Extending our range of coaching gifts with the “Spectrum of Coaching Skills”

This time I’m sharing a guest post I wrote a little while ago concerning the variety of coaching ‘gifts’ coaches may bring to their work. Some coaching skills come more naturally to some individuals than others, and here I explore a way of structuring our approach to extending our range of ‘gifts’ beyond what we may naturally feel comfortable with.

The ‘Spectrum of Coaching Skills’ places our natural ‘gifts’ on a continuum ranging from more to less directive forms of interaction with our coachees. By thinking about where our strengths lie on this spectrum, we are enabled to gain awareness that leads to insight into areas we need to develop to improve the range of our abilities as coaches. We are then empowered to develop strategies to build those abilities in areas that we find difficult.

Spectrum of colours mosaicThe guest post first appeared in Coaching World in September 2018, published by the International Coach Federation (ICF). You can see the original publication here, and I’d like to point out that copyright is held by the ICF (meaning it should not be reproduced or reblogged without gaining permission from the ICF first).


Extending Our Range of Coaching Gifts with the “Spectrum of Coaching Skills”

Coaches have different personalities and styles, meaning they bring a variety of approaches and “gifts” to their coaching work. All of us find certain coaching skills come more naturally to us than others. That’s fine, except when we allow our “natural” range of gifts to limit the ways in which we can work with clients.

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The importance of non-directiveness in coaching – and 2 good reasons to build awareness

Remember that in a previous post I outlined the 5 basic coaching skills we really need to become effective coaches? We’ve already taken a look at the first four: contracting, use of some kind of structuring mechanism (with the GROW Model as an example), listening, and questioning. At long last we’ve arrived at the fifth basic coaching skill: non-directiveness.Cartoon man with blue arrow

In this post I’ll be taking a look at non-directiveness, as well as its place on what Myles Downey has called the ‘Spectrum of Coaching Skills’, before giving  2  good reasons for making sure we put effort into building awareness of when our interactions are non-directive and when they’re not.

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Effective questioning in coaching – and the most important questions to ask yourself

In a previous post I outlined the 5 basic coaching skills we really need in order to become effective as coaches. We’ve already taken a look at contracting, use of some kind of structuring mechanism (with the GROW Model as an example), and listening. This time I’m going to discuss questioning, which (coupled with listening) is the way coaching is given direction, and conversations can be taken forward into ‘light-bulb moment’ territory.

questions in yellow baubles

First, we’ll be looking at framing questions during the ongoing interaction with a coachee, before turning to the most important questions we coaches need to ask ourselves.

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The importance of listening in coaching – and 5 tips to improve it

Are you good at listening? Now, be honest…

Let me be up front. If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know I believe listening is one of the 5 basic coaching skills coaches need to master if they want to offer the high level of service their coachees deserve. In fact, I believe it’s the MOST important skill. Why? Because everything that happens in coaching depends on it.

listening head silhouettesThe importance of listening

Think about it. Without listening, it’s well-nigh impossible to explore goals and current reality with coachees, because without attentive listening a coach is unable to base an intervention on actual coachee needs as opposed to the coach’s own predetermined ‘programme’. Relevant questions can’t arise in the moment if there hasn’t been an adequately deep, attentive process of listening from which those questions flow. And no-one can contract in coaching without listening, because listening is at the core of the process of discussion and negotiation upon which contracting depends.

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Structuring coaching sessions with GROW – Part 2: Reality, Options & the Will to move forward

Last time we checked out what the GROW Model is. We also discussed the importance of Goal Setting in helping both coach and coachee look beyond the current situation to establish a clear vision for the coaching intervention, as well as a focus for taking discussions forward.

Following on from that, this time we’ll be looking at the other three components of the GROW Model:GROW

  • checking out the Reality of the coachee’s current context and situation
  • generation of Options
  • ensuring the coachee has the Will to move forward with specific actions

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