownership.
- Be succinct.
Successfully developing these competencies for coaching takes time and practice. Coach training is the first opportunity for being aware and intentional with these skills and the coaching practicum helps prepare you for building on your learning as a coach.