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🧐 How observing others can sharpen your coaching skills

Published 16 days ago • 1 min read

Hi Coach :)

Every day, we’re surrounded by opportunities to learn—sometimes, the simplest interactions around us are rich with lessons waiting to be discovered.

This morning, as I pondered a question many coaches ask about practising communication skills with just a few clients, it hit me: every interaction, even those you’re not directly involved in, offers a chance to improve your coaching skills.

For example, while observing discussions in various settings—a shop, a meeting room, or the gym—I often notice who dominates the conversation and who listens.

It strikes me that often, those who do most of the talking would benefit most from learning to ask questions.

These moments aren’t just observations but lessons in communication dynamics and human behaviour, invaluable for coaches, consultants and leaders.

Drawing inspiration from Robert Greene’s The Laws of Human Nature, I’ve adopted the practice of keeping a logbook of such observations.

This isn’t just an exercise in noting what happens around me but a deliberate practice to deepen my understanding and refine my coaching techniques.

This daily email, sharing insights and lessons, directly applies this practice—a meta-level example of how we can all document and learn from everyday experiences.

Here’s your challenge: Start tuning into the conversations and interactions around you.

Ask yourself, “How would I have handled that situation?” or “How would I have improved that conversation?” This isn’t about judgment but learning and applying these insights to improve your communication skills.

Whether it’s a waiter at a restaurant asking a routine question or observing how your parents interact with your kids, think about how you would do it better and why.

  • Could a different question have led to a better outcome?
  • Could a more thoughtful response have increased our ability to learn?

Let’s start with our own coaching sessions. (I use Fathom to record all my online coaching sessions)

Observing and reflecting on how we conduct our sessions can be hugely instructive, but we often avoid examining our own work.

  • What do you notice about your own style?
  • What could you change to make your coaching even more effective?

The goal is to become a detached observer and turn what you see into actionable insights.

By refining our self-awareness, situational awareness, and observational skills, we become better coaches and more thoughtful individuals.

I encourage you to start a logbook of your daily interactions and observations. You’ll be surprised how much this simple act can transform your approach and coaching effectiveness.

Reply to this email and tell me about a recent situation you observed and what you learned from it.

🗣️ 👀

Chris

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Chris Marr works with established business coaches to help them go from good to great and have more breakthrough conversations with their clients and teams.

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