According to the 2016 Global Coaching Study released by the International Coach Federation, there are over 53,000 coaching practitioners who earn income through professional coaching. In addition, there are about 11,000 managers or leaders who use coaching skills to benefit their organizations.
But what about the rest of us? Do you have to be a professional coach or organizational leader to use coaching skills? Of course not.
The coach approach has great value for every sphere of life, and in my opinion, ought to be brought into every sphere of life. I believe I’m a better husband, father, and friend—roles that have nothing to do with me being a professional coach—because I’m able to use a coach approach in these relationships. Maybe you’ll find the same for yours.
Here are six coaching skills for everyday life.
Try a little test: enter a conversation and see how long it takes for you to begin thinking of your own perspective. As you were thinking of your own, what did you miss of theirs? Listening is a lost art these days. We’re quick to move onto what’s next and unsure of the outcome if we do stop and listen. But it’s in the listening that we learn and help others to hear themselves, too.
If you’re not curious, everything’s a dead end, but if you are curious, you write your own invitation to a fuller life. New lands are discovered not through answers, but through questions. Being curious about people and places and the spaces within them guide you to higher ground. If you want better answers, then ask better questions. Become curious and let wonder lead you.
In my own coaching, I’m aware of my own strengths and try to use them as much as I can. I also try to spot the strengths of the person in front of me, and use them for greater understanding, motivation, and connection. What if we did the same in everyday life? What if we approached our days with strengths in mind and mobilized them on purpose?
In coaching if you have don’t have trust, you don’t have a foundation upon which to build. During a session, if I sense the level of trust dipping, I try to restore it because trust is critical between people. The same is true in life. If you don’t have trust, you don’t have much. Test your words and actions against the trust test: Does this build trust or diminish it?
Some folks come to coaching sessions just to have undistracted focus on them: “50 minutes devoted entirely to me? What a dream!” The truth is, we live in a time when we don’t focus on who’s in front of us anymore. We play with our phones and we think of other things instead of the human being right in front of us. Then we wonder why we feel so alone. But whomever is in your view is your chief business. Focus on who's in front of you.
Coaching sessions begin like this: “What would you like to walk away with from today’s session?” A simple question helps to clarify what the client wants to get from the time together so both coach and client are agreed. If only life were like this! How often do you have conflicts because of different expectations? You were expecting one thing, he or she was expecting another, but you didn't know because you hadn't talked about it. By clarifying expectations, you can get on the same page early on.
As you can see, you don’t have to become a coach practitioner or organizational leader to use coaching skills in everyday life. You can use them now.
Which coaching skills would bring the greatest impact to your life now? How will you do more of them today?