Boring? At first glance, the topic of note taking may seem to be one of the more mundane items to cover in a blog post on coaching. I beg to differ, and propose that it actually offers an abundance of insight as to what might be going on ‘between the lines’ (no pun intended) during a coaching session.
Whether you are noting things during a session or afterward, try to focus on not only what’s “on the surface”, but also what's “under the surface”.
I believe that in every conversation, fascinating things are unfolding front of our very eyes… if we only look beyond the obvious. For example, imagine that you find yourself tired or bored at a certain point during a coaching conversation. What might be causing this? Is it the topic itself, or your' coachee's style of communication, or perhaps there is too much detail? Or is it you? Are you as coach not in a curious frame of mind? Does your coachee’s behavior remind you of someone else? And most importantly, should you interrupt your coachee and share what you are feeling, and explore why it is so? Does this person perhaps have a similar impact on others, and can this actually be a learning moment for you both?
Below you can find some things one might take note of while coaching:
On the Surface
- Why someone at the office might have behaved in a particular way
- What others might be feeling when the coachee displays a certain behavior
- The qualities of the ideal job
- Pros and cons of implementing a certain solution
- Possible causes of or solutions to a challenge
Under the Surface
I do take notes during my coaching sessions and I have found that by focusing on these two dimensions, there are major benefits for both my coachee and myself:
If we coaches can capture what is going on under the surface, and share as we see fit, well this is the stuff of great coaching!