Top 5 Rules of Effective Coaching

    By Karen Osborne | Small Business

    Coaching is an excellent way to fast track an individual’s development and improve their performance.

    Good coaches can literally transform someone from a poor performer to a high flyer in a matter of weeks. Good coaching skills courses are designed to equip delegates with the tools and techniques to enable them to coach effectively.

    There are certain ‘rules’ which, if adhered to, really boost the success of coaching sessions. Training courses in coaching skills cover these principles extensively, however, by following our top 5 ‘rules’ below you can enhance your coaching skills today:

    1) Ask Permission

    You can’t coach someone who doesn’t want to be coached. It simply doesn’t work. Coaching is a two-way partnership and before you even begin to think about coaching someone you have to find out if they really want it. You may have to explain the benefits of coaching as a means to solving a problem or difficulty, or addressing a challenge. Only when you have successfully done this are you ready to coach them.

    2) Clarify goals

    Having a clear focus is crucial to achieving success. In order to provide this focus a coach must establish SMART goals for the coaching session and the coaching overall. This provides a steer for the coaching conversation and enables you to get back on track if the individual you are coaching veers off course.

    3) Listen more, speak less

    Obviously, a coach needs to question, probe and in some cases, provide suggestions about ways to move forward, but if you are doing most of the talking then you’re not being an effective coach. The aim in a coaching session should be to only speak for about 30% of the time and to let the individual you are coaching talk for the remaining 70%.

    4) Dig deeper

    Coaching is partly about uncovering hidden barriers to performance. People are often unaware of their subconscious barriers but you cannot get to the bottom of what is stopping someone from overcoming challenges or difficulties if you do not find out what is blocking their progress in the first place. This requires in-depth and detailed probing via the use of powerful questioning techniques to establish what is preventing them from moving forward.

    5) Gain commitment

    Coaching is only successful if individuals follow up the coaching session with action. As the saying goes ‘talk is cheap’. People are usually very enthusiastic in a coaching session and often raring to go and try out new techniques. However, once back at their desk with business as usual, their good intentions can disappear rapidly. The key to getting people to take action is to pin them down with specifics e.g.: What? When? How? & Where? If you can determine these then you stand a very good chance of people taking the necessary action.

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