Venkatesh Rajamani

3 tips to have the right Coaching Conversation

Coaching conversation holds the ability to encourage the people you are speaking to. The optimistic tone of the conversation boosts the confidence of the person or team opposite to you. It generates productive energy that genuinely helps in paving the discussion in the right direction. The three elements that set the outline which you should follow are easy to follow. All you require is to take a pause and rewind the points in your head before you start.

  1. Listening actively.
  2. Thoughtful response.
  3. Do not impose solutions.

Having these three-pointers in mind while having a coaching conversation makes a difference in the overall approach. The stage you set and the way you converse combinedly yield the outcomes that you want to achieve. 

Listening 

A coaching conversation does not only involve speaking of a single person. You get a productive conversation only when you are actively listening to understand. Many make the mistake of assuming the path where the conversation will lead. It does not make a good impression of the person speaking. You exhibit your genuine interest in your coachee through active listening and let them express their perspective, which plays a vital role. 

For comprehending the true essence of the conversation, you need to listen genuinely. Take a moment to understand the words and derive the expression correctly. It leads to a fruitful conversation where every information gets processed.

A lack of patience in hearing creates a gap in between, and the productiveness receives a setback. Do not hurry to speak in between when the coachee is speaking. Instead, make a mental note of their viewpoint and shape the verbal expression. It also gives you the necessary time to articulate your thoughts after acquiring everything evolving from the talk. 

Generating Insights

Concluding the coachee’s statement prematurely to respond quickly does not help at all. A coaching conversation is not only about helping the coachee get to a solution; it is also about finding the ways. The quick response that you have in your mind may not cover every aspect. You need to think by taking a moment and then express yourself. It provides the chance to open up to newer information and eases the processing. Start asking questions that are powerful to gain better insight. 

“What else is on your mind?”

What other ideas do you have about it?

What is the opportunity here?

What is the challenge?

source: Co-active Coaching Institute(CTI)




Uncover the possibilities of learning more information by asking better. By asking powerful questions like this, you achieve beyond just having a mutual conversation. The person you are coaching can express their thoughts better when you give them such options. 

Non-directive questions, like “How does the team need to feel on your announcement of a new initiative” give room to explore more significant insights. In contrast, a direct question like “When will you announce the new schedule?” does not help get much information. The response that you get to your question is quick but less informative. For this, the questions you ask or the way you respond to other matters primarily. 

Other things to note are the conversational tone, maintaining eye contact and providing the coachee the time to counter-respond. Without this, the conversation becomes single-wayed, yielding no productive outcome. As you respond carefully, your coachee gets a scope to express themselves better and feel included. Giving more scope for the coachee to speak is a must in a coaching conversation. 

Responding

It is a common tendency to jump to solutions to resolve any matter. But the true art of coaching conversation lies in having a productive discussion. Imposing your advice or providing self-inputs to resolve the challenge is not a solution. Instead, an effective solution gets derived through the mix of challenge and support. 

It is vital to assure the coachee that their opinion matters. Understanding their expression is not sufficient as you require to reflect it through actions. Building a sense of psychological safety and trust paves the way to a constructive dialogue exchange. 

All these are easy to say than practice. You can achieve it by taking a moment before spontaneously responding. Then, analyse your words from a third perspective to comprehend the tone. Be it for listening or responding, all you require is to reflect your action in the head. Make the coaching conversation fruitful instead of an imposition to others. Always have an open mind to comprehend better and deliver balanced activities. 

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