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Coaching | Being Present | Listening

Conversations about leadership, learning, coaching and change.

How to capture YOUR coaching moments

How to capture YOUR coaching moments

by Moyra Mackie on October 11, 2013

As a professional coach perhaps I shouldn’t be saying this, but:

 “Anyone can be a coach.”

And what’s more, you don’t have to be shut in a room one-on-one to flex those coaching muscles.

Coaching moments happen all the time

You might be having coffee with a colleague or friend, leaving a meeting, picking up the kids or sitting down to dinner with the family.

In any of these moments, someone is bound to say something that describes their situation – “I’m stuck” – or their emotions – “I’m sad, mad or surprised”.

Sympathizing is not the same as listening

As colleagues, friends, parents or partners we can always:

  • sympathize –  “that’s a shame”
  • or minimize – “never mind, next time”
  • or collude – “no way – you’re great – they just don’t get it.”

But it’s not about you

The above responses are – whether we are conscious of this or not – about moving quickly away from what might be negative or uncomfortable emotions or reactions.

A coaching approach is about giving the other person time to reflect on their situation or on their feelings.

This may sound the opposite of caring: “tell me more about how bad you feel”.

Listening is more powerful than agreeing 

But the right questions will allow the other person to explain, explore and to BE HEARD. Work in large scale conflict resolution projects has shown that being listened to is valued more highly, and creates more rapport, than being uniformly agreed with.

So here is my personal and subjective list of how to define coaching:

coaching, change, coach

Being present for the other person is a rare gift

In order to capture your coaching moment and deepen your connection and relationship with the person expressing their concerns, you will need to slow down.

You will need to focus on the other person and avoid rushing to fill the silences or to offer what you would do in their position.

The wonderful thing is that we are hard-wired for connection

A little bit of non-judgmental listening, a bit of patience and being comfortable with being present will usually work whether you are communicating with a six year old or a sixty year old.

So what kinds of coaching moments will you try to capture?

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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