Nowadays it seems as if everyone is a “coach”. But what does coaching really mean? I loved this article which highlighted four key tools that professional executive coaches employ to foster exceptional performance in others.
1. Acknowledgment: Great leaders and coaches pay attention to others — to their gifts and talents — and spend time thinking about how to best harness the energy of those around them.
2. Great leaders, coaches and business professionals all share the ability to ask great, open-ended questions. They are endlessly curious and eager to learn.
3. “Intuitional perspectives”. As we progress through our lives and careers, we gain immeasurable experience that allows us to recognize something on an intuitive level before rationally putting two and two together to reach a conclusion.
4. And perhaps most importantly, silence.
In her book Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time, Susan Scott said that we can “let silence do the heavy lifting” in our conversations. “Most exceptional communicators discipline themselves to use the power of silence. By incorporating it more in conversations with those we lead, manage, seek to coach, teach or parent, we can literally listen the answers out of others — answers that are more powerful than our answer because they come from the person who needs to own and act upon them.”