Coaching – the benefits are widespread …
Few people will have failed to see the explosion of coaching in business over recent years – whether it’s executive coaching, internal coaching, business coaching, leadership coaching or team coaching. A CIPD survey showed that four-fith’s of respondents use coaching in their business across the UK – it increases productivity, empowers employees and can reduce reliance of team members on their managers as they become more confidence and feel more assertive in making decisions. Investing in individuals in business really improves personal effectiveness and the more occasions of this happening in a given business the bigger the positive impact on the business overall – with reduced absence, staff attrition, and increased productivity. Managers and Senior Leaders who are coached become more inspired and if they in turn coach others the benefits can be huge. Coaching therefore has real business benefits in terms of morale and also on the bottom line.
The benefits to SMEs and Entrepreneurs is equally impressive – asking for help is absolutely not a sign of failure or weakness, it is a spring board to success. Entrepreneurs report that coaching helps create space for thinking, finding their own solutions, provides an outside perspective and provides accountability.
I love seeing the difference that coaching makes to people and their businesses when they want to push themselves to the next level. I become formally qualified as an Executive Coach (ILM level 7). I now have this alongside my Myers Briggs & NLP – but what make’s the biggest difference?
As a coach & trainer to coaches, what are my tips to success?
Everyone has the ability to be a great coach. If you have an attitude of curiosity and the desire to want to help others develop themselves then your part way there. The skills of communication are critical however – the ability to ask great questions (that prompt the coachee to think in a way perhaps they might not have on their own) and listen, really actively listen (as a coach you are always listening more than you are talking and reflecting back to your client). Yes, there are plenty of processes, structures and frameworks designed to help you have a great coaching conversation (and if you’re starting out, this is a great place to start), but I think great coaching goes way beyond this …
How does NLP enhance Coaching?
NLP teaches us enhanced communication skills and this goes hand in hand with all great coaching (in fact I would probably go as far as saying that without great communication skills coaching has much less impact). Many people mistakenly think of NLP as a ‘bunch of techniques’ and whilst there are some fantastic techniques, it’s as much about language. NLP teaches us a whole host of ways to enhance our coaching and I believe gives coaches the edge over coaches that don’t have such honed communication and language skills. Traditional coaching does not offer solutions (instead we focus on helping the client get to their own solution). With NLP, coaches not only have the ability to help facilitate someone getting to their own solution and use their language to bring about change, they can then take a step further and help the client in other ways – it’s a natural extension and as long as it helps the client get the results they desire, then I want to help. Some examples of how NLP helps coaches include …
- Build rapport with anyone (which is the basis of all communication)
- How to notice tiny changes in someone’s physiology (we refer to as sensory acuity) so you are able to notice if something you’ve said, or if a thought that has just gone trough their head, has touched a cord in some way – something you might want to explore further
- Re-framing is a great skills for helping people see new possibility
- Perceptual positions is great for helping people see things form different angles (creating new options)
- ‘Well formed outcomes’ rather than SMART goals always makes sure coachee’s targets much more compelling to their mind
- Anchoring is also helpful if someone identifies a particular issue (such as ‘I lack confidence in front of the boss’) – we can encourage the coachee to consider how they’d like to feel instead, and help them set themselves up for success next time they see the boss.
- Language skills; on the one hand questions to help the coachee get really specific with their thinking – and so get to the root of the challenge they are facing – or questions that are ambiguous in order to aid creative thinking.
- Adjusting the level of detail in our langue as a coach is key in order to fit in with our coachee
- Values are what motivate us – understanding these can help us understand why we might get blown off course at times, and we can work to address this
- Internal conflicts – such as part of me thinks I can do ‘x’ and part of me doesn’t – we can use NLP to clear up the conflict so that previous energy and head space is not wasted on this
Now, if you’re an experienced coach you may be reading these examples and thinking, yep some of that sounds familiar, but I wouldn’t have labelled it as NLP – and for me, it matters not what the label on the tin is – NLP offers a toolkit or a collection of things that any coach call pull from (think of it as a repository of tools that have been pulled together into one place to create the toolkit for you to use). It’s about honing our skills being able to best help our clients or coachees get the success that they want and get rid of what is holding them back (I don’t know about you, but rather than help a client find ways to push a boulder up a hill, I’d rather help them get rid of the boulder and move forward in any way I can!).
Laura is passionate about helping people realise their potential, and achieve the results they deserve. She believes, if you change your thinking, you can change your results. If you’d like to find out more about Unleash Your Potential, you can check out our NLP courses and coaching options, and link up with us via our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or link up with Laura via LinkedIn. You can of course also email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org