Coach School

Three Types of Coaching Feedback

Positive FeedbackCoaches, especially new coaches, view feedback as a mixed blessing. They know it’s a key element for improvement but they fear being crushed by what clients have to say. Here are three ways to solicit feedback that are easier to take.

External feedback around the client informs you. When the client reports that people around him are noticing a difference, that’s telling you something as well. Performance reports, 360 surveys, and requests for coaching from your client’s colleagues all provide insights. Admittedly, these types of feedback are indirect indicators.  While they may not be directed towards your improvement, they have a high degree of credibility and truth.

External feedback from the client is invaluable.  The hardest part for new coaches is sitting in fearful anticipation about what will be given as feedback.  The problem is not the feedback; it’s the anticipation of feedback.  One thing that Ultimate Coach University student coaches have found is that written feedback carries less fear.  You are not hearing from the lips of your client; it’s not a knee jerk reaction. Instead, written feedback is designed to be more tactful and that makes it easier to take. Develop a quick one page email form that can be sent to your clients a few times during the coaching.  You’ll be glad for the insights it provides.

Internal feedback to you is integral to improvement. Unless you’ve stopped growing as a coach, you need to ask yourself some important questions.  Ask yourself questions like:

  • Did my client fully understand what he/she needs to change, improve, or continue doing?
  • Did my client understand why he/she needs to change, improve, or continue what he/she is doing?
  • Does my client have a sense of ownership for the plan and results?
  • Did I listen effectively?
  • Do I have a plan for reinforcing or following up on the coaching?

While you can talk harshly to yourself, you are more likely to find valuable answers to these questions that you will implement immediately.

Nothing can remove all of the fear surrounding feedback.  Once you start to become comfortable with your process, then the fear starts to dissipate.

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Ultimate Coach University Launch Workshop is This Week

Ultimate Coach University launches new cohortOn Wednesday, May 16, Ultimate Coach University launched its fifth cohort of coaches.  That’s said with a little sense of pride.  The bigger feeling is a sense of wonder as new coaches understand what it means to be a coach and are playing full-out in their new role.

Yesterday’s training was about thinking like a coach.  Today’s focus is on the skills of a coach: listening, curiosity, and asking open-ended questions.  Tomorrow’s topics are on acting like a coach.  We’ll update you throughout the day on Facebook and in the near future we’ll have a video or two where we give some students the opportunity to talk about their experience during the three days.

UCU continues to grow in the breadth of its offerings.  When we started last summer, we offered specialized major in life coaching, direct sales coaching, and salon coaching.  In this launch workshop we’ve added a fourth major, Quantum NLP coaching.  When we have our next Launch workshop in Dallas on September 12-14, we’ll be adding students to a new track in business coaching.  And enrollment is open.

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Coaching Clients on Authenticity

In just about every list of leadership characteristics, you will find “authenticity.” Seldom, however, do leaders come to coaching so they can be more authentic. They want to know what to DO, not what to BE.  Often, they will say things like:

  • I want to create a more trusting team.  No more backstabbing.
  • I want to do a better job of mentoring and growing new leaders.
  • I want to take my leadership to the next level.
  • I want my team to perform better.

As we work through the coaching path to create goals for our engagement, new leaders come to the realization that great leaders have already discovered; leadership growth is about discovery and self-development.  Great leaders work to understand more about themselves and, in doing so, start to understand how WHO they are affects HOW they act.

Authenticity is the ability to be you regardless of the situation. It is a state in which you are so comfortable that you can share deep pieces of yourself comfortably. Coaching for authenticity usually involves three pieces.

Leaders seek clarity and understanding about their values. You can’t be authentic if you are clear about what you value. At Ultimate Coach University, we have several classes on value clarification with clients. The tools for this involve value sorting exercises, biographies of admired leaders, visualization boards, and practice in powerful discovery questions.  One tool that is recommended is the Values In Action Survey of Character Strengths which is free.

Leaders seek clarity and understanding about their strengths.  In its simplest, a strength is anything that leaves you feeling more powerful and a weakness is anything that leaves you feeling drained. Besides strength finding surveys, coaching clients are pushed to discover these things on a day-to-day basis.  A 360 is a great way to discover what others see in you.  Strengths are the activities that we want to do: the behaviors.

Leaders develop a strong connection between their values and their strengths. The core questions are powerful ones:

  • What do you need to do so your behaviors (strengths) reflect your values?
  • How will others know this is the real you?
  • What will make this a consistent and persistent pattern of activities for you

As coaching clients start to live what they believe, their authenticity becomes more and more apparent. What they want to do will match who they are.

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Business Coaching is Not Like Football Coaching

Not Business CoachingNot all “coaches” are created equal.  At Ultimate Coach University, our coach training program, we teach people who want to improve their coaching skills as well as those who are training to become professional coaches.

Once you find a coach, you’ll discover your best practices, learn more about yourself, and achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

Coaching is not on-on-one training.  It’s not having someone give you the “playbook” for your business, your life, or your relationships. There are a lot of people out there who will charge you to learn their playbook and call it coaching.  Really it is more like a football coach.

I have a friend who is terrific football coach. He devises plays for offense and defense, he teaches his players the plays, and he observes practice.  He usually calls the plays.

But his players are limited to his playbook.

A great business coach will not give you his playbook and plug you into his plan for your business.  A great coach will allow you to explore your best practices, partner with you to find innovative ways to improve, and let you build your own playbook.

If you just want somebody to “tell you what to do,” get a trainer or a mentor.

If you want a coach, here are three quick tips.

  1. Get a professional.  Credentialed coaches are trained to bring the best out of you.  They are skilled at listening to what is being said and what is not being said.
  2. Hire the right kind of coach.  It is important that your coach has at least enough expertise in your circumstance to support you.  If you want a business coach, don’t choose a relationship coach.
  3. Make sure your needs are met.  I just had a client invest in a coach who gave her his “playbook” and it really didn’t fit.  You have the right to ask your coach to stay on your agenda.

Coaching can increase your effectiveness, improve your satisfaction, and keep your focused on what you want.  Even coaches need coaching.  So, what kind of coach are you?  Share your niche with us!

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Speaking Your Client’s Language

I am fascinated with the concept of staying in the coaching space with my client.  While I am listening, reflecting their words and working to hand back their thoughts and feelings, I am grateful for DiSC.

Here is a quick review of DiSC

D: Dominant, Direct, Driven

I:   Influencer, Inspiring, Inviting

S:  Steady, Supportive, Status Quo

C:  Conscientious, Contemplative, Cautious

A person whose primary communication style is “S” or “I” will typically be more in touch with their emotions, so questions that evoke feelings will help them hone in on what they want.

Here is a recent exchange with a person who exhibits a lot of “S”:

How does that make you feel?

“Oh I am overwhelmed and frightened.”

What would it feel like if you were not overwhelmed or frightened?

“Oh I would have an easy peace and know that everyone was fine.”

Tell me more about the feelings of harmony?

“There would just be more peace on my team, more collaboration”

What little steps (remember the “S” wants incremental, not drastic change) could you take to resolve this situation on your team?

“Well I guess I would have to talk to the person who is causing the trouble”

What would that feel like?

“A little scary but I have to do it for that sake of the team”

How can you approach her and maintain your sense of harmony?

“I am going to ask her first if we can talk about something that isn’t comfortable for me to talk about.  If she says yes I will describe my observations.”

And what will you do if she is unwilling to budge?

“Oh that would be so sad, but I guess I would have to let it go.”

Can you see how the use of questions that includes feelings, harmony, and help the client to own her solution?

Speaking each client’s language through rate, tone, and words really does get to the heart of the client’s known and unknown world.  When I use words, nuances, and questions that resonate with a client, they are more aware of their own thinking.

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UCU Programs

UCU ProgramsYou know there is a coach in you and you’re ready to advance.

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Major Areas of Study

When you are ready, we’ll be here to help you find your coaching success.

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Class Descriptions

When you are ready, we’ll be here to help you find your coaching success.

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Faculty & Coaches

“This training is applicable in any walk of life whether it is business, sales or management. It is so comprehensive it applies to anyone who communicates in an organization.”

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Find the greatest research about Leadership and how become one of Them.

  • Check our newest post about Leadership
  • Great inspiration to succeed as a Leader
  • Tips, Tricks and much more about Leadership
  • How to Discover the Leader within you