The Benefits of Leaning into Your Authentic Coaching Style - International Coaching Federation
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The Benefits of Leaning into Your Authentic Coaching Style

Posted by Sinive Seely, MA, CEC, PCC | March 5, 2020 | Comments (0)

As both a coach and coach educator, I often work with new coaches who struggle to identify their own authentic coaching style. They are so focused on demonstrating the skills accurately and following the coaching process that they fail to show up in an authentic way with their clients. As a result, their coaching falls flat and is not truly representative of who they are as a coach and what they have to offer.

Coaches can reap the benefits of leaning into their authentic coaching style by building comfort and showing up in a way that demonstrates who they are and what they have to offer. By demonstrating the Core Competencies to establish trust, intimacy and coaching presence, you will be able to shift the coaching conversation further, faster.

Build Comfort: Show Up in a Way that Demonstrates Who You Are and What You Have to Offer

An ideal time to set the tone for the coaching relationship is during the first meeting between coach and client. It is important that both parties get a feel for one another and understand how they will work together to ensure maximum impact.

As a coach your role is to convey who you are as a coach and what you have to offer. That should include a description of your coaching style, approach and strengths, in addition to the particulars of the coaching agreement. Be authentic and honest in sharing why and how you’ve been a good match for previous clients, and let your personality shine through.

Your client should leave this meeting with an idea around whether there is a fit based on how you’ve shown up. After the initial meeting, the client should continue to experience your authenticity in every subsequent coaching meeting that follows.

Demonstrate the Core Competencies: Establish Trust and Intimacy and Coaching Presence to Co-Create the Relationship

The Core Competencies of Establishing Trust and Intimacy and Coaching Presence provide a strong foundation to Co-Create the Relationship. As a coach it is important to ensure that you create a safe environment of respect and trust that allows your client to open up, explore and share what may be at the heart of their issue. Coaches need to be fully present and focused wholly on their client to ensure their own “stuff” doesn’t get in the way and muddy the water of a successful coaching dialogue. A coaching conversation will not progress if this foundation is not solid, therefore it is essential to take the time to ensure trust and intimacy is established before moving forward.

Shift the Coaching Conversation Further Faster

The coaching process is often described as a dance between coach and client. How seamless that dance is depends on both parties trusting one another to partner in time to the rhythm of the music (or conversation). When coaches are authentic, present and confident they shift the coaching conversation further faster because their client trusts that they are in good hands. As such, they are more willing to share openly, take risks or stretch outside their comfort zone. It is exactly this type of trust and relationship that is required to achieve results.

Both new and seasoned coaches alike can benefit from reflecting on their own authentic coaching style and becoming clear on how they are showing up with their clients to achieve maximum benefit. Coaches can continue to grow, develop and refine their coaching skills and practice, while coaching clients can reap the benefits of working alongside an authentic coach who is showing up 100% in service to them to help them achieve their goals.

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Sinive Seely, MA, CEC, PCC

Sinive Seely, MA, CEC, PCC, is a leadership coach, consultant, facilitator and speaker. Sinive is passionate about coaching leaders at all levels to reach their full potential and has worked with thousands of leaders from all walks of life to support them on their leadership journeys.  As a scholar practitioner with over 20 years of experience, Sinive has been able to use both her education and skills in the workplace to help leaders find practical ways to address workplace challenges.  Find out more about how Sinive can support you to reach your goals by visiting or by following her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

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