High-Impact Coaching: 7 Skills That Will Take Your Coaching Results to the Next Level

by Edgar R. Olivo

In today’s economy, flexibility is a key trait to have in a distributed workforce. Leaders and teams must embrace diversity, inclusion and equity to succeed in the future of work. Coaching as a skill has become the ultimate competency for team managers and leaders. The ability to engage in motivating and empowering conversations can create a safe space for teams to have a stronger sense of belonging and increase productivity all around.

Company leaders are very involved with both the day-to-day operations and the organization’s big-picture goals. They are constantly thinking about their work, which can lead to difficulty making healthy decisions or missing opportunities to teach a team member something new. Coaching skills help a leader be able to discuss the issues of the organization and be supportive with their team when needed.

But sometimes coaching can go wrong when a leader is unprepared and can have adverse effects on the team. Consider these seven skills to take your coaching results to the next level:

  1. Recovery: During a coaching session with a team member, you will need to be aware when you become disconnected from the conversation and recover. This is a tendency with new coaches, who can get lost in their own thoughts while the team member is sharing. To recover, quickly notice it, describe to the team member what happened, and reconnect by realigning back to the conversation.
  2. Asking permission: One of the most important techniques the coach uses to remind the team member that they are in charge of the coaching direction is to ask permission: “May we work on this issue?” “Would you like some feedback on that?” When the coach asks permission, it demonstrates that the team member also has power in the relationship. It has an empowering effect.
  3. Bottom-lining: Sometimes, team members may go off on a tangent in a coaching session, and it is the coach’s task to bring the point back to focus. Bottom-lining is the skill of getting to the point and asking the team member to get to the point, too.
  4. Championing: Acknowledgement is a powerful tool to help team members feel supported. It means to recognize team members for overcoming challenges, rising to the occasion, or simply reminding them of their strengths when they feel weak. It is not empty cheerleading and requires authentic support to have a true effect.
  5. Clearing: Some of the most powerful coaching sessions are the ones in which the coach says nothing at all and allows the team member to vent — clear out — in order to become fully present in the session. Clearing means to listen actively, without judgment or an agenda.
  6. Reframing: On occasions, a team member will feel stuck in their own story when trying to analyze their situation or an experience they had. Your ability to reframe the experience provides a fresh perspective and a sense of renewed possibility. Reframing is looking at the bright side of things and shifting the team member’s mindset toward opportunity and possibility.
  7. Making distinctions: Like reframing, this is another way to help a team member see things in a new perspective — by making distinctions between facts and beliefs. At times, a team member will feel tangled by their own limiting beliefs and helping them separate what is a fact of life and what is not can help them become unstuck.

Coaching is a powerful, in-demand skill that has lasting effects on team members and organizations. There are many models to help you structure a coaching conversation, but practicing these skills will yield great results over time. Remember this, too: To be a great coach you must also be coachable.

EDGAR RAFAEL OLIVO is a bilingual business educator, economic advisor and contributor for several media outlets. He’s a nonprofit executive who is passionate about education. He is certified in finance and data analytics and holds a business degree from Arizona State University.

Para la versión en español de este artículo, haga clic aquí.

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