Academic knowledge and craft specialization are the bedrock of any successful professional. It is naïve to think that proficiency in the philosophy or book knowledge alone spells success. This fact is especially true in the career of a coach.
Formal training complete, after earning the coaching designations and certifications, each coach is at a common starting line. Now comes the part that distinguishes you from the average. What is the catalyst? Answer: The application technique.
Application is more critical than all the information presented in coach training. Remember the homework assignments? That was to push you to apply the information. Remember the practicum? That pushes you to practice the coaching techniques. What is more, the application of your training continues indefinitely. For that purpose, there are 3 deliberate practices to be employed that will help preserve the sharpness and fluidity of your application techniques.
Ongoing Application of Coaching Skills:
Listen and use affirming language. Listen to affirmation recordings, read affirmative sentences, using affirming language in your conversations, and think in positive, proactive language.
Ask open questions. Practice short, simple questions that start with the words what or how with everyone you encounter from the bank teller to the grocery store clerk, from the hair-dresser to your child’s teacher, and of course when you are working.
Employ reflective listening and rephrasing. Good listening is good for your family, friends, and colleagues. Recognize that this takes practice, may be a new experience for others, and ultimately supports effective communication with everyone.
The idea is to make these techniques so much a part of your thinking and doing that when conducting a coaching session, the skills flow seamlessly and effortlessly into the session. This makes for a more comfortable experience for your client. Effective communication enhances interpersonal relationships and supports the challenges to thinking and creating meaningful change coaching clients face.
As for the fact that those you practice with also benefit from it? Let’s call that gravy.