Book Excerpt: Communication Is Key

I’m always amazed when coaches who have encountered an obstacle during the coaching process ask, “How can I make the client do this or that?” when I know all too well that we coaches can’t make clients do anything. Yet, coaches sometimes feel that it is their job to independently fix a particular problem or challenge that is occurring during coaching. These coaches forget that coaching is a joint process and that concerns are often best brought directly to the client. Instead of leaving a challenge unspoken, coaches can bring questions to the attention of the client for a collaborative discussion. If the coach has a concern that the client is unhappy with coaching, for example, the coach should feel free to come right out and ask. “How is this working for you?” “How might we make things better?” and “What is your level of interest in coaching at this time?” are the kinds of questions the coach might use. Open, honest communication is a simple but powerful tool for working through coaching obstacles.