What’s my Coaching Style?
What’s my Coaching Style?
Over the past few months I’ve been ‘interviewed’ for a number of Coaching Assignments via video calls. It’s really enjoyable meeting people across the globe, from Italy to the US and Canada, to Africa and even Australia. That’s the beauty of tech and remote working. Having worked with global clients for 17 years I’m also used to dealing with different cultures and diarizing Coaching meetings over different time zones.
Whether the prospective clients require Executive Coaching, Career Transition and Outplacement Support, or Resilience Coaching, the most frequently asked question during these virtual ‘chemistry coffee’ meetings, tends to be ‘What is your Coaching style? ’ So, here’s an insight in to how I am likely to respond:
When I set up Natural Talent my mission was to genuinely help clients to ‘realize their true potential ’ and build on their skills and their natural talent. I also decided to 'give back' by providing 25% - 40% of my work pro bono, in particular to retiring service personnel and athletes. Due to my experience and varied commercial background in Sales, Marketing, Account Management and Consultancy, I tend to provide 60% Mentoring and 40% Coaching. Clients often comment that I will see through all the noise in order to cut to the chase and understand the main issues very quickly, so I'll use some of their kind words to describe my style succinctly:
‘An incredible Coach; candid, no-nonsense, engaging, inspiring.’ Country Manager, Tech
Clearly, we’re now living in ‘unprecedented times’ to use the worn-out expression, but over my varied career I’ve dealt with the aftermath of a range of critical incidents and Coached leaders and their teams through various M and As, as well as during the recession of 2008. However, I’ve not witnessed anything like the scale of redundancies and despondency caused by the coronavirus and subsequent lockdown. So, nowadays it’s more important than ever that I flex my style according to the client’s requirements and key issues. I am also very empathic towards an individual’s particular circumstances, always being mindful that Coaching is not Counselling as I’ve been trained to identify if a client requires either intervention, or indeed both. During Resilience Coaching clients can benefit from using practical Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques alongside what they are discussing with their therapist.
Of course, during Coaching we have a job to do – both the individual Coaching client and I have specific objectives to work on; we need to demonstrate to the commissioning organization and key stakeholders that we are not just having a pleasant catch up over a virtual coffee, but that we are working on specific development areas.
Although Coaches may continually ask their Coaching client ‘How does that make you feel? ’ I’m often told by clients that they don’t want too much empathy, therefore my approach is always bespoke. We address key issues in a confidential, safe environment and I introduce relevant, practical tools and techniques clients can practice in order to be able to improve key leadership and management skills, from problem-solving and decision-making to strategy alignment.
‘Jill is highly sympathetic to individual circumstances and her listening skills are excellent. Her approach during Executive Coaching for myself and the leadership team has enabled us to be supported in a 100% confidential and trusting safe space, resulting in a fully aligned team.’ CEO
Working with many US clients over the years I have been told that I am assertive at the same time as being very understanding and positive. Most leaders want to discuss issues and then have the opportunity for check and challenge. So, I always use a holistic approach to clients issues and situations. We begin by assessing their key strengths, development areas and concerns. Then we score their skill levels against proven leadership and management competencies.
If a client wants to conduct a virtual Face to Face or online 360 Feedback Review we can do so, or work with their existing data. The same applies to Personality Profiles and Occupational Tests – either we can use our range of Assessment Solutions or work with the outputs from the client organization. We identify any limiting beliefs and barriers to learning or to performance improvement, such as overcoming imposter syndrome and then we start work on any opportunities for improvement, such as delegation and empowerment.
At the start of any Coaching Assignment we agree on what needs to change then develop a SMART Coaching Action Plan to change behaviour from where the client is now to where they need and/or want to be, for example, improving skills in Remote Management, Communication or Performance Management. At each Coaching session we work on real-life scenarios, utilizing effective tools and techniques to address key issues. I set interim Coaching assignments (otherwise known as homework!) for each client to practice models and tips, as well as to obtain feedback and report back on progress made. At each Coaching session we always take time to reflect but also to horizon-scan so that leaders and managers can be more strategic and less operational, especially in times of crisis. The key is to create sustainable behaviour change and measurable results:
‘Jill’s Coaching style is highly motivating and impactful. She provides practical, solutions-focused Coaching to achieve swift results which create excellent ROI.’ COO, Engineering.