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Coaching: The Power of Clarifying (on ICF Blog) by Sirirat Siriwan

Apart from questioning and listening, clarifying is one of the most powerful coaching skills. A great coach needs to be the great clarifier. A great clarifier needs to be a great listener.

In the beginning of a coaching session, a coachee usually starts the conversation by telling a coach his situation (which includes a lot of story details and characters, as well as describing of all related emotions). An interpretation of the situation based on his paradigm or ego impacts the way he has expressed the issue. The mixture of fact and interpretation can create confusion, frustration and bias for him. A coachee feels his interpretation is a fact, even though it may not be. His interpretation is just the way he sees the world, but it seems so real for him. So, he will respond to that situation with his blurring eyes.

A coach’s responsibility is helping a coachee get rid of the blurring and to create an understanding of what the real issue is. The ability of a coach to deeply listen and distinguish between facts and interpretations, as well as mindfully point them out to a coachee are significant for creating a coachee’s self-awareness, learning, and growing.

Clarifying is the best proof of how deeply a coach listens to his coachee. A coach who has listened to his coachee actively and profoundly will be able to access what hides under the coachee’s expressing words. The spirit and ability of a coach in letting go of himself to listen to another person completely with no bias and judgment will help him to deeply understand and be able to contribute succinct and sharp clarification of statement that awakes his coachee up. It’s like turning on the light in the darkness of a coachee’s mind.

During a coaching conversation, a coach can use clarifying comments anytime to make the point clearer. The benefit is, not only for himself as a coach, to gain clarity of the real issue and create mutual understanding, but also for the coachee to gain self-awareness, and be ready to move forward to the right direction or find the solutions that suits him.

Examples of clarifying statements and phases in coaching conversation:

– Based on what you have just said, it sounds like the main issue of this situation is communication across function. Am I correct?
– Sounds like you are looking for a way to make the right decision of your future career.
– Based on what you have shared with me, I can summarize by dividing it into three main points: (1) You have accepted that your boss gave you a lot of opportunities; (2) You are afraid that she will be disappointed by your current performance; and (3) You want to do something to start over again. Did I cover them all?

The values of clarifying in coaching conversation are as follows:

– To identify the real coaching issue.
– To clarify coaching expectations.
– To create focus of coaching conversation.
– To create a coachee’s self-awareness.
– To help a coachee understand his current realities.
– To help a coachee move forward with learning and growing to the right direction that really suits him.
– To make the sure coaching process proceeds efficiently.

In conclusion, a coach doesn’t need to be a knowledgeable person of the coachee’s issue, but he needs to become a ‘Crystal Mirror’ to reflect realities. With the combination of great communication skills and the emptiness of the coach’s mind, clarification will provide the most valuable information that helps coachees discover, grow, and create positive change and significant impact for their lives.

The Power of Listening by Sirirat Siriwan on International Coach Federation

Listening is the most important skill in conducting effective coaching conversation. A coach can learn the most about their coachee by deep listening with no judgment and attachment. How deeply a coach listens to the coachee critically affects the quality and results of coaching in creating the coachee’s self-awareness and learning. Trust and intimacy between coach and coachee are built on the coach’s active listening skills. A coach who is skillful listener will be able to ask powerful questions and provide depth and valuable clarifying that reflect coachee perception and emotion, which impact on coachee self discovery and moving forward.

As the gained benefits of my coachee are the center of coaching conversation, my main focus is on developing and practicing my active listening skills. I believe that listening is the most challenging part for all coaches. Listening with no judgment and attachment takes a lot of mind practice. A coach’s self-awareness plays a significant role to make sure they are maintaining a neutral perspective while expressing empathic listening and acknowledgement. Even a coach who prepares himself/herself well before the coaching conversation can be careless at some moments and judge the coachee during the coaching conversation. Of course, the coachee can feel or sense judgment from the coach, based on the questions the coach has asked or the feedback provided, which may result in loss of trust.

To develop and practice active listening skills, I would like to share some of my guidelines as below:
Before any coaching conversation, I will…
• Put my own paradigm, knowledge, and experience aside. Remind myself of my coach role in understanding, not judging.
• Make sure there is no personal agenda or any attachments of the result of coaching conversation.
• Empty my mind, no thinking of anything in advance. This lets my intuition and intelligence work naturally on the foundation of integration of coaching skills and process.
• Practice mindfulness and self-awareness by listening to myself every moment, observing what I think and feel. (To observe ourselves is the most challenging way and much more difficult than observing of other people. So, practicing with ourselves is a great and impactful way to start.)

During any coaching conversation, I will…
• Be completely in present with my coachee and follow them 100%. I just dance with their insights.
• Listen to not only what my coachee says, but also his/her emotions, motivations, values, and paradigms behind their words.
• Catch my coachee’s emotional state and energy from his/her eyes and body languages, especially facial expression, as well as their voice and tone of voice.
• Notice languages coachee uses. It may demonstrate his/her thinking pattern, values, and interpretation.
• Be self-awareness through coaching conversation. If judging occurs in any steps of conversation, I can be aware of it and get rid of it right away.

Hopefully, these guidelines will be helpful. The more a coach expresses their active and profound listening to coachee, the more the coachee will learn and grow. People always need to be listened and understood. It’s the greatest way of encouragement and reinforcement to develop people to positive and more sustainable changes. It’s like giving the coachee oxygen. The more oxygen absorbed by the coachee, the more he/she becomes open and reasonable, and finally able to discover themselves and finally unleash their potentials.

Coaching Skills: GROW Model Questioning

Coaching Skills: GROW Model Questioning.

The Truth about Performance Coaching

The Truth about Performance Coaching.

ผู้นำ: แนวทางการบริหารคนที่มีความแตกต่าง โดย ศิริรัตน์ ศิริวรรณ

ผู้นำ: แนวทางการบริหารคนที่มีความแตกต่าง โดย ศิริรัตน์ ศิริวรรณ.

To become a Great coach, you need to be a Great listener

To become a Great coach, you need to be a Great listener.

There is no Coach in Coaching!

There is no Coach in Coaching!.

To become a Great coach, you need to be a Great listener

Listening Skills is the most important part for becoming a great coach. We cannot ask powerful questions without active listening. Listening what coachee says is not sufficient to help our coachees. We need to listen to what behinds the words, listen to his emotions, his values, his motive, his pattern of thinking, so that we can be able to reflect how coahee really feels, understand what his paradigm is, what his motive and main concern are. The more we show we understand him, the more trust we can gain from him, and that impacts on the results of coaching.

Sometime, we may have a conversation with coachee who has fear inside, but he doesn’t tell us directly. He may be even not awares of that feeling because it’s deep. However, it can be showed in the words he has used, his voice and tone of voice, his breath, his eyes, his body languages, especially his facial expressions. As a Coach, we needs to be completely in present with our coachee and empty our mind so that we can catch up his feelings and perceptions, gives clarification to him, shows deep understanding with no judgement or attachment.

It may not be easy to do this all the time especially for the coach who has so much ego. Ego will lead coach to judge rather than understand coachee perception. Egoistic Coach may demonstrate his nice and kind manner but hide his personal agenda to lead coachee to some set outcomes. This coach will manipulate and lead coachee by using nice leading questions or giving many advices.

The quality of coach’s listening skills can be affected by his full of thoughts, pressure at work, health problem, emotional state, and exhaustion. So, before having coaching conversation, coach needs to make sure we are completely ready in both physical and emotional states. Otherwise, we can create terrible coaching conversation and our coachee deserves better than that.

However, Coach is human. We have emotions and dilemmas of ourselves. For me, I am practicing to be aware of how I feel every moments. I start to check whether my ego is taking over me. I want to be conscious of myself and maintain my peacefulness whatever happens because I know this is the way I can help my coachees the most.

“Trust created on the foundation of how profoundly we listen to our coachee. So, Listen more than words.”

There is no Coach in Coaching!

Today, I practiced using coaching skills to coach myself as I will be assessed based on International Coaching Federation (ICF) next Monday to become Results Certified Coach. I coached myself whether I can acheive very high percentage score and how I can do it. I just want to challenge myself a bit to become better. Like training, I have always prepared myself 120% even for the program that I have delivered regularly. Then, before the training started, my mind was already completely empty. My program and I became unity. I came to the class with confident but lacking of ego and the end results was so great.

Wow! it’s wonderful experiences that can be applied for my coaching assessment or even real coaching situations well. Prepare 120% to make all processes and skills to be harmonized and united. The next step is to empty my mind and kill my ego so that there are no attachments or personal agenda during coaching conversation. No thought of the result of passing and the score required. The structure of coaching conversation and I become united. I don’t need to worry about the structure anymore because I practiced enough. Then, I can be completely with my coachee 100% to dance with their insights. Like water, I become very flexible to accept the coachee as the way they are and be able to adapt myself well in communicating / dancing with them with their preferred steps I will listen to them profoundly without judgement. There is no right or wrong about them. I am just an invisible coach.

So, now, I feel free. I can let go myself. I still keep practicing not for my score but for my coachee (my assessor) benefits. There is nothing to do with me. These are my insight of coaching me today.

The spirit of Coaching in Training

I am a Facilitator. I think I have done very well in facilitating people thinking. Most of the time, I asked questions over 80% comparing with telling during training. For coaching, I ask questions almost 100%. I believe in people potential and how they can become the best through appropriate ways of facilitating. I think Trust is the most important part of the training and coaching world. That’s why I will provide very clear placement to make my participants and coachees feel certain. I empty my mind so that I can be with them 100% and to let them to get into my world. Then, I ask and listen profoundly. To maintain self esteem of other people is also significant. To make my participants or coachee feel free to be themselves, I will tell them that my role is to help them, understand them, not to judge them. Positive feedbacks will be very useful in encouraging people to make them feel confident. Training and Coaching are about Love, Kindness, Killing of Your Ego, and Facilitating Skills. I love Training and Coaching because it helps me to become better person so that I can help others. I am very lucky to work on both areas.

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