Specific coaching techniques are a critical tool of effective coaches. During your training and your early days as a coach, learning all the techniques you can is a wonderful strategy. Not only do they improve your coaching results, but perhaps even more importantly they give you some confidence. As you grow more comfortable in your career though, it’s a good idea to review the techniques you use, see what their good and bad points are, and make sure you’re using them in the best way.
Why Use Coaching Techniques?
As a coach you probably use visualizations, anchors, pattern interrupts and a variety of other specific techniques. You use them because they help you figure out what’s going on for your clients. They help your clients work through problems that get in their way. They help provide motivation to take action, and they are often the most quick and effective approach to getting your client moving toward his goals. But what about the negatives of using specific learned coaching techniques? Is there any risk?
Is There A “Bad And Ugly” Side To Using Coaching Techniques?
There are two main risks for you as a coach when you use coaching techniques in a session. The first is getting so caught up in doing the technique correctly that you lose sight of the actual client you are working with. You have to be familiar enough with the script of the technique that none of your attention is on you and what you are saying or doing, and all of it is on your client. Otherwise you may lose rapport and have a client who feels you don’t “understand” him or relate to him. Get to the point where you are so clear and so familiar with whatever technique you are using that the technique itself is not a distraction.
The second risk is not staying present in the session. No matter how useful any particular coaching technique might be, it cannot take precedence over your basic coaching skills. Be sure you carry on with active listening, clarifying and acknowledging what your client says, and noticing limiting patterns in your client’s speech or behavior. It’s up to you as the coach to run the session and lead the conversation.
Coaching techniques make you a stronger coach—just make sure that you control them, not the other way around.
Dorine G Kramer
JTS Strategy and Accountability Coach