We hear a lot of people talk about adding to their coaching ‘toolkit’. Typically what’s added are models, techniques, frameworks or great questions that the coach has heard. This article in no way devalues these, however we would encourage you to focus a bit more deeply on the coaching conversation in a way that you let go of things that might bring complexity to a coaching session. Instead, add to your toolkit ways to bring clarity, simplicity and transformation to the session.
How can you simplify your coaching session? Here are 5 suggestions:
- Don’t (over)use models. Once you learn about a new coaching model or technique it can be really easy to start focusing on that and finding ways to bringing it into the conversation. However, if we coach with a model in mind we are not giving the client our full attention. We really cannot do both at the same time! So don’t go into a session with the aim of using a technique, model or visualisation.
- Do not listen to solve problems. Another aspect that sometimes coaches might do is to listen with the intent of solving someone’s problems. We therefore listen to find connections, establish dots, joining them for the client and then nudging them towards what we think might be a great solution. Take a step back and focus on listening to understand, to get to the heart of the conversation and to show respect to your client.
- Keep your questions simple. There are a few articles on our site including this one, that focuses on ways to ask great questions. Great questions are short and simple. Have you ever found yourself asking a question and getting lost into what you actually mean? Imagine the client! Simplify your questions, don’t ask multiple questions together and ask them one at a time.
- Provide clarity about the structure of a session. At times clients are new to coaching and they don’t know what to expect. Make sure that you have given enough space in the coaching programme to discuss the structure, confidentiality, timings and any other agreements. Simplify the process of coaching for your client so that you can both focus on what’s important to them rather than the structure.
- Encourage collaborative endings. Ending the exploration stage and supporting the client come up with actions does not have to be convoluted. The client does not need to have a full set of milestones and actions that they want to achieve (note, it’s okay if they have!). Asking the client how they want to close the session and ending it in a way of partnership helps to simplify the session.
Although we cover a few models in our ICF Accredited Diploma in Coaching, our focus as a coach training provider is to give our trainees a robust development programme to help them fully dive in, into the process of coaching.