As we all know, a good coach is also a good listener, like a good comedian timing is everything and a decent coach knows when to ask a question, what to ask and how to ask it at the correct time in conversation, then to sit back and listen…
One of my favourite quotes is by Clayton Christenson; “Without a good question, a good answer has nowhere to go”, this certainly is a wise quote and one we should all keep in the back on our minds through life in general. Many often struggle with basic conversation which is a must in the world of networking, especially in order to be a good quality coach or leader; both exceptional conversational/ social skills with a good measure of intuition thrown in the mix are an attribute best linked with natural networkers, leaders and indeed coaches.
Coaching is an essential leadership skill in business and taking the time to learn how to do it well is a matter of habit, as all good managers are also or ‘should’ also be great coaches, bringing the best out of their staff and team, without having to force authority upon them, encouraging and empowering them to ‘want’ to be the best they can be and supporting them the whole way.
Being an inspirer is also a deeply rewarding role to play and as a coach, we have the ability and privilege of playing this role regularly- IF we ask the right questions and equally if we provide a listening ear to which the coachee can start to build their own problem-solving thoughts against.
Bearing the burden of your coachee’s challenge often comes with the job, so channelling these emotions/thoughts/information nuggets and giving yourself permission to be the person who asks the right questions, throwing it back and giving them what they really need (for example thought provoking thinking time) will allow and inspire them to solve the challenge themselves and in their own time and at their own pace at that.
Having a simple coaching structure in place, a bank of questions, as well as other coaching tools and techniques on hand as a coach/leader/manager is a basic necessity and will give you confidence to move forward with your coaching goals and set habits that eventually will become subliminal to you, especially if you are someone new entering into the world of coaching/managing.
Despite what the various stats say, there is no set time in which it takes to make or break a habit as everyone is different, however I advise starting your coaching habit journey sooner rather than later – perhaps make it your 2019 New Year business resolution…
Fiona Duncan- Steer