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6 Feedback Tips for Coaches

How do Coaches share feedback without offending?

In our Facebook Group recently (see below for link), we were asked this question:

“Thomas Pain quoted ‘he who dares not offend, can not be honest’ – so how do Coaches balance feedback to clients without offending, or do you just go for it as Thomas says?”

This is a great question and one that is important for coaches to master – to master sharing feedback by feeling confident enough to do it, and also in the way that you share it.

There’s a few key rules to think of:

1. Contracting – sure that during the contracting stage you’ve asked “permission” to share honest feedback, this way you are not crossing a boundary that’s already been agreed on.

2. Positive Intent – ensure that the client knows that you are sharing feedback with good intent

3. Ask Permission – just before you give permission use a phrase like “would you mind if I shared an observation with you” 

4. Make it objective as you can, based on something you’ve seen or heard from them – not subjective and definitely not second or third hand feedback (there is a different way of using second or third hand feedback)

5. Back it up with an effect it has on you as a coach, and then perhaps say “I can’t help but wonder if this had this affect on me perhaps it’s having a similar affect on others” 

6. Explore all of the above with them, help them work it out. 

Short Answer – we never want to offend!
2nd Short Answer – clients trust their coach to provide a safe space for this type of conversation to happen honestly!

If you’ve contracted effectively from the start, your client will thank you for your honesty.

Watch out for more on Feedback in future articles – including what reactions you might observe when sharing feedback, how it feels to you immediately prior to sharing feedback, feedback as a leader, feedback in relationships and feedback to children.

Useful Links

Link to our Facebook Group –  The Coach Network – you’d be more than welcome to join our Coach Network, and you’d be welcome to post questions like the one Steve posted above. 

You might also be interested in our article about contracting : Coaching and Contracting

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