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Reflecting on Coaching Skills and Attributes

What’s my intention?

  • To build a career in coaching
  • Continue to learn and build skills

I do not need to over-deliver values.  In fact clients are the ones who decide/define on the value of the session.  I could let go of the agenda, and give as much time needed by client.  I might be tempted to lead/say something but can remind myself what is the value of doing so, do I want to be smart or be curious.

I can be flexible and adopt a different and appropriate behavior in coaching sessions even if it’s not an inherent attribute, it can be learnt and used.

I have gone through my individual development plan.  However all are bigger plans.  I want to find out specific areas of learning to develop them, as specific as powerful listening.

Learnt that critical thinking is also about managing emotion.

To check out the book 16 basic desires that motivates us by Reiff & xx.


First session as a Coach

Started my coaching with Summer, a friend who loves people and has lots of passions about many things in life.  She didn’t know much about coaching but was willing to give it a try.

Summer has always shared with me about people she read in the newspapers, how encouraged she was to read about their passion or determination to pursue their dreams; or how humble and relatable a successful person was when she had a chance to meet up with them.  So armed with some pointers and keep reminding myself to focus on listening and being there for her instead of following the structure, I started with a question, “Imagine, five years from today you were featured in The Straits Times,  what would you want written about you?”.

“A wine bar owner.”  Summer said.  Everyone knows this about Summer.  But as we explored further, interesting ideas I didn’t know came out, she never thought much or wanted to share them because she didn’t know if it’s achievable to have a wine bar in the first place.  And we both had a vivid picture of the wine bar in our mind including the location, the theme, the deco of the place, the food, the people and the atmosphere of this future business she wants to own.

As we progressed, Summer said that she was so fearful she could feel her heart tremble.

She identified five key areas she has to establish in order to work towards owning a wine bar.  And then the first action plan of one of these key areas so she could get started, and work on what’s most achievable now to get her on track.  We then zoomed in to discuss details for this first-step including the what/how/when/backup and accountability.  Summer has a clear goal and feeling motivated to get started.  We will speak again and maybe next step is to work on a structure to support this pursuit. 

I applied following in this session, to listen, ask questions, probe further, checking on the emotion & energy level, stop and wait, hold back my opinions, acknowledge, and most importantly to relax and just focus on being there to walk with client as she was exploring and finding her ways.

Class: Creating Actions

Why people get stuck?

  • Underlying beliefs
  • Unclear goals
  • Competing goals
  • Fear of failure/lack confidence
  • Fear of success/changes/added responsibilities
  • Fear of unknown/ability to uphold commitment
  • How it impact things/ppl around them
  • Not knowing how to proceed
  • Don’t want to start still skills are perfect
  • Taking care of other ppl too much.” You took great care of other people, when are you going to be one of them?”
  • Grief

How to move?

  • Find out values
  • Focus on strengths
  • Small goals
  • Give structure
  • Visualize
  • “When did they get stuck, how did they get out, how did they feel?”

The laser coaching:

Ask more questions, details.

Use “What are the most important thing you have to do?”, “What’s the goals for your workshop?”, “How do you make it enjoyable?”

Use “tell me more” if you need more time, and client is ahead of you.

Don’t be afraid to hit the wall and turn around exploring other paths, client expects you to do so.

Try for Summer the following:

  1. 5 years from now, you are featured on paper, what do you want to be written about?
  2. What have you achieve?
  3. How do you feel?
  4. What are you most passionate about?
  5. What are your top 5 priorities?
  6. For each one, list own 5 steps you have to do.
  7. What will be your first step?
  8. Reflect on last time what did you do to get moving?
  9. What support you had?
  10. Now that you have complete this action planning, how do you feel?


Class: Coaching Influences

Some ideas to have in mind while coaching:

  • Focus on engaging them, not what model/process to use

To get these discussed very early in the relationship and not just on actions:

  • Find out their values
  • Purpose in life
  • Underlying beliefs

Class: Underlying Beliefs

Belief and thought are 2-way street, influencing one another, and collective experience affects belief.

How to change belief?

Leon recommended Lion Goodman’s “Belief Closet” and Alexandra Loyd’s “The Healing Coach” and “Heal Your Body“.

Belief manifests in physical self as stress.

Note:  Work with coach to discover underlying beliefs.  Conscious effort to do something to change belief, can set a 3 month timeframe,  Some behaviors can even be changed in 21 days.


  • NLP – it includes physiological and mental
  • Behavioral model CBT – reconstructing thought. Byron Katie’s

Class: Ethics & legalities

Ethics vs Legaliites

  • Code of conduct
  • personal & sensitive
  • Different from individuals – beliefs/experience
  1. Guided by law
  2. Communication on media
  3. Do not guarantee outcome
  4. Cover by insurance

What are your values.  Have proper structure, set expectations/boundaries.

When coaching individuals sent by their employer, let them know the company is the client, discuss confidentiality and not coaching any areas that will be in conflict with the interest of the company.


Reflecting on Self-Development: 1 year later

I have just finished this evening’s class on Self Development, reflecting on the discussion and did up my development plan according to the template.


  • How does self-development plan need to be to each individual?
  • What happen if it’s not?
  • What is my structure?
  • Is it working well still and moving me towards my goals?
  • Is it right for me?
  • How’s my progress?
  • Am I acknowledging my achievements, no matter how little they are?

Filling up the development plan and the planning were easy.   How to eventually keep the momentum and measuring progress/success are keys.  So I checked my blog written when I was attending the first Self Development class.  I wrote 2 goals then:  1) To be able to coach confidently in any areas; 2) Better self-care in the following areas:  Communication skills, health, grooming and professionalism.

And here’s what I see:

  1.  A little step in sending request to look for clients.  Disappointed that I took so long, but glad I finally took a step.
  2.  Self care:
  • Communication:  Completing my Toastmaster CC soon, did a few impromptu evaluations and I thought I did very well.
  • Health – Greatly improved after my surgery and putting in effort to eat, rest and exercise well.  Way to go and need to work on improving fitness and better physique.
  • Grooming – More effort when I go to work/church.
  • Professionalism – More awareness and effort in presenting myself in positive ways.