by: Natalie Tucker Miller
Just as important as coaching skills: Talking about coaching.
Learning and practicing effective coaching skills is an obvious essential in our paths to becoming better coaches. But have you considered how you talk about coaching? This is as important to coaching as skill mastery. The way we discuss coaching impacts people’s understanding of why it’s important, how it works, and how we can benefit from coaching.
For those of you who have been around awhile, I’m sure you remember the days when using the words “coach” or “coaching” immediately meant sports. Talking about it in the 20th century was more about explaining what coaching wasn’t!
Times have changed, and with all things that grow, coaching has seen its evolutionary progression from “not sports” to “backed by science”.
This can greatly inform the way we talk about coaching. From thinking of it as remnants of personal development that many see as “woo-woo”, to an understanding of how personal transformation affects our brain’s neural pathways, to an understanding of how the brain actually processes information.
For instance, a simple example of this is how a lot of coaching’s success is due to a coach asking questions and encouraging the individual to focus on finding solutions, rather than dwelling on the problem. This helps encourage positive patterns and connections in the brain. Solutions and positive activities interconnect in an increased manner and create new networks. When an individual comes to a solution themselves, the brain releases a stream of neurotransmitters and new connections are formed.
You may or may not choose to explain coaching in this way. More to the point is to learn, understand, and consider why coaching is so important, and use language that aligns with your understanding.
Some further reading on coaching and science:
Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC, is the Lead Certifier and a certifying examiner at the IAC, as well as Past-President. Natalie is founder of Ageless-Sages.com Publishing (http://www.ageless-sages.com/), and creator of the literary genre, Picture Books for Elders™