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5 Questions to ask yourself about your coaching practice

Published: November 4, 2014
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How effective is your coaching? Karen Jacques, Impact Executive Coach and Senior Consultant gives us her top 5 questions.

Is your coaching relationship built on strong foundations?
Have you got an effective working relationship and are you able to openly have a conversation about what’s really going on? If not, you may need to do some more groundwork to establish enough trust between you.

How good are you at making the switch from every-day-busy to calm-and-focused?
If you’re not as effective as you’d like to be, consider trying to find a symbol or trigger to help you make the switch. Try stepping away from your desk, looking out of the window briefly, or closing your laptop and turning off your phone. This gives you a few moments to calm your mind, so you can focus properly on the coachee.

How effective are you at closing down a coaching conversation and protecting your time?
Those who struggle with this can soon find themselves swamped. Make sure you manage time and keep conversations productive. Be clear up front how much time you can offer, and if it is not enough be honest about this and schedule the conversation for a better time.

Are you able to suspend judgement when you listen?
If you find that people frequently seek you out and confide in you with everyday problems then this is a good indicator that you are getting this right!  If you find yourself getting judgemental, remind yourself that the person is a capable human being, fully able to solve problems for themselves. If you don't believe this is true, you probably shouldn't be trying to coach them - switch to directing, teaching or another appropriate style.

Are you making a difference?
This is the ultimate question! Do people do anything different as a result of your conversations? Help your coachee track both their successes and failures, and make time to try and determine the causes of both. Stay resolutely curious about why they might be getting stuck and help them identify the root causes.