How good are you at taking ‘off the cuff’ coaching opportunities?

Here’s a quick story about taking opportunities. As we went through security at the airport last month to go on a family holiday, I noticed a lady who looked a bit stressed out. My wife noticed her too and as I carried on with the business at hand (making sure everything was in the tray correctly!) she hung back a little.

After about 30 seconds my wife went up to speak to the lady and I asked her afterwards what had happened. She told me she noticed the lady looked really stressed out (which I did ?) and felt it was important to ask if she could do anything to help (which I didn’t ☹).

It turned out the lady was having a really bad day and someone offering to help made her feel better. My wife’s really good at doing this kind of thing and she’s learned from experience when to say something and when to keep her council. Me? Not so much apparently!

I mention this because it made me think about the two things I do to encourage clients to take more ‘off the cuff’ opportunities to use coaching to help people improve.

Firstly, I need to help them see how important effective coaching is to success so they have the motivation to keep their eyes peeled for opportunities. Secondly, I need to help them build the confidence to ask the opening question to create opportunities to learn from experience. This approach works really well and it’s probably time I started using it myself to help people in distress!!

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