Rapport – that key to seamless interactions
You don’t want to stand to near to me these days, I’m really focusing on my rapport building. I think I’m pretty good at it but no harm in getting better at it. Besides I’m a fan of getting better at what you’re already good at. I’m working on it because I realise the difference it makes in our interactions, coaching and otherwise.
I used to be a classroom teacher and when I left my first school a colleague I worked with was sad to see me leave because I had ‘it’. What was ‘it’? She tried to explain as best she could, ‘it’ was what made me a good teacher because ‘it’ let me get the children in my class on board. Many years later I realised ‘it’ was rapport.
Peggy Guglielmino once told me how a friend of hers would sit on the tube and get into rapport with people until he could start leading them, which he would do successfully. Ok, I’m not that good! But that’s what I like about coaching; you can pick any one thing and work on it in your everyday interactions, see what happens and get better at it. And believe I’m building rapport in just about every situation, when I’m sitting, talking, walking, on the tube, in the pub, on the phone – oh yes, it’s physical and verbal rapport. And once I’ve got rapport I’m working on leading. You have been warned!Filed Under Transformational Coaching
Neurological levels: getting to the heart of the matter
I love coaching! And I’m fortunate to be doing quite a bit of it these days. This week I had a first coaching session with a new client. If you’ve read my previous blogs you’ll know I’m a big fan of getting under the skin of the goal. I love the analogy of the ice berg, with the surface goal and underlying goals and my new client was an excellent example of exactly this, in particular Dilts neurological levels which we worked through to get under the surface goal. Let me explain. Read moreFiled Under Transformational Coaching
Feedback is a great skill to master; here are my tips on how to deliver feedback well every time
I was giving a talk to a Local Authority in Birmingham yesterday, helping them understand the difference between mentoring and coaching. However during the course of the conversation (I always prefer ‘talks’ to be two-way whenever possible), the issue of giving feedback came up.
I have to confess I’m a big fan of feedback, as long as it’s done well, and I think it’s one of the key features of my own coaching style. Why am I a fan? Well when I’m working with leaders and teams many of them are surprised to find out that one of the most crucial parts of high performance is the ability to effectively manage and deal with conflict. Feedback is part of this, yet very few people know how to give feedback well. Why? I think there are two key skills which, like all skills, take practise: the first is the ability to hone into what is the most relevant, useful and honest feedback, which really requires being present with those in the room. The second is the delivery of feedback which isn’t easy because it needs to be straightforward and easy to understand (trust me it’s so frustrating to get feedback you can’t understand!) but also gentle enough to reduce both conflict and damage to the person’s self-esteem. How is this done? I follow a few basic rules of thumb:
Positive: The feedback should be to support the person in whatever they are working on or trying to achieve. Start with what is good and make sure you mean it otherwise you undermine all the feedback you give.
Non-judgemental: It’s about focusing on behaviour and the impact it has on others e.g. ‘when you behave like ‘x’ it comes across/affects me by ‘y’
It’s not about ‘you are lazy/you are uninteresting/you are idle/you are rude’. Hopefully you can feel the difference in emotive content just by reading these two approaches.
Evidence: Always give evidence for your all feedback, positive and negative, and make sure you are as specific as possible. If you don’t have evidence don’t give the feedback until you do.
Open it up: Ask them what they think.
Remember feedback is a gift (even if it doesn’t always feel like it!): Everyone is within their right to use it or not, however I would say you have to take it. And make sure you are able to take feedback yourself.
Used correctly feedback is a valuable resource. Once mastered you will have a skill that is, sadly, rarely used to its full potential. Of course there is even greater skill in allowing people to reflect and discover this themselves, but not everyone can always do this or see how their behaviour is having an impact.
The highest performing relationships manage conflict effectively, within that quality feedback, delivered well is key.Filed Under Transformational Coaching
To advise or not advise; that is the question
I’ve always been a bit anti-advice giving in coaching sessions. After all it’s not coaching is it? However the more I coach the more I realise that this is a time and place for advice. Not a very big place, in fact so far I’d say less than 1% of total my coaching time has involved giving advice and if I’m being really honest all of it was in one coaching session I had last week. Which was a big surprise for me!
I’m working with a client who, at short notice, found out she had to attend an assessment centre for a role she’s applied for. The days were to be filled with a variety of activities, spanning a range of competencies and certainly challenging all who attend. It was great to hear how calm, measured and confident she was in her approach this which was exactly what we had been working on. Her biggest concern was the actual interview itself and we talked about why, how she felt about the many other elements of the assessment days, what she would like to achieve at the end of the coaching session, what the challenge for her was and so on. Read moreFiled Under Transformational Coaching
Achieving reflective closure in coaching
Sitting in Russell Square on a sunny day I was coaching a client on their last session. As is often the case with coaching we had covered a lot of ground, made leaps forward and stumbles backwards but always pushed forward to greater self discovery. By the time of our final session a lot had been learned and gained, but how was I going to help my client secure and consolidate what he had learnt?
I struck upon the idea of interviewing him about the journey he had been on, not as himself but as a close friend or family member. After explaining what I would like to do and getting agreement the interview began: What do you think Tom has got out of his coaching? What has he learned? What are you most proud of him for? If he is going to do or remember one thing for the rest of his life that will help him what do you think that would be? What is most likely to hinder Tom going forward? What advice would you give him to stop that from happening? You see how it works, don’t you? It was great to see the client (who’s name wasn’t Tom in case you’re wondering) reflect back and pull out the most important parts of his coaching journey. A simple method but one that gives a great way of consolidating what has been learnt. Have a play with it and see how you get on.Filed Under Transformational Coaching
- 2013 beckons! This is our year, what’s yours?
- Can you make a living as a life coach?
- The belief at the very heart of the Smart School
- NLP or coaching? Choices, choices…
- We’re at CamExpo – come and say hello!
- Why do we always have to be different?
- Is transformational coaching just a trendy buzzword?
- Proud to be recognised!
- 4 years old this month – a message to our students
- Parental messages in coaching