Successful Coaching Conversations

Bright Star at Sunset
Photo by Eric ziegler
Coaching is a technique to improve. You can improve in sports from good coaching. You can improve at school from good coaching (or teaching as they like to call it). You can improve at work from good coaching. And coaching can come from anyone. You can be coached by your kids. You can be coached by your peers. You can be coached by your manager or your managers manager. In fact, you can even coach others. Are you a developer? System Tester? BSA? Have you been asked to help others with their +1 skill? Have you helped others with their +1 skill? Then you are coaching.

For me, coaching is one of the most rewarding experiences. And for any person that is a coach or is being coached, there are some things you should keep in mind to ensure you each get the most out of the experience being shared. In this article, they highlight 12 things you should always do, and then some things you should avoid.

12 Secrets for Successful Coaching Conversations

For me, some of the items that struck a chord most include:
  • Relax. Lower defenses. Be your curious self.
  • Embrace silence. Don’t feel pressure to fill the silence. Wait a bit longer than feels comfortable. Allow coachees to fill the silence.
  • Develop next steps. Always identify next steps in behavioral terms. •What will you do? • How will you know you’re taking a next step? • How will colleagues know?
And then things to avoid:
  • Fixing and helping. Control your inner fixer. Successful coaches give responsibility and ownership. They don’t take it.
  • Interrupting.
  • Asking two questions at once (I do this one all the time, note to self, stop doing that)