The way you are in a relationship is determined by who you actually are. That absolutely is a part of effectiveness in a coaching conversation–both for a coach and for a client.
To reach the pinnacle of your coaching effectiveness, there are some self-oriented realizations that will make you more effective. You can group those realizations into three categories: self-awareness, self esteem, and self efficacy. Self-Awareness is defined on Wikipedia as the capacity for introspection and the ability to reconcile oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.
Put more simply, it’s the ability to be on top of the feelings, impulses, and thoughts that run through yourself at any given time. High levels of self-awareness are especially important for coaches because your thoughts and feelings help determine what you say to your client. The ability to be decisive about the helpfulness of your thoughts and feelings to your clients is a crucial skill for effective coaching.
Self-Esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect a person’s overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. Issues of low self-esteem are familiar topics in coaching relationships, but may be more effectively dealt with in a counseling relationship. The key factor is whether an action plan will help an individual deal with their self-esteem challenges, or if the key issue is rooted in the individual’s thoughts or feelings about their past.
Self-efficacy is the measure of one’s own ability to complete tasks and reach goals. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-efficacy) Even though we typically pay much more attention to self-awareness and self esteem, I would argue that self efficacy is the most important measure a coach can focus on. Helping a client understand accurately what they’re capable of doing is one of the things that good coaches do most effectively.
Challenging a client to see their capabilities as just a little bit stronger than they actually are can inspire the client to take on projects that are harder than the norm. What are your strategies to coach for higher levels of self efficacy?
his is where bold questions really began to pay off. A question that helps a client see possibilities that otherwise weren’t on their radar changes their overall perspective. Questions that stretch a client beyond what they thought also add to self-efficacy.
And maybe most important, stretch goals that take several sessions to actually accomplish are a tremendously effective strategy for building self-efficacy over time. Clients that believe they can accomplish more than their previous track record would indicate are usually the clients that end up being most satisfied in coaching relationships. And self-efficacy is a key part of that process.