The word “curious” has several dictionary definitions and meanings.
When I use the word curious in Coaching what I mean is “Eager to learn OR interested in knowing about what the other person truly means when they say something”. What I don’t mean is “Prying or nosy or snoopy”.
Why does curiosity help in coaching and why should a coach be curious?
When a person is going through a challenge and needs help with coaching, he/she has already done his/her best to address it and wants help. As a Coach, with prior permission from the client, we need to step into the client’s space. We need to learn about what that challenge actually means to them at their intellectual level. We need to learn how they feel about going through that challenge and how would they feel if it is addressed. We need to learn how the challenge affects their personal and professional relationships. More importantly we need to learn how their fears and frustrations show up in their physical body. As you can see only be being a curious person a Coach can uncover the true challenge that seems like a blind spot for the client.
How can a Coach help by being curious?
Before becoming curious, a Coach must first seek permission from her/his clients to ask questions. A trained Coach asks these questions in a certain way to uncover the true reasons behind the challenge that the client is going through. A Coach must create a comfortable space for the client. Sometimes a client may become too emotional and may not be in the state of mind to answer them. However the client needs to understand (especially in paid sessions) that the Coach wants to deliver his/her best to help the client achieve his/her outcome in the time period mutually agreed. So the coach might come across as a probing person or rushing through instead of being truly interested. Under these circumstances it is recommended that the Coach reminds and seeks permission to ask questions like ” Is it OK for me to interrupt during our sessions?” “Do I have the permission to ask you questions that will help me uncover the situation underlying the challenge that will help you achieve your goal faster?”
How can a client be supportive to the coach in achieving his/her goal faster?
I am answering this question, for a scenario where the client has hired his/her coach after investing financially. The client has agreed to the time commitments required for the sessions. The client has fully understood and agreed to what she is signing up for. Here are three ways you could be a supportive client:
1. The client acknowledges, accepts and ALLOWS the safe space provided by the Coach. This will help in facilitating the process of uncovering the real challenge that the client is seeing as a blind spot.
2. The client could commit and be PRESENT for the session completely in mind, body and spirit not for the sake of the coach, but for the investment in her precious self. This will help in grasping the one powerful insight OR one powerful action step that is offered in each Coaching session.
3. The client commits to apply the insight in her personal and professional life OR takes the action agreed upon during the previous session.
Action Step: Now it is your turn to share your views as a Coach or Client.