10/12/2009

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Jackie Arnold, author of Coaching Skills for Leaders in the Workplace

The three keys skills of coaching are being non-judgemental, believing in the potential of the person sitting in front of you, listening well, creating that energy and that space for listening, and also being challenging when necessary.

I felt there were an awful lot of books out there for external coaches, but not many books for internal coaches. I think internal coaches come across particular barriers when they are coaching. This could be barriers of time and space, barriers of the fact people have knowledge of the people they are going to coach, but one of the things I think the book does it that it addresses coaching programmes that could be then set up within organizations, and in the book there are lots of case studies about that, and it helps people to see how other people have done it.

Coaching is very much non-intervention. It's very much, supporting somebody but without the knowledge and the expertise. There are some aspects of saying, actually I am going to take a coach who doesn't know anything about what I am doing, because then they are less judgemental.

If before each session you can go into the session with the feeling this person has potential that I don't know about yet, that I haven't uncovered yet, and I'm going to go into that session with that feeling - and try to put aside the knowledge that I have - and if you do that, and I believe people can do that, that really helps.