Coaches have daily contact with customers and have to answer their questions. The right approach and communication are essential. Communication psychology deals with the two-way interaction between two or more people. Coaches can use these insights for their benefit.
In addition to the way we communicate with our customers, it is crucial to strike the "right tone". We should also pay attention to how we appear to the outside world. The first impression counts! One can argue about the definition of communication.
If you enter the question online in the search engine, you get around 21,000,000 hits. Nevertheless, the most direct way to communicate is through conversation. Since it involves the interaction of at least two people, the course of the conversation is an open process.
The course of the conversation depends on many factors. However, we can influence our behavior, our preparation for the situation, our options for action, and our awareness of when we should do something and when it is better not to do something.
The reality during the conversation and coaching in professional practice is very complex. It is a matter of choosing among the many possibilities of action in each situation, the one that is most favorable for the course of coaching.
One factor is the state of mind of our client, the time of day, the place of the conversation, or even the timing. If we look at the above factors, they present the right coaching with a really big task. Let's take the client's state of mind.
If we notice that our client is stressed, it may be advisable to use a different type of coaching and be more calming. Calming down can also be motivation. Problematic in this context is to recognize how our client is doing. Should I ask questions? Should I rather leave it alone? Most of the time, we have known our customers for a long time and can judge them well.
The time of day or the location also has a decisive influence on the "perfect" coaching. For example, coaching in the locker room may not be the right place, or at 10 p.m. when the client is already at home with his thoughts.
As a coach, but also in any other position, I am effective in utterances in four ways. Each of my utterances contains four messages, whether I like it or not:
- factual information (what do I want to inform you about)
- a relationship hint (what I think of you and how I feel about you)
- a self-disclosure (what I reveal about myself)
- an appeal (what I want to achieve with you)
- Factual content.
We mostly directly pronounce this. In coaching, it should play the main role. In our training, factual content refers to the concrete situation, such as the correct execution of an exercise. At this factual level, the truth criterion applies on the one hand and the relevance criterion on the other.
In context: Does the customer believe us, in the correction of the exercise that we have applied, and what relevance does it have in this context?
- Relationship level. Consciously or unconsciously, when I speak to my customer, I also indicate how I relate to him and what I think of him.
For example, if our customer is irritated by everyday life, a relationship level that is approximate or soothing should be chosen. Like the factual level, the relational level can vary. Some Coaches use the relationship level for (positive) self-presentation, others more in the sense of authenticity.
- Self-disclosure.On this level, I always reveal something about myself. Every utterance always contains a hint about how I feel or what is going on inside me. This can happen explicitly ("I" message) or implicitly.
- Appeal level. As a coach, I take the floor and address it to my client to influence him.
With every correction, with every customer approach, I want to achieve something with my customer.
The coach himself is his most important medium for conveying the message. This is an essential aspect, especially in the coaching profession, as the interpersonal play a supporting role. The professional handling of one's own being and feeling in the coaching situation is defined by authenticity.
You cannot choose what you feel in the coaching situation. But you can always be yourself. Clothes make the man. Appearance, including clothing, is the first thing you notice about a person. This first impression has a great influence on whether strangers assess the opposite person as likable, competent, or trustworthy.
Only in further contact do other factors such as professional competence or relationship levels play a role. Therefore, Coaches should pay attention to their appearance to a certain extent. Practical tips: • Before a new customer contact, think about the effect you want to have on the other person.
What prejudices, fears or plus points do we have to reckon with? • Choose your clothes according to your personal preference. Preferably those in which you also feel comfortable. Clothing and accessories have a signal effect.
Consider beforehand whether your appearance corresponds to the request. Thanks to PTCA Accredited Professional Maríus Schröder for sharing your knowledge on communication!