Life coaching can be an incredibly effective method to help people gain a deeper understanding of their own limits and challenges and in doing so, overcome them. That said, it could often fail if the coaches themselves fail to monitor one critical factor.
One of the central principles of life coaching is that the coach is a facilitator, rather than a guide. This means that the client should be encouraged to find their own answers rather than directed towards the answers the coach feels are most applicable or appropriate.
Because of this, here is one key strategy that is worth adopting when coaching others:
Always ask open and unassumptive questions.
Unfortunately, it can be all to easy to form a leading question if we believe we know the answer, however in a coaching environment this can be incredibly counterproductive. Most of the time, there will be far too many unknown factors or unvoiced pieces of information for the coach to fully appreciate all the nuances of any given situation. Because of this, questions should avoid any leading or suggestive terms.
Consider the following:
- How do you feel your training is going?
- How well do you feel your training is going?
In the latter, the one word added places the coaches bias on the question, rather than the clients, as it presents the suggestion that the ‘wellness’ of the training is the only determining factor. Not only that, but it assumes that it is going well in and of itself, when the reverse may be true at that stage. These small changes in questioning can make a significant difference in the clarity of the coaching process as they allow for the most honest and accurate responses from clients.