Do you have the business coaching skills to help your clients succeed? If your answer is No, then I hope this article will provide the information you need to improve your effectiveness as a business coach.
Coaching as Defined by The ICF
The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. In business coaching, the coach works with clients to help grow their business, taking the organization from where they currently are to the next level.
Five Practical Business Coaching Skills
They are skills developed to help others in achieving both personal and professional goals. As a business coach, it is essential to apply practical business coaching skills to your coaching practice that will help support your clients and their organizations.
Here are the most common coaching skills that have proven effective:
- Showing Empathy – Compassion is a coaching skill that is highly required in the workplace. Empathy has to do with genuinely connecting with others without judgment
- Powerful Questioning – Asking open-ended questions creates opportunities for new action. Open-ended questions ignite thought-provoking thoughts from the client. The powerful questioning coaching skill puts you in a detective’s position, asking the appropriate questions to get to the root of the problem
- Active Listening – is a powerful skill to develop as a coach. Active listening reveals to your clients that you are paying attention and are interested in helping them achieve their desired goals. It involves being present in the session, and it is seen through your body language, paraphrasing, clarifying, and reflecting back what was articulated, asking questions, maintaining eye contact, providing positive reinforcement and feedback.
- Planning a Course of Action – This skill involves actively partnering with your clients to design a specific course of action. The business coach can brainstorm with the client (i.e., business owner, management team), to assist in exploring alternative opportunities. However, it is essential to make certain that the client plays a significant role in coming up with realistic goals that can achieve the desired results. The client must be placed in the driver’s seat, and the business coach must support the progress and provide continuous encouragement.
- Give Feedback – Always be ready to give clear, constructive, solution-focused, and motivating feedback to your coaching clients. Do not be afraid to provide this information because it is only by giving feedback that the client knows if they are making the necessary progress in accomplishing their business organization’s objectives. It is vital to ensure that your evaluation is used to empower and not to discourage them from moving forward. Also, getting feedback or input from your clients is equally important; it shows areas that have proven valuable to the coaching sessions and also where more support might be needed.
By approaching the business coaching skills of listening, questioning, planning action, and giving positive feedback with a coaching perspective, your business clients can build dynamic relationships with their teams. You will be able to empower clients to lead and make clear decisions on their own, which will benefit all those involved, including the organization.
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Margaret K. Olubiyi
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community