February 2018 Newsletter

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Tackling Coaching Challenges

Challenges – we all have them. Some are minor hurdles while others seem like mountains that are nearly impossible to overcome. The good news about challenges is that they likely mean you are stretching yourself and learning and growing in the process.



How to Coach the Poor Communicator

Today I want to touch on one of those challenges that can seem like a mountain - a coachee who is a poor communicator. Coaching is all about communicating but what if you have a client or coachee who is just really bad at getting their thoughts out and points across? Or maybe the challenge is in HOW they deliver their message. For certain, it is difficult to coach someone who is a poor communicator. Additionally, poor communication skills impact one’s ability to do their job and can make relationships with managers, peers and employees difficult. These issues, in turn, impact a person’s ability to achieve their goals and perform at their peak. Other consequences of being a bad communicator include;

  • Misunderstandings
  • Inefficiency
  • Unengaged staff
  • Conflict

If you think about it, most interactions, whether in our work or personal lives, are dependent on how well we communicate with one another. So how do we tackle the challenge of coaching a poor communicator?

First, we need to identify the barriers getting in the way of good communication. Once we understand the reasons for poor communication, we need to break down the barriers and start building a path that will lead to clear, open, honest and productive communication.

This is one area where your questioning skills really come into play. Use your questioning skills to ask powerful coaching questions that will help you and your coachee identify the barriers that prevent them from communicating in a way that is heard and well received by their audience.

As you work through the process, look for clues to these 5 common barriers.

  • Filtering: A sender’s manipulation of the information to make it more favorable to the receiver. Sugar-coating a message or omitting important details.
  • Selective Perception: Inability to receive the intended message when they interpret what they hear based on an over-reliance on their interests, background, experience and attitudes.
  • Information Overload: Inability to send clear messages or take in new information due to overload and distractions.
  • Defensiveness: When a message is interpreted as threatening, defenses go up and communication is thwarted.
  • Language: With increasing diversity in our workplace, language can become a barrier when words mean different things to different people.

Your success in this process will be based on your ability to not only ask excellent questions, but to ask them in a manner that is open, unattached and judgment-free. Asking not only the appropriate question, but in the appropriate way, is very important to the learning, living and communications process. Questions can offer new perspectives and stimulate answers and possibilities. They can also push buttons, express judgments and make assumptions!

I hope by now you know that I am passionate about the power of coaching and about helping you be successful. We have several resources specifically related to communication available to support you. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to take advantage of the following;

365 Coaching Questions Booklet

Webinar on questioning and listening skills

5/5/5 Coaching Skills Training Program™

One last comment on this topic. I had the privilege to present to Harvard Medical School, Institute of Coaching the results that an organization achieved after adopting our 5/5/5 Coaching Skills Training Program™. One of the key findings was Improved Communication. Given that communication is one of the key challenges in most organizations, this result was especially important. See the full list of results achieved here.


The Business of Coaching

ICF Business Development Series

Building a thriving coaching business takes more than just great coaching skills. You also must know how to build a business. For many, this is the hardest part of going out on your own.


ICF has created a program to help you build, sustain and expand a successful coaching business. Their Business Development Series is designed to help you succeed on the business side of coaching. It is starting soon so check it out here. You might also want to check out our guide – Making it as a Coach.


Tell us one thing

What is one product, course or resource that would help you succeed in 2018?




Inspiration Station

“Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess.” 
– Richard Branson

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” 
– Warren Buffet


Education and Training Courses


Build Core Competencies


Coaching Fundamentals™

This class is for coaches, leaders and managers who want to learn core coaching skills and gain the confidence to begin applying these skills in their organization or coaching business. This is a hands-on class that includes practical techniques for trust building, focused listening, evocative questioning, planning and goal setting.


The course includes practice sessions that are reviewed by a professional coach who provides feedback on coaching skills and comprehension of the competencies. You will learn the skills and gain the confidence needed to use them. Click on the course name to learn more and register.

Coaching Fundamentals™ - Starts February 6


Advance Your Skills


Train the Trainer Program™

This course prepares you to become licensed to deliver the 5/5/5 Coaching Skills Training Program™. Becoming a licensed trainer gives you the opportunity to leverage your coaching skills, adds a new tool to your coaching toolkit and provides a new source of revenue.

Train the Trainer Program™ - Starts February 6

Click on the course name to learn more and register.


Ace the ICF CKA Exam


ICF Coach Knowledge Assessment

This course is designed to prepare coaches for the ICF Coach Knowledge Assessment exam which must be successfully completed prior to receiving the International Coach Federation (ICF) ACC Credential. The course covers ICF Core Competencies and Ethics and Standards plus test taking strategies. This prep class will present several questions each week that mimic the multiple-choice questions you will be asked to answer in the CKA exam.

ICF Coach Knowledge Assessment – Starts February 28


Take the Fast Track to Your ICF Credential


There has never been a better time to obtain your ICF ACC Credential. More and more coaches are getting credentialed and many clients expect it. But pursuing your ICF Credential is a big step and commitment. That is why we created the Fast Track to ICF Credential Package - to streamline the process and make it as convenient as possible.

New for 2018;

  • we've added more class start dates
  • day and evening classes
  • the ability to build your own schedule

Our next evening program starts March 6. Click here to view the schedule


Coaching Resources


We offer many resources on a wide variety of topics to support coaches at all levels. On our website, you can find blog articles, educational videos, webinar recordings and more under Coaching Resources. We are continually updating this section so check back often.

Our coaching guides continue to be very popular and we will be adding to these in 2018. If you haven’t taken advantage of these free resources, you can find them here.

One resource that we have developed is the 365 Coaching Questions. This tool provides provocative questions in 21 different topic areas.

If you get stuck trying to come up with different questions or different ways to ask the same question, this resource can help. Click here to read more about this resource.

Here are the topic areas covered.




Did you know?

COTBx offers Immersive Coaching Skills Development Programs 
for Organizations

These programs, delivered specifically for your organization, are designed to accelerate learning and uptake. Programs are offered in on-site, virtual and blended formats. Contact us to learn more.



If you have questions about coaching, certification, courses or more, we'd love to hear from you. Click here to schedule 1:1 time with Alison Hendren, CEO and Founder, or fill out our contact form!




We would love to connect with you! Reach out to our team here or call Toll Free, 
1-888-4A-COACH (1-888-422-6224).