Whether you coach as part of your role in an organisation, or you’re an independent coach, how do you ensure that your coaching abilities are as good as they can be?
Do you have people or systems (or both) that help you review your ongoing development?
As a guide and starting point, I’ve listed below 4 ways to keep your coaching skills sharp.
Which do you already do, and what would you add to this list?
1. Practise the skills of coaching outside formal coaching sessions
This is particularly relevant if you don’t get to coach very often. You can still keep your coaching skills sharp by, for example:
- Engaging in active or deep listening during important meetings
- Using open questions to help a colleague find a solution for an issue they have
- Practising your rapport-building skills with new colleagues or people you get on less well with
2. Attend coaching supervision
With a growing appreciation for the power and benefit that supervision has on our coaching practice (and hence our coachees!) supervision is becoming more popular and more in demand.
Supervision can be 1-1 or group supervision. It can be over the phone or in person.
It often involves a teaching or mentoring element on the part of the coach supervisor, always involves reflection on the part of the coach being supervised, and has a holistic focus on a coach’s development.
I’ve always learned something new about myself, the coaching profession, and how I run my coaching business when I’ve attended coaching supervision. It’s definitely a must for my ongoing development as a coach.
If you’re interested in joining group supervision, check us out!
Email me to arrange a call to see if we’re a good fit 😃
3. Carry out coaching self-reviews regularly
This involves taking an open and honest look at your own practice, and can include reviews of:
- sessions as a whole
- use of skills (listening, questioning, rapport building, challenge, feeding back what you’re noticing, ability to be present, etc)
- impact of your coaching on the coachee (What are their outcomes? How useful are the sessions to them?) – See #4 below to help gain evidence about your practice to use in your self-reviews.
4. Ask your coachees for feedback
How often do you do this? What format does it take? How do you use it?!
I have found questions, such as those below, useful to gain a coachee’s feedback:
- What’s been the most/least useful part of today’s session?
- Which questions have provided you with the best challenge today?
- If we had an opportunity to do this session again, what would you change/how would it look/what would need to be different?
- What other feedback would you like to provide about today’s session?
Some of the responses you receive may be only relevant to how that session went. But look out for those which provide more generic feedback that you can learn from. Perhaps this coachee is providing similar feedback to other coachees, and there’s an emerging pattern.