8 months ago


32 Coach Culture Another

32 Coach Culture Another part of the coach’s role is to build trust and intimacy. I know ‘intimacy’ sounds like a funny word for a professional relationship, but it just means that your rapport is strong enough for the client to feel confident while discussing delicate situations or issues of confidence. Once they’ve established that trust and rapport, the coach’s job is to ask those powerful questions. The most powerful questions are the ones that you don’t have an answer for: they are open-ended and forward-thinking. It’s very rare that a coach will ask a question about the past because we can’t do anything about the past. When the coach makes observations or notices a pattern, their job is to make that observation unattached. We ask the client if that’s accurate, or if it’s just the coach’s view— which ties into the role of Powerful Communication. Then, the coach summarizes or paraphrases what’s been happening in an empowering way to the client. That’s when the coach observes, “You’ve worked hard, and you deserve this,” or something similar, to build up the client in that way. The next part of the conversation is what we call Strategy and Designing Actions. Together, we examine all of the opportunities to solve the issue at hand for the client. What are all the avenues possible? What would each course of action look like? What might get in the way? Once they’ve determined a course of action, then we implement accountability. When are you going to finish that? A coach’s job is to push them just like a sports coach might push them—we get them to run another lap. The athlete might believe they can’t run any further, but the coach knows they have it in them. If the client says, “I’ll call three people before we meet next,” the coach might

What Is Coaching 33 respond with a challenge: “What would it take for you to call those three people today—or three people every day?” RUNNING THAT ADDITIONAL LAP When a client achieves more than they believed they could, it unleashes the potential and possibilities the client has. It elevates their conceptions of what is possible. Both Sir John Whitmore, author of the classic, Coaching for Performance and ‘The Coaching Conundrum 2016’ report by Blessingwhite revealed this phenomenon in their respective researches. During the following session, the coach will follow up with that homework. How did those calls go? Do we want to change anything about your tactics? Do you want to expand? Do you want to discontinue this strategy? The goal is to help them analyze it before a new agenda is reestablished. COACHING THE WHOLE PERSON Although my experience has been mostly career and corporate coaching, the reality is, it’s all coaching. I’ve even done some relationship coaching because our agenda is always whatever is most important for the client at that moment. If their love life is a huge distraction for them, and they can’t focus on their projects at work, that’s usually the best use of time: to resolve that relational issue. A lot of people seem to think that there are no emotions in business coaching, but that couldn’t be further than the truth. I’ve seen it all. Sure, often it’s entirely focused on business goals, but if you’re coaching the