One of the benefits of having a coach is they see and hear things from another perspective, one we may never consider. As a coaching session progresses, the coach may hear conflicting viewpoints within the client, and perceive next steps that might support the client to move to a new viewpoint.
A masterful coach will know when to make the observation that there is a conflict present. For example, a client may say they love to be creative and go with the flow, and later they say they do well with having deadlines and structure around their projects. The ICF core competencies of Active Listening, Direct Communication and potentially Creating Awareness are engaged when the coach makes the observation back to the client about this seeming conflict. An observation may also let the client know how deeply you are listening, which can deepen Trust and Intimacy.
A less masterful coach might ask the client to resolve this seeming paradox. For example, “Which is most important to you…being creative, or having deadlines and structure?” A more masterful coach will see it as an ‘and.’ For example, “How can you be creative about how you work with deadlines and structure?”
Notice how that second question creates a whole different level of creative thinking and new possibility than an either/or approach? The coach needs to constantly be aware that the approach they take with their questions, observations and messages has a big influence on the engagement level, enthusiasm and results the client might achieve.
Coaches beware! We influence how the client perceives their circumstances – either as a flaw or as a unique opportunity to embrace and find ‘their way.’
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