To benefit fully from the interactional nature of coaching, it is vital to develop your skills as an improviser. Whether you are a full-time coach or a manager using a coaching approach, you gain a huge advantage when you can comfortably respond in the moment as your coaching sessions or conversations with team members develop. You get closer to your strategic goals by developing fluency in your tactics.
Of course, a coach is improvising all the time. If we understand improvisation as the exercise of freedom within a structure, your coaching model provides a structure, and it is within this that you are constantly making choices. As you develop your improvisation skills, you get better at making more appropriate responses. This takes you deep into your:
- listening skills ability to be present
- creativity and your ability to apply that creativity in innovative questions and comments
As you build these skills, you and your clients will gain more from each session. This means it is time to think of coaches as improvisers. Improvisers make the best use of the resources available to them, they adapt as circumstances change and they are expert collaborators.