I did a talk on communication styles for coaching just the other day. Whilst you might not coach clients as your job, you may still mentor, teach or train someone in your team and find some of the principles I found useful. I found them in Marybeth O'Connor's book on Executive Coaching. 

 Principles for coaching:

 I love the first one since it is the foundation of all effective interactions. O'Connor calls it coaching with backbone and heart. Communicating with backbone means to state your position whether it is popular or not. Communicating with heart means to stay committed and engaged in the relationship even amidst misunderstandings or disagreements. 

 The second one is that, as a coach, I need to bring my "signature presence" into the coaching relationship. One the one hand, I follow a clear coaching methodology, but on the other, I partner with my client to address his/her challenges and allow my unique personality to colour the relationship. 

 Third, and a fascinating aspect about coaching, is that I need to recognise that my client has most of the resources to address his/ her challenges. I guide my client, - mostly through probing questions -  to mine the resources he/she has. It is not a monologue but a highly interactive process. It also means not giving advice (tempting as that may be) but to challenge the client to see his/her obstacles from a different point of view and empower him/her to find creative, effective solutions. 


And on a different note - here is a picture where I hand over a copy of my book to the librarian of NETS, Lorna Neumann.