|In this “Heart to Heart with Julie” column, Julie Johnson MCC shares sample coaching conversations and situations to help you grow along with her learnings, ideas and practical tips to help us all become better coaches. These are real coaching experiences that illustrate common issues coaches face.
We encourage you to share your thoughts, learnings and own experiences in the comments below!
These articles were first posted on Julie”s blog, The Coaching Cube, and have been updated for inclusion here.
In this month’s article from Julie, she offers us a beautiful example of how we can help a client grow and overcome a challenge—using simple feedback and their strengths as a lever.
Some time ago, I was heading into a two-hour virtual coaching session with someone new, and I remember feeling quite tired. Warning bells went off, and I prepared to manage my energy.
The moment we met, however, it all changed. I encountered such an energetic and positive person that I felt the fatigue leave my body, replaced by oodles of energy! I thanked her for her contagious enthusiasm, and we dove into the discussion.
Our job in this coaching session was to to debrief the results of a rich and complex personality assessment that the coachee had recently completed. We were to collect a list of strengths and development areas as they related to a challenging position she had just taken on. My role was to help her interpret her scores, and in particular to make the less-than-obvious connections.
Like many assessment debriefs, I had to do a fair amount of talking. And we discovered that the coachee’s strengths included enthusiasm (indeed!), speaking her mind, positivity, curiosity, proactively taking the lead, and interpersonal relationship management.
Each time when we started to speak simultaneously (and that happened a lot), she would keep speaking over me.
I found myself backing down each time, even though I believed I had something of value to offer. I also tried several times (unsuccessfully) to keep talking until she would ‘back down’.
Curious about this repeated behavior, I started to make mental notes of how it was making me feel: impressed yet annoyed, not valued, and frustrated because part of my job was to share my analysis and interpretation.
As we combed through her assessment results, we eventually uncovered a potential development area around pushing one’s own views over others.
My light bulb went on, and I realized that this behavior had played out right in front of me, over and over!
A few days later, I received an email from her thanking me for the session and this discovery in particular.
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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