When we hear the word ‘coach’, what usually comes to mind is our favorite football guy or that basketball dude that is always prancing around and speaks a lot, encouraging his crew.
But of course, we have to note that coaching is a profession that extends beyond the world of sports.
Same as teaching goes beyond a classroom.
And it's clear that the field of influence you choose will help you define the ways and strategies you'll take to grow your impact and scale your business.
But no matter what your field is, there are 5 communication secrets you must possess or acquire if you really want to stand out as an expert.
Being in sync with the person or people you are coaching is a very key component.
The person under your tutelage has a background, a history and a life perception that forms his personality.
Being able to know where they are coming from makes it easier to have a basic understanding of where they are headed. It will also give you a foundation to build up strategies and plans aimed at making them confident of their worth.
I once had a scene where I was able to connect to one of my clients because we both knew a thing or two about winter baths.
The truth is that most times it is the simple things that end up making the most profound impact.
There’s a deeper understanding you get of someone who opens up to you during a personal session.
This applies especially if you are dealing with a team.
I discovered this during one of my sessions with a middle-aged man who had been a victim of online fraud and was very wary of chats. He became more open and accommodated when we finally met in person.
People also tend to be more open when you show that you care about their person.
A particular woman I had a session with had amazing plans towards a thesis paper she was tasked with, yet was impervious to advise because of low self-esteem. She believed everyone was after what she had to offer without appreciating her person. She replied my questions in monotones.
I had to dedicate time to build a relationship with her. When she saw how much I cared about her person, her replies took a more solid form, and her self-expression became more precise.
This is also a good time to input some of the ‘know what you want quotes’.
You are going to come across people who are in a field they have no business being in. They probably got in due to peer or family pressure.
As a coach or teacher, one of your tasks will be to help them find their bearing and encourage them along the way.
You should also try as much as possible not to impose your views on those you mentor; rather you should help them identify their real goals, and guide them in the best direction to achieve them.
Knowing when to apply ‘verbal thrashing’ and when to throw the ‘you can do it’ punchline is one of the qualities of a great leader.
There would be times when your feelings would tempt you to blast your team. Be careful not to do that especially in times when it will cause much more harm than good.
Serving more encouragement than the opposite will also deepen the bond of trust and respect between you and your followers.
I once had the privilege of coaching a senior man who was very influential in his field. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, he had come to an impasse with his board of directors on an issue and needed help.
Now if I had chosen the “shouting him down” approach or provoking him to action by the use of certain type of words, I would have lost his respect, and I would never have been able to help him.
Because of my careful choice of words, while pointing out a seemingly wise mistake that turned out to be foolish, he listened to me and was willing to apply the advice I gave him.
Approach matters a great deal.
Honing your self-control is one of the best sub-skills you would learn when dealing with people.
Another quality I believe a mentor should control is sarcasm.
Now, I am quite sarcastic as a person, but I also understand that there are people who don’t understand sarcasm. There are people who get hurt by sarcasm.
Having this in mind is quite crucial, especially since people are very different from each other.
This quality is one of the most essential to have.
Being transparent and realistic about things is a big plus.
Beyond the fancy words and the ‘invest in yourself’ quotes or ‘when you fall, try again’ charades, people would connect to a mentor figure in whom they can see themselves.
Do you know that there are people who would get inspired to change just by how real you put yourself?
A single mother of two came up to me once and just hugged me. I had gone through some long-term goals with her husband and why he had issues achieving them.
I shared with him my own story, how I was addicted to shopping once (although it was short-lived). And just by this act, I helped him come clean about his spending problem. The family now saves more with an eye out for the future, and the husband even seeks her advice on his own business plans! Such stories do warm my heart.
Being original for you as a leader and a communicator should be at the heart of anything you do. It should form the platform from which you motivate people to reach their goals.
Work on Yourself
Warren Buffett is worth approximately 84 billion USD today. As an investor, he would tell you the importance of improving yourself, sometimes at the detriment of your own pocket.
“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get”.
From communication seminars to books, podcasts and workshops on leadership and mentoring, do your best not to stay stale.
Improve with time; you only impact to others what you have.
I remember having a friend who always strove to know more about her field, even reading outside the box.
I always thought she was overdoing stuff, but today she is a valuable person in her company. And her wide nature of reading puts her in the best position to offer suggestions to people in high positions.
Would you not rather go for saving a person’s morale and potential than your pocket? Especially when you know your team places enormous trust on your ability as an influencer?
Irrespective of the types of coaching you choose to major on, self-improvement is vital for every one of them.
Coaching is not a cheap venture.
And it should never be embarked on with money as the main motivator.
Your joy as a coach would come from seeing the people you influence go out and be the best versions of themselves. No one likes to be associated with failed advice.
When they come back to you, their eyes beaming and their confidence shining through their achievements – that’s a priceless feeling.
Because when they succeed, so do you.
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