There are many different techniques coaches use to communicate with their clients. Good communication is key to the development and success of a coaching session or sessions. There are many different techniques coaches use that contribute to effective coaching conversations.
Coaching Communication Means Active Listening
At the top of the list of communication techniques is “active listening.” Active listening is a skill that can be acquired, developed, and improved with practice. It is a “must have” for coaches!
Active listening involves listening with all senses. It involves hearing the words, the tone of those words, the context of those words, and how the speaker is communicating with their body language while saying those words. It not only requires a focus on the speaker, it also requires the listener to show active signs, both verbal and non-verbal, of listening. Active listening is also about patience – effective coaching conversations develop over time.
Opened Ended Questioning is Crucial For Great Coaching
Coaches must ask question that can be answered with a “yes” or a “no.” This encourages the client to elaborate and expound on issues. Using open-ended questions also eliminates most leading questions – coaches must do their best to stay neutral and not try to encourage a specific response. This is one of the most effective of the many different techniques coaches use to communicate for getting to the meat of the matter, and for identifying and setting goals.
3 More Different Techniques Coaches Use to Communicate
There are many different techniques used by coaches to create effective communication with their clients. The two listed above are the ones coaches must use in their practices to foster trust, understanding, and effective two-way communication. Here are three more:
- Summarizing and rephrasing. Summarizing, which is a part of active listening, can prompt further reflection from the client. It helps the client see things differently, and helps to reframe the coaching conversation by using a different lens on the subject.
- Using silence effectively. Just as it is important to ask questions and provide feedback, it is also important to use silence within a conversation. Using silence means that you give the client time to think through a reply, and that you are not anticipating a client’s response by pre-empting their answer.
- Action initiation. Once goals are set, action is needed to get to those goals. A coach can help initiate action by challenging beliefs, exploring options, asking clients to share ideas, encouraging clients to identify new behaviors or modes of thinking, and offering additional ideas (but not telling them what to do!).
Communication is the key to successful coaching. There are many different techniques coaches use to communicate with their clients, and you may develop some of your own communication skills as your career progresses and you gain more experience. However, these five communication techniques need to be in every coach’s toolbox and need to be practiced and improved if you want to continue to find outcomes for more clients.
Give this strategy a try and see for yourself that it works. If you liked this coaching tip, leave a comment or use the handy bookmark buttons below to share it with others on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc. Thanks!
Writing Team, Coaches Training Blog Community