1. A professional coach leans into the three trusts in coaching – trust your client, trust yourself, and trust the process – and embraces pausing and silence as useful elements of a coaching session.
Expert coaches trust the coaching process. Beginning coaches often try to force insights, rush to ask the next question, or paraphrase and explain where their question is coming from. Experienced coaches are completely comfortable with pausing to allow ten to twenty seconds of silence before asking the next question, or pausing after the client is done speaking to think about the next question. Such comfort with silence comes from the coach trusting that the client is also processing ideas and emotion in the silence.
2. An expert coach trusts the client’s resilience and brilliance.
The coach assumes that a client is resourceful and capable of achieving what they want to achieve. The coach’s role is not to offer suggestions or try to over-help, but rather to let the client do the heavy lifting in the session. A coach avoids trying to problem solve, and instead focuses on simple, curious questions to prompt the client to do the necessary inner work to arrive at insights, solutions, and action steps. Confidence shows in the degree a coach continues to explore for insights about Learning, Being, client agency, perspective, and characteristics without trying to come up with an immediate action plan. An experienced coach is confident that the client’s exploration will unfold in such a way that the new insights will naturally lead to an exciting and effective action plan for the client to take between sessions.
Suggested coaching questions:
Out of everything we discussed in the session so far, what action do you want to take?
In taking this action next week, what do you hope to learn?
How does this action relate to your larger agenda?