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How to Use Humour in Coaching

by Coaching Out of the Box

Humour can be an important tool in building a relationship with clients; it can help diffuse a situation, lighten a mood and bring a sense of companionship to a new relationship. However, if it isn’t done appropriately, humour can be destructive in a coaching setting as well. No client wants to feel made fun of or like their opinions aren’t important. Learning to use humour effectively in coaching is a skill every coach needs to develop. Occasionally a session can be quite intense and humour can help provided a needed break or chance to wind down or in some cases, provide the client with a different avenue of approach to their train of thought.

The ability to use humour effectively typically stems from the ability to read people. Some clients won’t appreciate the same type of humour (or even any at all), that others would. Also, tone is especially important so that the other person understands when something is said in a joking manner rather than a serious point, especially if the conversation is taking a serious turn. Without reading people and using appropriate tones to communicate, humour can be seen as undermining or alienating. Alternatively, humour can build bonds, address sensitive issues and encourage creativity and deeper conversation.

Humour doesn’t have to be the telling of jokes, in fact, jokes may not be all that useful in the coaching realm. Typically funny anecdotes, observations or metaphors can be far more likely to elicit clients to respond positively. That isn’t to say that occasionally a well-timed joke might not elicit the same response.

Understanding humour from the perspective of a coach may also help with relating to clients who use humour to cope or deflect. Oftentimes, people with well developed senses of humour have been cultivating them since childhood as a mechanism for dealing with school or home life trouble early on. They cope with stress or anxiety differently by cracking jokes and making light of situations. This could be crucial to a coach’s ability to relate to that client and interact in their language. It may also be helpful to learn more about them and possibly help with more serious topics they would otherwise avoid.

Coaching with a sense of humour does not make one less professional, in fact, it can open up new possibilities and make a coach more relatable. Don’t avoid the chance to learn appropriate humour techniques and practice them on family and friends to get a better sense of responses. As always, proceed cautiously to better gauge each  client’s reactions to the use of humour in dialogue, but the positive outcome of these conversations may be surprising.

Coaching Out of the Box® has several courses available this fall. See our calendar of events or sign up for our newsletter to learn more.

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Learn How to Trust Yourself as a Coach

by Coaching Out of the Box

Trusting oneself can be a great skill, learned over years of practice in self awareness and listening to intuitive insights. For some coaches, the ability to trust themselves to coach effectively may not come as easy as others. This may be due to the fact that these coaches were in completely different industries and are switching careers to follow their dreams, leading them to second guess a lot of their decisions and processes. Every coach has the ability to be great, just like every client can find the answers they need if they just focus in the right directions.

  1. Intuition is important. Body language, dialogue and facial expressions can give off subtle indicators about the client. As long as the coach is coming from a place of non-judgment, intuition can pick up on these indicators and help guide the coach to use appropriate questions for the situation.
  2. Practice builds trust. It is said that to become an expert at something takes 10,000 hours of practice. The more a coach practices their skills, the better they develop. This practice, even if it is on family or friends to start with, can help a coach build a trust in their processes, skills and intuition.
  3. Give it time. No one expects perfection from a new recruit and a coach should never expect perfection from themselves. Even if hours of practice were involved previous, chances are, there will be some mistakes. These are normal and should never detour anyone from achieving their dreams.
  4. Take time to relax and review. When a coach is able to understand their own motivations, reactions and decisions, even after a session has ended, they can better analyze how things can improve in the future.
  5. Always keep learning. New techniques and skills may help alleviate some concerns a coach has about their abilities. It also broadens their knowledge and allows them to assist clients further. This can bolster extra confidence in the coach and the clients.

Being a coach can be a meaningful and fulfilling career but the skills take time to develop. Coaches rely on trusting themselves and their clients to move forward in their careers and help their clients move forward as well.

Coaching Out of the Box® has several courses available this fall. See our calendar of events or sign up for our newsletter to learn more.

You can also connect with us via email: [email protected], or at any of our social media sites:

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Why Having a Coaching Presence Makes a Difference?

by Coaching Out of the Box

A “Coaching Presence” can be interpreted in different ways, but the general idea is being present while coaching. This means having an awareness of themselves, the ongoing conversation, the coachee and having trust in the coachee as well as the potential for change. Once a coach can master this skill, the flow of the conversation and the connection with the coachee can grow. But what impact can this presence offer in the relationship of the coach and coachee? The following are some examples of the benefits to the coachee by being present as a coach:

  1. Helps the coach become more connected with the coachee which can lead into a deeper level of communication.
  2. The coachee can become more involved in the overall process and open up more to discovering themselves and furthering their development.
  3. Full commitment to a coachee can improve the chances of success for that session as well as progress through future sessions with the coachee.
  4. Deeper observation by the coach can lead to further discovery by the coachee.
  5. Creates a better environment for both coach and coachee to explore ideas and solutions together.

A strong coaching presence can not only build up a relationship with a client, but also the business of a coach. Referrals from satisfied clients are the best way to further a coaching business and happy customers can be the best advertisements of all.

Learn more about building up your coaching presence by contacting us at Coaching Out of the Box®!

Coaching Out of the Box® has several courses available this fall. See our calendar of events or sign up for our newsletter to learn more.

You can also connect with us via email: [email protected], or at any of our social media sites:

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The Importance of Using a Coach-Like Approach to Leadership for Everyone

by Coaching Out of the Box

A coach-like approach to leadership offers an effective way to positively influence a team and/or employees by simply changing the way the management are viewing their position and providing an alternative to the controlling strategies currently in place. Employees and teams operate more efficiently when they are coached as opposed to being controlled, micro-managed and belittled. Replacing “ruling with fear” with a coaching atmosphere increases productivity, satisfaction and communication among other positive attributes. It also increases the likelihood of keeping good employees longer, which cuts down on costs associated with replacing employees and covering missed workloads.

A coach-like approach to leadership challenges staff and provides a deeper level of trust in their abilities. Not only is the staff more productive, but the management can be as well since they no longer have to worry about overseeing every aspect of their workforce’s day. Most often, these coach-like leaders gain an understanding of how to operate this way from being coached. Although they have no intention of becoming actual coaches, the strategies and understanding of the coaching approach, give them a better way to communicate and encourage their staff. Employees want management to be approachable, understanding, empathetic, encouraging and trusting. These are key aspects of using a coach-approach and can be effectively taught to management who are open to learning how to use these strategies for their benefit as well as the benefit of their staff.

In fact, it isn’t just high-level management who can benefit from these characteristics; any level of management or even non-management can produce amazing results simply by better understanding how to use a coach-approach with those around them. Investing in this can be an essential tool for growth in any corporation and doesn’t necessarily need to start at the top. It is essential for a company to stand behind this initiative in order to see full results, which is to say, put their staff before their bottom line at least in the interim.

A supportive company culture, a commitment to investing in employees and a willingness of management to learn are all required in order to move into a coach-like approach to leading any company. Without these essentials, there is bound to be failures, but when everyone is fully on board, the possibilities for progress are endless.

Coaching Out of the Box® has several courses available this fall. See our calendar of events or sign up for our newsletter to learn more.

Want to learn how we can bring leadership skills to your business or organization? Contact us directly to discuss the options available for you.

You can also connect with us via email: [email protected], or at any of our social media sites:

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Some Great Coaching Questions to Get the Dialogue Going

by Coaching Out of the Box

Almost every conversation begins with questions. Getting to know someone better can lead into a more in depth and complete dialogue. This is even more important in the coaching field. The biggest challenge comes in when deciding what questions are the best to ask and each situation can be different, requiring unique question plans. Overall, however, there are some great questions to progress through a coaching dialogue with a coachee. Here are a few:

  1. What would you like to talk about today? This opens up the dialogue and lets the coachee guide the conversation.
  2. What outcome would you like to have from this conversation today? This question can help keep the coach from assuming they know what the coachees intentions are.
  3. Have you dealt with this type of situation before? This may help bring previous solutions or failures out which will help guide the conversation.
  4. What are the limitations here? Hopefully this will cause the coachee to stop and consider more thoroughly. Anytime a question is posed that requires a brief pause, give the coachee the time they need to fully investigate their response.
  5. What does your intuition/gut tell you about this situation? This may provide some insight into the coachee’s mindset or even values regarding their situation.
  6. What have you tried/what can you try to do to solve the issue? This either provides a bit of background on how the coachee has already tried to solve it, or opens up the conversation for ways to move forward with possible action plans.
  7. What benefits do you see in one course of actions vs. another? Again, this allows the coachee to delve deeper into their options to see what they will see as a better choice and why. It may also help solidify steps towards an action plan.
  8. What do you need in order to be successful with this? Perhaps the coachee simply needs support and this is something the coach can provide or the coachee may have a friend/family member who could assist with this requirement.
  9. What have you learned in this process? This question could be in reference to the situation the client is facing or the coaching process. Be specific with which one though to avoid confusion.
  10. If the conversation lags or the coachee gets stuck, change up the questioning to have them focus on a different perspective. Try using questions like “if this situation were reversed, how would you want it to be handled?”. Occasionally this different perspective is all a client will need to progress into solutions.

Regardless of what situations the coachee is bringing to the table, there are questions that can help them see things differently and hopefully come up with solutions that will work. Even if a coach gets stuck with ideas for questions, it is best to try and keep the conversation flowing and many “What” questions can help with this. If the situation is especially complex, an “outside of the box” question may help bring about the required insight.

Coaching Out of the Box® has several courses available this fall. See our calendar of events or sign up for our newsletter to learn more.

Want to learn how we can bring leadership skills to your business or organization? Contact us directly to discuss the options available for you.

You can also connect with us via email: [email protected], or at any of our social media sites:

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

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