The 5 C’s of Coaching is a useful framework to apply to ANY relationship. When you take time to connect with others (by asking questions and being curious) you start to build trust and rapport. This allows for much richer conversations and gives you permission to challenge (#4) in a much more constructive way.
I obviously didn’t go down the ‘pure coaching’ route but have interwoven the #coachapproach into my communication style. Although it was a conscious transition for me (my default is to tell, find solutions and direct) the benefits surpassed the initial discomfort.
Coaching at its core is learning how to master the following;
1) Learning to Listen
2) Asking the right questions
3) Creating the space
1. Learn to Listen so you can Listen to Learn
Although active listening has become a bit buzzy, it’s key to an effective interaction. Actively listening is about being 100% present and focused on what the other person is saying. With so much going on in our minds this does take effort and awareness.
2. Ask The Right Questions
How you ask a question can directly impact the kind of answer you get back. The example I gave was the difference between asking 'Why did you do that?’ and 'How would you have done that differently?’
When I first started coaching I used to have a '100 Powerful Questions’ list in front of me during my sessions. Eventually, this became much more natural to me and now my default is to ask an open-ended question. By asking open-ended questions you get the other person to reflect, explain their logic, and most importantly, come to their own answers.
As a general rule, if the questions could lead to a 'yes’ or 'no’ answer, don’t ask it.
3. The Sounds of Silence
One of the most challenging parts of coaching was getting comfortable not filling the quiet space. Often when we ask a question and the other person doesn’t respond immediately we jump in and re-ask in order to fill the space. Allowing people the time to process will lead to much richer answers. So start getting comfortable in silence and give people space to think the question through.
Personally, the most impactful part of using the #coachapproach in management is the witnessing the power of helping people see and believe in their own potential. This is magical ✨ When people are connected to their own goals, are aware that they are working towards them and see the progress they are making their energy is contagious. This is what brought me to life as the manager and gave me the most reward.
Start thinking about ways you can bring the #coachapproach into your day to day routine. An easy place to start is during 1-1s, prepare yourself by looking over a list of open-ended questions (I have linked to one below) and start to practice the art of asking powerful questions, listening to learn, and creating the quiet space for progress.