Out of the Box: Requesting - The opportunity to ask the World of your Coachee!
by Alison Hendren, CEO, MCC
Many people who learn coaching skills are under the false impression that they should never ask anything of the coachee but simply let them come up with what they are willing to commit to....WRONG!! Requesting is one of the 5 Core Coaching Skills in our 5/5/5 Coaching Skills Training Program™ because there are many times when making a request can catapult the coachee to a whole different level or at the very least accelerate movement thru a particular challenge or issue.
A great way to do this is to make a request i.e. "I would like to make a request for you to come up with 3 key strategies that could solve the conflict with your Director in half the time. You can accept, reject or negotiate it. What do you think?" The bottom line is to find a way to ask more of your coachee than they might themselves or support them in seeing something in a completely different way. If the request isn't quite it, work with them to find one that is and hold their feet to the fire. When we are coaching or being coach-like we are supposed to truly believe that our coachees are capable of so much more and they are! If we don't make requests that demonstrate we believe it is possible for coachees to solve that problem, achieve that goal, deal with that conflict, realize their dream, soar as a leader, take that risk, learn that new skill, ask for that grant, etc. then we are not being all we can be as coaches! What is the request it is time for you to make?
Out of the Box: Trust Me!
"Self-trust is the first secret of success". – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to trust ourselves. Trust that we will make the right decision. Trust that under pressure we will do the right thing. Trust that when placed in a difficult situation that we will be able to cope. Trust that we will say the right thing at the right time. Trust that our coaching skills are good enough or that we are good coaches.
Key to building self trust is listening to our gut instincts; that little twinge deep inside that indicates the best direction or the thing to say in that moment. In coaching, when we ask the question that our gut is telling us to ask, 9 times out of 10 it is exactly what the coachee needs to be asked.
In addition, it is important to be open to the possibilities. That means as coaches, taking chances and stretching not just our coachees, but ourselves. The more we stretch the more we grow and the more our self trust grows.
Lastly, it’s important to practice, practice, practice particularly when it comes to coaching. The more you can stretch your own coaching muscles and try new things on for size, the more trust you develop. (HINT: That’s why practicums are so awesome, as they provide you with the space and the time to practice.)
Just remember, YOU have what it takes to do the right thing, to say the right thing, to ask those great questions and to be the best coach possible to your coachees…so let the TRUSTING BEGIN.