October 2017 Newsletter

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Sharpen Your Listening and Questioning Skills


Questioning and listening skills are a cornerstone of coaching excellence. We all know how to ask questions and to listen but there is real skill to doing this effectively when coaching. Questions can be educators, catalysts, weapons, tools and much, much more. From a coaching perspective, it is helpful to think of questions as, “the seeking of information for clarity, insight and learning”. I think you will agree that any profession that is focused on communication and competency must pay close attention to questions.

Just as we have all learned, there are no dumb questions, there are also no bad questions. However, there are ways to turn a good question into a great question by paying attention to the phrasing, timing and framework. Questioning skill involves not only the ability to ask excellent questions, but also to ask them in a manner that is open, unattached and judgment-free.

Coaches need to learn how to ask insightful questions that will elicit revealing responses and then listen to the coachee. The goal is to guide the coachee through the self-discovery process. While some coaches can prepare their next question on the fly, it can be helpful to have a battery of questions covering different categories prepared and ready to pull from your toolkit.

It is not enough to ask insightful and clarifying questions. A coach must also have excellent listening skills. This one can be challenging for many of us. This takes focus, genuine interest in what our coachee has to say and discernment to ‘hear’ what they are really saying. You might think of this as mindful listening. This type of listeningcreates the ability to establish relationships and build bonds with others. One of the biggest mistakes people make in conversation is to focus on their own responses to what is being said. As a result, they end up missing portions of what the other person is saying. This habit can be hard to break but well worth practicing in order to improve listening skills. A common listening tool, and one that can help you keep the focus on your coachee, is to immediately restate what they have said to ensure that you ‘heard’ them correctly.

There is much to be learned and mastered when it comes to questioning and listeningskills. We will dive into this topic in our next webinar with live coaching demos. Be sure to register for this lively and educational webinar.

As a reminder, we also offer the 365 Coaching Questions booklet. This is a resource to help you develop your questioning skills. These 365 questions are jumping off points or catalysts for you. Categorized by topic, most of the questions may be adapted to fit different situations. We invite you to integrate them into your own voice and try out different questions in different situations. If you already have a copy, pull it out during the webinar and make notes. Don’t have a copy? Get your copy here.


Webinar: Sharpen Your Questioning and Listening Skills

In this webinar, we will discuss different types of questions plus plenty of examples and tips for better listening. We will present real live situations and have real coaches utilize their questioning and listening skills. After each demo there will be a feedback session – to highlight what worked and what they might have done differently.

Topics we will cover include;

  • Importance and impact of questioning and listening skills
  • Question type, tone, manner of delivery
  • Understanding the objectives of your questions
  • Tips for developing excellent listening skills
  • Demonstration of questioning and listening skills
  • Plenty of time for Q and A

Join us for this Free Webinar

Wednesday October 18, 2017

11 am Pacific / 2 pm Eastern



Fall Courses Starting Soon

We have several courses starting soon. Here is what is coming up.

For experienced coaches looking to leverage their skills.

5/5/5 Coaching Skills Train the Trainer Program™  Starts September 26

This course is designed for experienced coaches who are looking to expand their role by becoming a coaching educator as well as gain in-depth knowledge of advanced coaching skills.

For new or experienced coaches ready to pursue the ICF ACC credential.

Fast Track to ICF Credential  Starts October 4

The Fast Track package is specifically designed for coaches interested in obtaining the ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC) Credential. The courses can also be used towards renewing your credential. Only 6 months to complete all required training.

For newer coaches looking to get formal training on coaching basics.

Coaching Fundamentals™ – Starts October 4

This course is perfect 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.

For new or experienced coaches who want to enhance their coaching skills.

5/5/5 Coaching Skills Training Program™ – Starts October 16

This course is designed for coaches, managers/leaders who want to use the tool of coaching to improve individual, team and organizational performance. This is for anyone looking for a simple, intuitive and highly transferable coaching model.

Click on the course name to view more details and register.

View our entire calendar of upcoming courses.



Coach Resource Corner

This month we are focusing on the coaching skills of questioning and listening so we wanted to make sure you were aware of several resources available on this topic. If you haven’t already done so, check out our 365 Coaching Questions, The 5/5/5 Live Coaching Demonstrations Part 1 and Part 2 webinars and blog article: 7 Steps to Becoming a Better Listener.

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

See the full list of our coaching guides below.

  • Coaching Case Study
  • Making it as a Coach: Strategies for Success
  • Becoming a Coaching Educator
  • Determining the Impact of a Coaching Skills Development Program in the Healthcare Setting
  • Guide to Coach Certification
  • Personal Groundwork for Coaching Assessment

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!





Join the Conversation

We’ve created two special groups onLinkedIn to bring like-minded people together. These groups are designed to facilitate dialogue, discussion, insightful and provocative questions and information that supports, educates and contributes to coach-like conversations for everyone. Join our general coaching group or join our healthcare focused group. Be a part of the coaching conversation!


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).

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