Professional coaches spend weeks and even years attending training courses, honing their skills and pursuing recognised accreditation. All of which can be useful and perhaps essential to be a proficient, credible and skilful coach.
But what about professional trainers, who deliver content? They don’t want a career as a coach, but know that coaching techniques will enhance the impact of their interventions.
Global mobility specialists BGRS have a pool of highly-skilled intercultural trainers. They provide training on cultural norms and practices for managers relocating to a new country. Whilst trainees are strangers to their new cultures, they also bring with them a wealth of know-how that could be put to work.
BGRS wanted their intercultural trainers to develop coaching skills, so as to harness trainees’ know-how. The Challenge: How to help these skilled trainers to be confident and effective at incorporating coaching into training interventions without having to attend lengthy training programmes themselves.
The Answer: Solutions Focused Micro Coaching Tools (MCT’s) - a set of sequenced solutions-focused coaching questions related to a specific topic. BGRS trainers use these question sets to guide trainees to make significant progress faster.
Our colleague Regina Reinhardt, herself an experienced solutions focused practitioner and intercultural coach, identified the topics that relocating managers most frequently raised in training sessions which lent themselves to coaching.
One of the most popular is ‘Switching between Direct and Non-Direct Communication Style’. And here’s the MCT – the questions which the trainer asks those managers:
What are you aiming to achieve through your communications?
Which style is most appropriate here (direct/non-direct)?
How do you know?
What would be the benefits to you of adapting your style?
On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is expert and 1 is you know nothing, how skilled are you already communicating in a non-direct/direct way?
What’s got you that high? Please share examples...
What else do you know about this communication style?
What would be the first signs to your colleagues/boss/others that you were communicating more in a non-direct/direct way?
Where else in your work and/or life would it be useful for you to adapt your communication style?
What’s the first thing you can do to take this forward?
We complied a short MCT handbook to help trainers be aware of the tools and to know when and how to use them. We’ve introduced them with 1-hour large-scale interactive webinars and smaller practice groups. And voila – BGRS now have a bunch of trainers who have started their coaching journey, equipped with the confidence and tools to switch between training and coaching modes.
Please feel free to test this coaching conversation structure, and let us know how you get on. And share with us how you encourage trainers to take a more coach-like approach.
Director at The Solutions Focus
Executive Coach, Consultant, Trainer, Facilitator