Factors that make a coaching session effective:
Create a secure environment which is comfortable and private. Generally that’s an office with a closed door and no distractions. Turn off the phone.
Sit facing the individual, no desk between you.
Let go of the important things that you’ve been busy with.
Take a moment before the session to close your eyes, and attune yourself 100% to the person.
Look and really see
Eye-contact is not about looking at the person’s eyes. It’s looking into them, past the pupils, to their soul.
In other words, becoming completely open to how they feel and think.
Make honesty safe
Corporate culture often discourages people from telling it straight, so what they first talk about may not be exactly what’s troubling them.
But listen intently, with an open mind, and you will hear the true issues.
Let go of expectations
A coach’s starting point is to let go of expectations, to accept people just as they are.
And to believe that they are capable of finding solutions to their dilemmas.
Don’t be brilliant
If you’re working hard to be really smart, you will miss the most important things the person is saying.
You don’t have to have the answers
It’s helpful to reflect back to them what you’re hearing. And to wonder out loud how best to handle their situation.
But in the long run, your job is to encourage their wisdom, not yours.
Thank your lucky stars
Coaching may be your main job or an occasional opportunity.
Either way, to be trusted to share another person’s pain, challenges, and strengths remains one of life’s great privileges.