Management & Leadership

50 Coaching tips from South Africa’s leading experts

Apr 21, 2020
Coaching in the Workplace

Where better to get coaching tips than from professional coaches themselves? Here, advice that will answer some of the questions you may have about coaching.

A rapidly growing $2 billion global industry, professional coaching is a promising career field that caters to a wide variety of skill sets. For those interested in entering the profession, where better to seek valuable coaching tips than from highly successful professional coaches themselves?

Coaching tips from leading experts

These are some of the questions people should think of asking when embarking on a career in coaching:

  • What does a coachee look for when choosing a coach?
  • What methodologies do professional coaches use?
  • What should coaches do to ‘sell their skill’ when approaching companies for the first time?
  • What is the greatest challenge when setting up a coaching business?
  • How can coaching positively impact South Africa?

Here, we provide valuable advice from professional coaches that can help answer the questions above:

From your experience, what does a coachee look for when choosing a coach?

  • We most often choose a coach (or therapist for that matter) for entirely unconscious reasons (and that is ok). (Stephen Rothgiesser)
  • A connection, empathy and an understanding of their situation. (Johan M van Zyl)
  • Coaching is a partnership. An intimate dance and both partners need to feel comfortable with each other. (Carole Watkins)
  • Four key things: experience in a similar setting; clear methodology; psychological training; quality of client list.  (Dr Kay Brugge)
  • A sense of being able to trust the coach, a sense that the process will support results. (Megan Galloway)
  • Some kind of resonance/fit with the coach, which is different for each client. (Karolyne Williams)
  • If the conversation has relevance and meaning for the client and enhances their ability to reflect on actions and learning. (Sunny Stout-Rostron)
  • Psychological safety is important for coachees. And it’s up to the coach to create that safety. (Carole Watkins)
  • Coachee is not an ideal term as it implies something being done to the coachee … I use ‘client’ and ‘client organisation’. (Dale Williams)
  • The marketplace is wiser these days and seeks to separate the well-trained and experienced coaches from the fly-by-nights. They do this – at least initially – by looking at the coach training received. (Karolyne Williams)

What methodologies do you use when coaching?

  • I vary methodologies. Depends on what I believe will assist the coachee most and what they are open to. (Carole Watkins)
  • Kolb’s experiential learning styles; psychology of goals and motivation; leadership development; Thinking Environment. (Sunny Stout-Rostron)
  • A variety, depending on what is coming up in the coaching session for the client. Positive Psych (Karolyne Williams)
  • I use a range of methodologies from neuroscience to gestalt to narrative coaching. One methodology too limiting (Natalie Cunningham)
  • I use a brain based approach to coaching, also the enneagram and the Career Canvas. I also bring in mindfulness. (Megan Galloway)
  • Systemic Coaching and Constellations create wholeness and restore equilibrium in organisations. (Carole Watkins)
  • A Cognitive Behavioural approach helps coachees become aware of emotional and behavioural blocks. (Carole Watkins)
  • Sometimes, when we feel stuck, I take my client for a walk, and we look at the mountain. It often works… (Johan M van Zyl)
  • I take a philosophical approach molding a programme to the individual’s need and selecting appropriate methodology. (Rob Smale)

What tips do you have for coaches approaching companies for the first time to ‘sell their skill’

  • Attempt to understand the organisational and individual client agendas. And the coach/client relationship being based on Carl Rogers’ listening, equality and the genuine encounter (Sunny Stout-Rostron)
  • Not sure this is about selling so much as being sincere and sharing one’s experience and commitment (Stephen Rothgiesser)
  • Never sell. Let the company find out about you through the good work you have done elsewhere… (Dale Williams)
  • I think clients “get” us quite quickly, they are making unconscious and conscious assumptions all the time (Stephen Rothgiesser)
  • At times connecting to the organisation’s desired outcome rather than talking mechanism (coaching) helps (Karolyne Williams)
  • Know what you have to offer and is this what the company wants. Coaching may be part of this, but not the only thing. (Jean Hazlitt)
  • Companies are interested in ROI. Effective coaching adds value that impacts the bottom line. (Carole Watkins)
  • Also find an internal ‘coaching champion’ – who believes in the value. (Anne Career Canvass)
  • Ask the org: What are we solving for? What do we want people to be able to do that they can’t do now? (Jackie Wilken)
  • Try not to sell. Instead find a way for them to approach you (referral or repeat business) (Halo & the Noose)

What was your greatest challenge when setting up your coaching business and how did you overcome this?

  • It will always be a challenge for a new practitioner to build experience and credibility, a long road (Stephen Rothgiesser)
  • Building your coaching hours so that you can practice, practice, practice. (Sunny Stout-Rostron)
  • Tape your sessions, listen back and learn. (Sunny Stout-Rostron)
  • Greatest challenge is to understand the value that I brought to my clients… (Dale Williams)
  • Organisations want a track record, but when you start out you don’t have a track record. It’s a catch 22. (Carole Watkins)
  • The challenges are the same if you are an internal coach. Building up your hours. (Jean Hazlitt)
  • Finding clients was a big challenge. Time and online presence helped with this  (Megan Galloway)
  • Building my client base. Sexy branding is great but referrals still seem most effective and these can take time (Karolyne Williams)
  • Getting my own thinking straight. Not steered into artificial ‘specialist’ compartments and distinctions. (Halo & the Noose)
  • A client from 8 years ago made contact to say that one of our sessions clicked. Sometimes it takes time (Rob Smale)

How do you think coaching can positively impact South Africa?

  • South Africa needs people and organisational development, coaching is an outstanding tool to help with this. (Stephen Rothgiesser)
  • It can create consciousness of global issues, helping to effectively manage change and complexity (Sunny Stout-Rostron)
  • It helps people to ensure that their work makes a positive contribution to the community (Sunny Stout-Rostron)
  • More fulfilled people work harder, have more fun, show more care and build a better country and nation (Johan M van Zyl)
  • Coaching helps shift our perspectives to see things differently, for the better (Karolyne Williams)
  • A nation of accountable, insightful, self-aware people who maximise their talents can only be a good thing (Carole Watkins)
  • If coaching creates growing, thinking, empathetic adults, SA can only be enriched! (Megan Galloway)
  • Coaching helps South Africans to find our own best solutions (Anne Career Canvass)
  • We can transform our country one coachee at a time, one management team at a time, one company at a time. (Carole Watkins)
  • The growth impact of investing in human capital is 3 times that of the growth impact of physical capital investment (Jackie Wilken)
  • Coaching helps us to understand ourselves first, in order to understand where others are coming from. This is an important step leading to the welcoming and embracing of diversity. (Fabienne Perreux)

Interested in learning more about coaching? SACAP offers a range of coaching courses, including part-time and full-time. For more information, enquire now.

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