starting out as a coach – what i wish i knew then!

17 things I wish I knew when I started leadership coaching almost 9 years ago:

1. Learn the models, then learn to stretch and break them. GROW was helpful at the start. Now I just let go of those structures.

2. There is a line between coaching and counselling. This blurs over time as you get more comfortable. Get counselling so you can experience the difference and draw the line for yourself.

3. Seek mentoring and coaching. You speak with conviction when you evidence what you speak.

4. Trust silence. Silence is not passive. Think of someone you love right now and your last memory of them…. that wasn’t passive as you created that memory… trust the space.

5. Speak less. It’s not about you. It’s about the other person in the conversations. Also know that the space between you and your coachee benefit from you sharing more about you so that trust increases.

6. Stay curious a little more and invite your coachee to do the same. Slowing down is typically where most of the insights emerge. Slow down. It’s more productive than you think.

7. Nature helps our nervous system’s settle and feel safe. Use appropriately.

8. Coaching isn’t just asking questions. It’s ok to share your thoughts from experience. This can add to the map your coachee is navigating.

9. Read the books. Then live. It’s easy to stay academic, harder to practice what you preach.

10. Your coachees are more resourceful than you think. Allow them to take responsibility for their situation and to come up with what is right for them to do next.

11. “I don’t know” is ok as a response. But it’s also sometimes a barrier to thinking. They might be asking you for the advice or guidance rather than having to think themselves. Push appropriately.

12. There are rarely black or white responses but we are at the mercy of our biology which wants binary, all or nothing choices. Lean into the grey more often and explore slowly and with patience.

13. You don’t need to be an expert in their world. You just need to be curious a little longer.

14. If nothing changes, nothing changes. Awareness is helpful from coaching, but so is responsibility to act differently with that awareness. Raise awareness, increase responsibility. Then let go.

15. Make sure to look after the energy you bring to conversations. Back to back coaching doesn’t work much and all as you want to do it. Rest, recover, recharge and show up with renewal. Most people are already stressed, don’t add more to the dynamic.

16. We all have an exterior we put on to hide our mushy heart. Demonstrate vulnerability so people come back in contact with their heart and then help them choose how best they express this.

17. It starts with self. Always. The answer to an inner problem is not solved outside. Look within. Trust. Back yourself.

You are enough.

What would you add to the above?

What is your favourite or the one you’ll lean into yourself?

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