At the heart of a great coach, which I am striving to be, is to have a big heart with no attachment to being right. Coaching when done right with patience and respect will likely to get your clients see what they need to do without the coach’s brilliant advice.
In essence, coaching is a partnership with the clients to leap into a new perspective, getting unstuck from a situation, look beyond their fears, spread their wings further the half-baked assumption and encourage them to take actions on solutions they had avoided. Ultimately, committed to longer-term behavioural changes more often than they thought they can.
My progress has been great thus far and that’s good news! Here are my FOUR lessons:
1. PRACTICE INTEGRITY AND BUILD TRUST
In the beginning of every coaching engagement, the stakeholders and the client will share a lot of stories and moments. Usually, these are inputs to speed up the direction of the relationship. In confidence, independently with all the stakeholders I made it clear that non of the stories would be shared without consent. Some stories are more damaging, why tell?
This confidentiality practice builds higher integrity in the relationship and also build deeper trust with all the stakeholders. Naturally the coaching results will get better when this is adhered. The best part, the coachee’s trust increases once this is established and grounded.
2. AVOID JUDGMENTAL AND ADVICE-ORIENTED QUESTIONS
I have a practice to keep a log of moments that need some hacking during our coaching conversation. For example, when the coachee is discussing with the Head of IT, he was pushy, bossy and apprehensive. While observing that I keep a mental note to bring this up in our coaching session. I didn’t interrupt him during the conversation.
In our coaching, I asked to recall the moment, “What could you have said better to your IT Head to get the desired outcome?” Interestingly the coachee didn’t knew his approach was undesired. He thought he is being himself. Had I interrupted, judged and giving him a direct advice, the coaching conversation would not be as revealing. Listen more than tell. Hence the two ears and one mouth.
3. ESTABLISH GOAL OWNERSHIP AND COMMITMENT
Most coachees are highly capable leader, consistent and proven high performers, but some still has issues with their peers and senior leaders. That’s normal and tolerable. Who doesn’t? Because of that, we need to create a goal plan to support the coachee to advance in his or her progress.
Initially, some coachees wants to avoid this conversation and felt upset about this objective. They felt they had to lower down their standard to be respectful of others. This thoughtless projection will limit their growth and will jeopardize their career. As a coach, we need to build a goal plan specifically to put more emphasis in addressing this issue as the relationship progresses.
Remarkable things happen when people are strongly driven to take action as a result of setting an effective goal that they own and committed to.
4. BUILD SELF ESTEEM AND REMOVE ROADBLOCKS
Self esteem has impact on our growth. Some coaches are at their career peak and loved it a lot. Their life already in stable mode with family sorted out, why trouble yourself with a job promotion? Why rock the boat? This is a common reflection. Yes?
I will prepare two logs – Success Log & Blocks Log. In the Success Log, each of it has beautiful stories on how the coachee overcome the previous roadblocks and achieved successes.
On the other hand, the Blocks Log is for the coachee to list down current and future roadblocks in relation to the coaching objectives. It helps them reconnect with their former glories and seeing their face glow because of that joy is a humbling moments.
Great leaders are built in trying times like in the pandemic. As a coach, I am very fortunate to have worked progressive coachees, hands-on sponsors and thriving organizations. They are great examples of readiness to bring themselves higher. I am inspired too and glad that I don’t’ have to be right all the time. Thank you.
Shared by Khairul Anwar Kamarudin who is a Certified Professional Coach. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .