About coaching

I knew already that coaches only ask questions and do not offer any advice of suggestions. What I learned how to do much better is to ask the questions in such a way that I was able to move the client closer to what he/she wanted to achieve.

Before any coaching started I asked the client to fill out a Coaching Intake form so I can better understand what the short and long term goals of the client were. I also wanted to learn more about the client and the questions I asked in the Coaching Intake form allowed me the opportunity to learn more about the client. I was fortunate to have gotten this form from my coach Africa Hands and I am adding this to this document as well, so others can take advantage of it.

As a coach I always asked at the end of the coaching session for the “Take-aways.” The reason for it was to learn more how well I did, but also to learn what I could do better next time when I coach this client. This step is designed to learn and get better at what I do as a coach. This particular step I never used when I coached in the past, so ICA helped me to learn more about it.

I also learned that there are a number of ways I can interact with the client by using what I learned in the Frameworks and Theory. Some things like “Appreciative Inquiry”, “Emotional Intelligence”, “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” and “Mindfulness” I was familiar with while I had no knowledge of “Neuro Linguistic Programming”. While investigating which coaching school to take I learned that Tony Robbins uses only Neuro Linguistic Programming” and decided that this would not be good enough for me. Once I understood that I chose ICA.

What did I learn as a coach?

My experience as a coach can be divided in two parts:

1. That which I knew before I went coaching school

2. That which I learned while in coaching school

While in coaching school I confirmed many things I knew before I went to coaching school, such as the coachee is the client and I support the client in that which the client wants to be supported in. I do not give advice, as that would be consulting. As a matter of fact, I started my business as a consultant but not long after I realized that consulting is not very satisfactory; one give an advice to the client but often the client does not hear it or wants to apply it. When things did not get better I always felt as if I failed. In reality it was my client who failed. This is what motivated me to focus primarily on coaching

Once I started the coaching school I was exposed to many skills I needed to improve on, such as listening.

Though I knew that listening is one of the most important tools we coaches need to use, I learned to become a much better listener as I learned more about how to listen better while taking the classes but even more so by practicing active listening when coaching my 5 clients. I can say that listening is an art that we coaches continue perfecting the more we coach. It starts with clearing my mind of any thoughts I am holding and make it a blank slate. Often this is not easily achieved as our minds continue to move around preventing us from creating what I call an “empty space.”

I knew already that coaches only ask questions and do not offer any advice of suggestions. What I learned how to do much better is to ask the questions in such a way that I was able to move the client closer to what he/she wanted to achieve.

Before any coaching started I asked the client to fill out a Coaching Intake form so I can better understand what the short and long term goals of the client were. I also wanted to learn more about the client and the questions I asked in the Coaching Intake form allowed me the opportunity to learn more about the client. I was fortunate to have gotten this form from my coach Africa Hands and I am adding this to this document as well, so others can take advantage of it.

As a coach I always asked at the end of the coaching session for the “Take-aways.” The reason for it was to learn more how well I did, but also to learn what I could do better next time when I coach this client. This step is designed to learn and get better at what I do as a coach. This particular step I never used when I coached in the past, so ICA helped me to learn more about it.

I also learned that there are a number of ways I can interact with the client by using what I learned in the Frameworks and Theory. Some things like “Appreciative Inquiry”, “Emotional Intelligence”, “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” and “Mindfulness” I was familiar with while I had no knowledge of “Neuro Linguistic Programming”. While investigating which coaching school to take I learned that Tony Robbins uses only Neuro Linguistic Programming” and decided that this would not be good enough for me. Once I understood that I chose ICA.

 

Coaching is both Inherent and Learned

There is a lot of debate in the coaching industry whether or not the skills and attributes or the core competencies, as we call them in coaching, are learned or are they inherently part of that person’s behavior and makeup. Now, I really believe that the truth hangs somewhere in the balance. Chances are your life experiences, your interests, have led you down this path to look into coaching… so you have a bit of a coach already inside of you.  Maybe you have coached someone yourself informally, which is often the experience with many new students, as they have been doing coaching all along without really realizing it.  Maybe you are the person that somebody comes to in your circle of friends or family for support; someone to lean on…. so, chances are, there is a bit of that already within you.

Fine tune your skills

What we do in coach training is we take those skills and put them on the table and help you to fine tune them.  There are skills that may not come natural to you and they take more effort and practice in order to master them. There are 3 main areas to look at when deciding whether or not coaching is something that is inherent or if it is something that is learned.  There are 3 things to look at for anyone who is thinking about becoming a coach themselves.

Number 1:
Do you have a passion and curiosity about other people’s stories; really do you have an interest in other people.  I often describe this to students as being an investigator, having an extreme interest in the person in front of you or on the phone, if you are coaching over the phone.

Number 2:
Do you have a commitment to learning and development for yourself?  Much of what you do as you go through coach training is learning skills and techniques of how to be a coach, but on top of being a skills course, it really is a personal and professional development course as well.  This is ongoing even after graduation: you’ll continue to learn and see things in the world differently.  That commitment to learning and development is key

Number 3:
Having a positive and optimistic view about life in the future.   Coaching is all about developing something new and taking action inspired, action for the future.  Your positive viewpoint will transcend into your client’s experience as well.

So in closing, is coaching inherent or is it something that you learn?  It’s a little bit of both, but listen to yourself because chances are there is a bit of a coach within you already.

Client response to coaching

I have used this questionnaire to get information about my client’s response to coaching.

 

1.What did you expect from the coaching process?

2.How well did I support you to meet these expectations?

3.What particular strengths did I bring to the coaching process?

4.Looking back over the whole coaching process, what were the highlights?

5.Is there any other feedback that you would like to give me?

The information I got was not only useful to the client I worked with but also to me to improve m,y coaching skill and my coaching process.