In this weeks guest post, Jonathan Lamptey shares his expertise about how coaches can inspire confidence.
Inspire Confidence through Simplicity
by Jonathan Lamptey
As a reader of this blog, you will agree that forward thinking Coaches provide a holistic approach to their clients, considering the circumstances of the individual in order to correctly address the client in the appropriate context.
As Coaches we provide solutions for the problems, wants and desires of our clients, using our expertise to successfully navigate our clients through a period of personal development in order to arrive at their goal. As experts, we have in depth knowledge and expertise of a particular area; this is often accompanied by a glossary of technically specific language. Too frequently, Coaches hide behind jargon as a means of demonstrating their credibility to an audience that is unfamiliar with the terms being used.
One of the key skills in being a Coach is the ability to make the difficult look simple and the challenging look effortless. This comes from years of practice and experience which to a spectator may look like child’s play. Consider a concert pianist, a skilled craftsman, a trained athlete, their abilities seem effortless. The same can be said of their Coach.
This is an attribute that I have observed in all the great Coaches that I have had the privilege to work with. They don’t hide behind acronyms; they use simple language to deliver their message effectively. The skill lies in reassuring the client not how difficult the task is, but to explain how easy it is going to be now that they have the support of a passionate, enthusiastic and talented Coach.
The excessive use of technical language damages the client relationship in a couple of ways:
The Coach creates an additional barrier between the client and their desired outcome. The client already knows that they need assistance because they have hired a Coach. This may reinforce existing anxieties and undermine their confidence. This does not help the client.
This behaviour often reveals a desire to convince the client that as Coaches we possess the skills that we claim we have by highlighting to the client what they do not know. This is not the behaviour of a confident and competent Coach.
Here are some tips to help you to keep things simple for your clients:
The client may be anxious and as such is looking for inspiration and guidance; try to understand how they are feeling and use this to inform the tone of the dialogue.
Use basic principles as a starting point for any explanation of complex terms, this will reduce potential misunderstandings and instil confidence. Think of some of the technical words you use, can they be adequately replaced with plain English? If so, use everyday language until the client’s knowledge increases.
Place their needs first: Consider what they want to achieve and help them to achieve this to the best of your ability, our role must also be to reassure and guide, this can be achieved by explaining things simply.
A true teacher works towards their own redundancy and to some extent this is applicable here. Use simplicity to allow you to demonstrate your expertise and this will set you on the path to being a great Coach.
About the author
Jonathan is a chartered accountant, consultant and financial skills trainer with 15 years of operational experience with companies including The Walt Disney Company, Channel 4, Sky and the Telegraph.
His experience of working in dynamic organisations has created interesting opportunities to develop resourceful methods for presenting financial information to different audiences with varying requirements; from Board Directors to new starters.
Jonathan seeks to demystify Finance and Accounting in order to help people move beyond the numbers and increase their productivity. This has inspired an interest in academic research. Jonathan’s research interests include social entrepreneurship and workplace diversity and he is currently conducting research as part of a PhD at the London School of Economics.
His distinctive background allows him to combine rigorous academic research with commercial experience to provide a unique and refreshing approach to business problems.
Visit Jonathan’s comapny Finance for Non Finance Managers online at www.financefornonfinance.co.uk