The Most Important Communication Skill for Coaches to Have When Coaching Clients

Effective communication is one of the most essential and effective coaching skills. A great coach has excellent communication abilities and has invested in building a strong relationship with their clients as part of their training approach. They have found a way to use effective communication as part of their training technique. Most of the coaching skills appear on any standard list, with one or two additions of their own.

Some of them, such as goal setting or feedback, can be divided into discrete steps and taught; others, such as empathy and intuition, are skills that the coach naturally possesses or that emerge over time as a result of the practice of other skills. From a formal point of view, the coach must know how and when to introduce goal setting into the training process and will generally be familiar with models such as SMART objectives (a SMART objective is specific, measurable, attractive, realistic and timed). This is often referred to as active listening to emphasize the difference between passively listening to what the other person is saying and actively interacting with them and showing that you are paying your full attention to them. This involves putting your own concerns and ideas “in a box” while listening, which can be particularly difficult for coaches and managers, but it's a skill worth developing.

You can probably remember the last time someone put everything else aside and gave you their full attention; it's a powerful experience, partly because it's so rare. By listening carefully to another person, you send a powerful double message: first, that you're there to support them in whatever they're doing, second, that you're paying attention and expecting them to live up to whatever commitments they make. There are several techniques and models used to teach active listening, but the easiest and most genuine approach is simply to be genuinely interested in the other person and to be curious about what they can achieve. Empathy develops naturally by watching and listening. If you do this with attention, you can begin to get an idea of the other person's emotional state.

Focusing on another person for an extended period of time can be tiring at first, but if you stay that way, you'll discover one of the great secrets of coaching: empathising with another person can be a fascinating and enjoyable experience for both you and the coach. I often feel like receiving coaching sessions, partly because I know that they will take me out of my usual state of personal orientation; at the end of the session, when I return to address my own concerns, I will likely see them with a new perspective. Among these skills, I think that questioning is perhaps one of the most useful skills a coach can develop. All coaches must be able to develop trust and professional closeness with their clients, which creates a psychologically safe climate for their ongoing work together. Effective coaches make a conscious effort to understand their communication styles and, in turn, to pay attention to the communication trends of their clients. Thus, while the results of workplace coaching benefit the individual coach professionally (and values them), they have two mutually inclusive purposes (Smither, 2011).

A great skill of coaching is to actively listen to the client, gather information and then filter and clarify it for the client. It's a broad topic, but the key to providing effective feedback to coaching is to be observational and non-judgmental. A supportive coach who encourages clients to develop a growth mindset can help them accept their flaws and any mistakes they make on their journey, increasing their self-confidence and pushing them to implement their intentions for improvement (Driver, 201). Leary's Rose (195) is just a very useful example framework that coaches can use for a wide range of communication styles. Coaches rely on emotional intelligence to communicate with their clients, understand their perspectives, give feedback, and more. They only consider the customer and generally encourage them to adopt behaviors that motivate themselves, but at the end of the day, life coaches don't have to worry about the organization's strategic objectives. To move toward results, coaches often need to change clients' perspectives or help them reach new understandings.

Although different bodies have varying ethical guidelines, each coach must be able to understand and apply the relevant standards in their practice. Don't leave your clients alone after the session and provide a guide or framework throughout the training. Adversity and setbacks are part of life and are often part of a person's training journey. In addition to the coaching sessions themselves, leaders and managers should consider how to build a healthy work culture that leads to learning and professional development.