Powerful Coaching Conversation
There are 1000’s of articles, suggestions, models and books outlining what makes a great coaching conversation and session. However, my point today is not about all of those, but a blindingly obvious one. And that is this…. simply stated, these conversations happen One By One.
And, it is in these one by one conversations that the most effective and powerful opportunities for change occur. Giving someone your undivided attention for 30, 60 or even 90 minutes creates a powerful, meaningful, candid and insightful crucible for change. Frequently, it is during these one by one moments that a “reality check” occurs for the coachee. Indeed coaching is perhaps the most personal and powerful form of communication and change that there is.
Several years ago, whilst working as a sales leader, each member of my team was quite simply unique! They had different learning styles, sales behaviours, interests, skills and levels of success! Yet, in my regular monthly sessions or field visits, I found that although most of the team worked in different ways, by ensuring that each of my coaching conversations was held regularly one by one, performance generally improved. It wasn’t until many years later, that I realised that those simple regular patterns of following up one by one, was the greatest factor to build success.
In preparing for a session, I find myself thinking about the client, their specific needs, reviewing any previous information gathered, the setting, possible goals and giving consideration to how the conversation will be structured. Oftentimes, though they never quite turn out as anticipated, and you always need to be prepared to flex or adapt during a session.
Some years ago David Clutterbuck shared that a coaching conversation is actually seven conversations:
1. My dialogue with myself before the session
2. The client’s inner dialogue before the session
3. My inner dialogue during the conversation
4. The spoken dialogue
5. The client’s inner dialogue during the conversation
6. My reflection after the conversation
7. The client’s reflection after the conversation
Experience has shown that at the end of the session, the period of reflection is often the most powerful of all. Is that the case for you?
My invitation today is a simple one. Powerful coaching conversations can and do happen in a host of different settings. Consider the unique nature of every individual with whom you meet, whether that be in your role as a mother or father, husband or wife, business leader or professional coach. If you want change to happen, … no…. if you really want change to happen, then you need to slow down, take the time and rediscover the power of coaching, one by one.