Coaching can be seen as a professional art, seeking to profoundly impact others. To truly excel as a coach, we need to understand the essence of our coaching style, which we, at Sandown Business School, often refer to as a ‘Your Coaching Signature’.
This unique fingerprint sets every coach apart. It can play a pivotal role in building your confidence and ultimately how you work with others.
Let’s further explore the journey of developing greater confidence through understanding and refining your coaching signature.
How do we Develop and Understand our Coaching Signature?
Understanding your coaching signature marks the genesis of a transformative journey. It represents a deep dive into self-awareness, unveiling the intricacies that shape your unique coaching approach. Through this exploration, you will gain insights into your strengths, values and preferred methodologies, laying the foundations for authentic and impactful coaching. Using this awareness as a compass, you will have a greater sense of clarity and purpose, which will flow and ‘show up’ as you being a confident coach, but also your clients having greater confidence in your coaching capabilities as they will experience you as a confident coach.
Once you know your coaching signature, this can become a guiding light, shaping every aspect of your practice. Herein lies the essence of its transformative power – the ability to infuse coaching interactions with authenticity and purpose. Why authenticity and purpose? Because you are aligning your values, beliefs, actions and outcomes, which will amplify your confidence in your work because you are whole-system aligned – generating an inner and outer alignment – what you are think and what you do match.
This congruence forms the bedrock of your coaching which will have so many systemic ramifications – and, ultimately – a developed and understood Coaching Signature.
To cultivate and refine your coaching signature, here are some pivotal ways through which you can nurture and develop your coaching signature:
Reflective Practice: Introspection serves as a cornerstone for understanding and refining your coaching signature. By engaging in regular reflective practices, such as journaling or peer supervision, you will gain valuable insights into your strengths, areas for growth and evolving coaching style. This introspective process fosters self-awareness and enables you to align your practice with your authentic self, bolstering confidence in your abilities and capabilities.
Seeking Feedback/Feedforward: Embracing feedback as a catalyst for growth supports you to refine your coaching signature iteratively. Actively seeking feedback from clients, peers and mentors provides valuable perspectives on the impact of your coaching. Through this feedback loop, you will be able to identify areas of resonance and opportunities for refinement, honing your signature with each coaching interaction. Feedforward is also a regular practice we encourage our students and coaches to develop. We are not just looking to the past but drawing in and assimilating from the future.
What would be even better if I xxxxx
My future self wants me to xxxxx
Exploration and Experimentation: Embracing curiosity and a spirit of experimentation. This will expand your repertoire and support you to discover new facets of your coaching signature. I currently run Co-Coaching Forums on behalf of the Association for Coaching in Surrey and Hampshire, UK. In these forums I always encourage the coaches to be open to explore diverse methodologies, techniques and approaches demonstrated by other coaches, who will have been trained or have very different approaches to their own. By being open to notice what others are bringing we can uncover what truly resonates, authentically, with our own style and values without any threat in our system. It does not have to be your way or my way!
Embracing Vulnerability: Authenticity thrives in the space of vulnerability. However, it needs us to dare to show up as our true selves. Embracing vulnerability supports us to connect more deeply with our clients, fostering a deeper sense of trust and rapport. By embracing imperfections and sharing our own journey of growth, we can inspire clients to embark on their own transformative paths, fuelling confidence in the process. Please be mindful with vulnerability I am not purporting that we use the session as a coaching session for our own work! We have Coach Supervision and/or Peer Supervision for our work. However, when we are being open to and encouraging a flow and exchange of energy between us and our client systems, we are supporting the ‘power with’ approach – rather than ‘power over’ approach. This is a whole topic we explore within Sandown Business School and definitely a topic we will be coming back to in other articles!
Mentoring/Coach Supervision: Seeking guidance from seasoned coaches can fast-track our development. A mentor provides invaluable insights, supporting you to navigate challenges and fine-tune your signature. Learning from the experiences of others contributes significantly to your confidence as a coach. Also Coach Supervision. Are you regularly receiving supervision? How did you choose your supervisor? What supervision works best for you? Explore a way of being in supervision that builds your confidence, rather than supervision whereby you are giving your power to your Supervisor. How do you want them to work with you?
Continuous Learning: Our coaching landscape is dynamic, with new methodologies and insights emerging regularly. Isn’t that brilliant? How exciting that our world doesn’t stop moving – it is forever evolving. But this can also become a challenge. I am aware of coaches who have trained 10-15 years ago and believe their training is up to date. I am not sure how that can be. So much is moving and changing in our landscape. We just have to think back 10 years ago to the challenges of leadership at that time. They were very different to today’s challenges. We need to make sure we are engaged in continuous learning to stay abreast of industry trends. Invest time in courses, workshops and literature that align with our coaching philosophy as these will ultimately enrich our coaching signature.
And so we loop back again. All of these ways of building our confidence further enhance our coaching signature.
In conclusion, the journey toward greater confidence as a coach begins with the unveiling of your coaching signature.
- Remember how you developed your coaching signature. Gather together your unique blend of values, methodologies and personal attributes that distinguish your practice.
- Remember the steps for enhancing your coaching signature. Introspection, feedback/feedforward, exploration, vulnerability and alignment with core values.
- Remember to nurture and refine your signature, empowering yourself to navigate your professional endeavours with authenticity and purpose.
- Remember to embrace your unique voice – I want to hear your voice loud and proud.
- Remember to embrace the transformative power of your coaching signature propelling you towards greater confidence and effectiveness in your practice.
Together, let’s continue our amazing profession, moving forward with open hearts and curious minds, embracing the beauty of our individuality as we illuminate the path toward greater confidence and fulfilment in our coaching journey.
By Pheona Croom-Johnson
Co-Managing Partner and Academic Director of Sandown Business School