The process of coaching can be described as a dynamic “dance” between the client and coach, requiring a lot of skill and sensitivity in the moment. There can be a misconception that coaches simply point people towards their goals and suggest ways to reach them, but coaching is much more than that.
In this post, we will explore the three core pillars that make up one of our most important Coaching Mindsets: the coach needs to be agile, present, and curious in order to deliver effective and lasting transformation with their clients.
So let’s go a little deeper into each of them and explore why they are so vital.
Agility is an essential skill that we teach our students. We sometimes refer to this as “meeting them where they are.” A great coach is able to calibrate their approach to connect with their clients moment by moment, no matter what is showing up. This requires flexibility in the coach and a willingness to change orientation in real-time based on the client’s needs.
Agile coaches are able to move seamlessly between different approaches and skills, depending on what is working for the client at any given moment. To become masterful at agility takes time and practice, of course. However, we at ACT teach a range of skills from day one that will set you on the right path and immediately put you at an advantage.
The ability to be present with a client is crucial. It’s a skill in sensitivity and reading the space between you. Being present means sensing what’s here and responding accordingly. This enables us as coaches to be engaged in the conversation while fully focusing on the client’s needs, goals, and challenges. When a coach is present and open, the client feels this, and it imbues the partnership with a deep sense of safety and trust.
Great coaches are able to listen deeply to the more subtle things that may not be said, which enables them to formulate powerful questions and provide meaningful reflections. Being present looks like a superpower from the outside, but it’s very much something we can attune to, learn and hone as coaches.
Curiosity is a vital muscle to build for coaches. Curious coaches are able to ask insightful questions that come from a place of not knowing and this supports and empowers clients to do the same – to explore, play and uncover brand new possibilities.
When coaches approach client sessions from a place of deep curiosity we help our clients see things from very different perspectives and they discover that there isn’t in fact just one way of seeing a situation.
An attitude of open curiosity is freeing and liberating which promotes growth, creativity and conscious choice in both the coach and client – and it’s way more powerful than simply answering a question with a ‘smart’ answer.
We at ACT see Agility, Presence, and Curiosity as essential skills, not just “nice-to-haves” for those wanting to deliver world-class coaching. By cultivating these mindsets, coaches create supportive and empowering environments for clients to explore new possibilities, achieve their goals, and reach way beyond what they thought was possible.
If you’re excited to train to be a world-class agent of change and a fully certified leadership coach, read more about our LPCC course right here.