9 Reminders of What Great Coaching is


Match vigorously
Becoming like them will lubricate communication. Listen and use their language and key words. Note how much emphasis is put on their words and use these yourself. Some coaches note down just the key words on paper to use later.

Naturally you mirror their physiology, their energy, eye contact. What about pace and tone of voice, hand gestures, but only when you talk.

Create Presence
Start with a relaxed and open state, no barriers. When this state has been created, bottle the energy bubble and cloak it. Place the cloak over the two of you and this will allow you to block out any distractions even in a busy hotel bar.

Sharing your ideas
Many new coaches or very busy coaches find it painful to wait patiently and let their ideas percolate. Instead they like to give their ideas or opinions. Strictly speaking this is dangerous as the ideas become yours, not theirs and they become reliant on you. Leading questions are even more painful; just don’t go there. Here’s a few ideas:

Mentally step out of the coaching bubble and offer your idea but give them an opt out clause

Challenge a different person to come out with some ideas – how would your playful self answer or how would your mentor respond?

Mentally step out of the coaching bubble and offer your idea but give them an opt out clause. Let’s step out of our coaching session for a moment as I’ve a couple of ideas to float past you. If they’re not fruitful we’ll go somewhere else.

“Can I offer you my line of thinking?”

“What would a courageous you say?”

“Let’s step out for a moment, I do have an idea.”

Then give them the opt out.

Would that work for you? If that’s not a rich seam for you, where else would you want to go?

Read physiology, sense and challenge
Calibrate them immediately and observe leakage, when you see it, challenge it. For example, with a sudden sweep of the arms, ask if they want to move on or sweep away the idea. Watch their face closely and look for expression leaks and challenge them.

Endless curiosity
Which translates into brilliant listening, which all coaches do. It’s not about active listening, it’s about being in the present, not judging or solving the problem prematurely in your head. It’s about being curious to find out more. Clear the mind, trust in your ability to listen and stop thinking. That’s their job, not yours.

Truly wonderful coaches then summarise regularly. 25% of coaches summarise a little and paraphrase a lot. 25% of coaches just test their understanding but 50% of coaching effectiveness comes from doing both – summarising regularly and testing your understanding: “Have I got that right?” “Is that where we are?”

Mature questioning flexibility
Good coaches do ask short open questions with lots of sugar coating – using tone of voice and softeners such as – “Tell me”, or “I’d be curious to know“. Excellent coaches use a variety of question types in a funnel approach. Broad questions at the top of the funnel to light the fire, probes to keep them on the subject, closed questions to channel thinking and confirm.

Well paid coaches then stoke the fire. Tease conversation from them, never ever interrogate. Coaching is about asking questions but not continuously. Use your senses to channel, play devil’s advocate, enjoy silence, let them think things through, watch their eye movement as this will show thinking. Give them space. Use nods both verbal and non-verbal to encourage their talk. Empathy statements work in showing an understanding of their conversation.

Actions that’ll be actioned
We’ve all seen coaches using the words – “I’ll better do this” or “I ought to do it this way by next week or I’ll be in trouble”. When action planning at the end of the session – when, what, whom – test their dependability. On a scale of one to ten, how likely are you to do this? What do we need to do to get this nearer a ten?

Listen out for their motivational state – is it duty, drive or flow? Do they have to do it, do they need to do it or do they want to do it? – Flow.

Elicit strategies
Everyone with a few miles on their clock will have strategies to do things: methods or structures to handle most aspects of their lives. I call these strategies. So in the reality stage of the GROW model, explore how they would normally handle this kind of goal. How do they normally make decisions, what strategies do they normally use to brainstorm?

Belief systems around goals
During the reality stage, most coaches will explore what the person has done before, the current situation. Great coaches explore the belief system surrounding the topic since beliefs determine the action they’ll take. Probe around their supporting and restraining beliefs. What’s important to you around this topic? How do you feel about it? What do you believe around this area?


About Author

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Paul Archer is an Online Sales Trainer, Speaker and Conference Host. He’d be happy to assist you in moving your workshops online during this challenging period. Email him on paul@paularcher.com or LinkIn with him at www.paularcher.uk The world of sales development has changed, many have missed this and boldly go on to run courses in the old-fashioned way. You want to develop your people – professional advisers, salespeople, coaches - and know there is a better way. He can help you. Think about music. I mean the music industry. In 2000 music became free, illegally at first with Napster, downloads became cheap as chips and streaming now cost $10 a month. In the same way, traditional self-development is now free. Everything is available online. Music artists and bands now make their money performing live. The live experience is what fans will pay money for. Recorded music is merely to create demand for the live experience. He brings his 35+ years of sales expertise and experience to you in two ways: Online, on-demand, just in time. He doesn’t run “just in case” training courses, they’re a thing of the past. Development should be “just in time”. Curated video, live videocasts and webinars, podcasts — books, articles and blog posts delivered via his Learning Platforms, YouTube or your in-house systems. Live. He can bring his expertise to your teams in live sessions, but these are rare now and need to be exceptional events. Conferences, seminars and events, he can educate, entertain them with my unique speaking style that has been enjoyed by thousands of sale people and advisers across the globe. Forty-five minutes, 2 hours, maybe a day – you choose. You figured there was a better way to develop your sales teams, you are right, and now you may want to make contact with him so you can talk further. You can Linkin with him at www.paularcher.uk, and he’ll start a conversation or head to his YouTube Channel for more at www.paularcher.tv email him at paul@paularcher.com or phone him on +44 7702 341769, and where ever you are in the world he’d love to hear from you. Paul is a prolific writer and blogger – maintaining three blogs, with www.paularcher.com attracting thousands of hits from all over the world. He has published eight books. His latest tome "Pocketbook of Presentation Skills” was released in January 2020 and is available from Amazon. The third edition of his book “Train the Trainer of the 21st Century” is also available from Amazon.

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