Essential Coach Quality: Empowering
Revisiting the seven Essential Coaching Qualities
The third quality a coach should posess and display is empowerment.
1. One of the best uses of a coaching exercise is to offer an insightful starting point or a scaffold for a coach’s curiosity to ask powerful questions that move a client forward.
This quality looks at how well you are able to balance expert knowledge and coaching exercises with fully empowering the client to determine the topic and direction of the coaching. A coach looks for opportunities to ask questions from the perspective of being a student of your client. To meet this coaching standard, after you share expert information, it’s best to shift immediately into empowerment mode to ask your client what they want to do with the information. If your client chooses to ignore or go against it, it’s your job to follow them. If they choose to adopt and use it, that’s great too, and it’s your job to shift back into complete curiosity mode. One of the trickiest parts of coaching is to find the synergy between providing expert knowledge and leaning into empowerment coaching.
2. A coach tailors coaching exercises and tools to fit the client.
The second way this concept shows up is in the way you adapt to fit your client’s language and paradigm. Over-explaining coaching tools, or reading questions from a list, makes coaching sessions feel flat. It misses the opportunity to connect meaningfully with your client. Clients want to feel seen and heard. An expert coach seamlessly melds the structure of a coaching exercise with what the client just said. The whole conversation feels so natural that someone listening in might think that two people are having an amazing conversation, without realizing all of the coaching tools, exercises, and skills happening in the background.
How this shows up on a coaching assessment:
Did the coach ask short, open-ended questions?
Did the questions the coach asked lead to new insights for the client?
Were the questions primarily present- or future-tense oriented?
How well did a coach choose an exercise to work with a client?
How well did a coach adapt the exercise to the client with apt questions?
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