Put Your Coaching Skills to Work


As you know, I returned from ICF Conference in London two weeks ago. Now that I have had a chance to think about the experience a bit more, I realized how much change coaching can affect. Yes, I know it sounds weird coming from an executive coach. But as I sat in a ballroom of almost 1000 coaches from 58 countries, hearing example after example of how coaches have rallied together to help local communities recover after massive natural disasters, helped companies drive unprecedented business results, and collaborated to build coaching skills; I was truly proud to be part of the profession. It inspired me to do more and think about how I can continue to work with my clients and our local ICF chapters to think even bigger. So today, I want to challenge you to think about how you will put your coaching skills to work.

When was the last time you asked someone how you could help them achieve their career goals?

Throughout the years, I have regularly asked each of my teams what they want to get out of a particular project or experience, whether it was something work-related or a volunteer opportunity. Doing this allowed me to think more strategically about their development and how I could put my network to work for them. Many of you may have conversations about career goals as part of the performance management process (goal setting, mid-year, and year end), but I encourage you to revisit them throughout the year.

How often do you delegate with development in mind?

As you gain experience, certain aspects of your job may feel routine. So you may underestimate how much you can teach others about what you do and how you do it. The next time you delegate something, do it with the other person’s development in mind. How can you stretch them? How can you leverage their strengths? Asking these questions may shift how you position the work and how you work with the person to complete it.

How much do you advise versus coach?

Although there are times when people truly need your advice (perhaps because they don’t know what they don’t know), there’s so much power in asking thought-provoking questions to generate new insight. This can change a person’s perspective and the choices they ultimately make about the path forward. So before you think about jumping straight to giving advice, stop and ask yourself whether an open-ended question could be more impactful.

So, I urge you to put your coaching skills to work this week. Identify one step you’ll take to make a difference. And remember that small steps can lead to big results.



© 2012 Neena Newberry | All rights reserved.