Set the stage for magical coaching

Coaches listen. But not with the ear of a friend. Most of the time, it’s not our job to listen to the minute details of a story.

Why? Because it’s not the coach’s job to gather up details, understand the nuances and then produce a ready-made solution to the situation. Even though some people expect that. If we keep problem solving with our clients, they will keep expecting that. It’s a cultural habit: we share a story with someone and get advice back – especially when we talk to friends or family members.

Listening is where the magic starts

It is the coach’s job to listen – a bit to the story, but mostly beyond the story to hear how the client is telling their story and how they are holding their story.

What are they excited about?  What are they dreaming about? What scares them? Where are they getting in their own way? What triggers them? What kind of human needs might be driving them at that moment?

Those answers don’t come from the multitude of details of the story. It comes from listening to the client’s bigger picture.

Sometimes it’s even a disservice to a client to let them tell a story yet again, especially if it’s a drama where they end up as the victim. Because every time they tell a story in that way, it reinforces their view of being a victim.

A coach helps the client see themselves differently

Our job is to help people see themselves, their world and their stories in a different way and to support them to find their own solutions through shifting their thinking.

To do this we need to get both coach and client out of the arena of details and problem solving and that happens by creating a good starting point. Which means investing in contracting at the beginning of the relationship.

Tips for great contracting

These tips will support you to move away from problem-solving and into the world of magical, transformational coaching.

  • It’s a conversation that creates clarity at the beginning of the relationship. It also establishes some amount of authority as a professional who is there to help the client navigate their world more effectively.
  • It’s a two-way street. The coach asks for permission to challenge, reflect back or to use coaching tools. We inform that we are not the problem-solver but instead one who listens, reflects, asks questions and helps the client access their internal strengths. We might assert boundaries about what topics we’re willing to discuss.
  • And it’s also a time to ask what the coachee wants or needs in the relationship and to discuss how that might look.
  • A contracting conversation gives us the opportunity to share the ethics we ascribe to as professionals. And perhaps the ethos or background we follow as a coach.

Contracting isn’t only a conversation about what the coachee wants or needs (if they’re even clear about that)… It’s a robust conversation that sets the stage for an empowered relationship and powerful coaching where the coachee can gain clarity, discover inner strengths and find a sustainable pathway forward.

Coaches Going Corporate

Coaches Going Corporate

In Coaches Going Corporate, you build confidence in taking a personal development approach and you learn how to stay out of the weeds of stories and problem solving.

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