coach effectively
∼ Co-Written by Dr.L.Michael Hall and Shawn Dwyer ∼

To Coach Effectively, You Have To Match And Lead

As a leader how do you coach effectively and interact with work colleagues and clients?
This article will explain by using coaching skills that we are able to support other people to get what they want in support of their outcome. Can you persuade your clients? Lets discover how some of our coaching strategies work slightly differently to how you might communicate at work now.
One of the key concepts from Milton H. Erickson was the idea of “pace, pace, pace, lead.” I don’t know anyone who stressed the importance of entering into your client’s world more than Erickson to coach effectively. He even went so far as to say that with each new client you have to invent a new theory of human nature. It was his way of saying, “Drop your assumptions about people, release the judgments that you have spent a lifetime developing, start with a beginner’s mind, meet your client with an attitude of know-nothing.” Therefore when you lead, you are in the mode of persuading.

Coach Effectively With The Mode Of Persuading

Start “pacing,” that is, matching your client’s way of being, talking, interacting, thinking, feeling, etc. When you do this, you enter into your client’s mental and emotional space so that you can now begin to understand that person on his or her terms. You meet them at their model of the world. All of this is designed to support the person so he feels safe, listen to the person so she feels heard.
With this base, then you can lead. “The coach can lead?” Yes, of course! In fact, that’s why your client has hired you – they need your facilitation skills in order to achieve what they want. That may involve getting clear,
making a decision, creating a plan, finding and accessing resources, making a change (these are the first five basic coaching conversations). Your job as the professional coach is to lead and guide your client by facilitating what the person wants.
Frequently in the supervision and benchmarking role, I interrupt and ask to the coach, “Are you in charge of this session? Whose leading, you or your client?” Typically I ask this when the coach is “chasing words” and going
round and round in circles and the session is not going anywhere. It’s the coach’s job to make sure that the session is going somewhere. Sometimes when I interrupt, I say to the coach, “Are you not going to lock down the
subject that your client has given you?”

Leaders Lead

• As a coach facilitating a coaching conversation, what does leading mean? It means many things, here are key activities that are involved.
First lead your client to get the subject of the conversation. As amazing as it is, a great many clients will sit in your client chair and not know what they really want. They kind of know. They may think they know. But as the conversation begins, they spin around here and there- they do not know! Your leadership is needed at that point.
• Next, once you identify “the subject,” then lead by facilitating the client to get a clearly defined outcome of that subject. That’s why the well-formed outcome questions gives you a powerful template.
Use it to lead the person to develop an outcome that is well-formed. Do you know those questions by heart? If not, memorize them. Then practice getting through the questions in 12 minutes. Practice over and over completing them in twelve minutes..
• Along the way, your client will frequently respond in such ways as to sabatoge things, not purposefully, but it will happen. Now you have the opportunity to lead your client by confronting those things that are interfering. It could be some incongruencies, excuses, blind spots, playing small, etc. here is another place where your client needs your leadership.


• Another aspect of leading is by summarising where the client is. Strange!? Sometimes clients get so caught up in the conversation and internal thoughts that they lose track of where they are and where they are in the conversation. By summarising and pulling things together for them, you provide an important leading.
• Once you have co-constructed with your client a well-formed outcome and you are at the place of doing various interventions. Each intervention that you suggest or recommend is another place of leading. “In view of you wanting to become the kind of person who does not quit and who does finish what you start, there is a coaching pattern that might be just the thing. Would you be interested in that?” So then, you pace from where the person is and wants and you lead to facilitate her to achieve what she wants.

To Coach Effectively Is Leading

In all of these ways, and many more, as a professional coach, you are in a leadership role and you are paid to lead your client where your client wants to go.. That statement is not absolute, there are times when where a client
wants to go is unhealthy, un-ecological, and even dysfunctional. One of the advanced skills of listening is being able to hear mis-diagnosis and call your client to that awareness.
To be effective as a coach, you have to be persuasive. That leads to a very personal question – How persuasive are you as a coach? How much more persuasive would you like to be?
These leadership skills are learnt through the Self Actualisation Leadership Diploma that is available now with enrolments open until the 1st of July, full course details can be found here Self Actualisation Leadership Diploma
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