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Coaching in Another Language: The Impact on Core Competencies

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Active Listening (80 percent)

Active listening tools are more consciously applied; coaches ask more and assess less. They listen at more levels (emotions, energy, beliefs, etc.); they listen for intent rather than rely on assumptions; and they try to listen and understand in depth.

As a result, clarification is swifter and easier. There is more focus from the coach, and less assumptions, prejudice and judgment.

Powerful Questioning (63 percent)

The results here showed that questions are cleaner, simpler and more precise; they are to the point and cut-through. As the coach is mindful of the cultural diversity, the questions challenge the client’s beliefs and frames of reference in a curious and respectful way.

Direct Communication (65 percent)

The language used is thoughtfully selected, as coaches have increased awareness of the impact of words and use more direct vocabulary.

Coaches step out of cultural codes and bring more objectivity. They talk less and give more space to the client, allowing communication to flow.

An observation was “Not to fool around even in the native language,” which shows an impact that expands beyond the sessions in the foreign language.

Creating Awareness (59 percent)

The opportunity here is about broader awareness. Some reasons are:

  • Coaches get out of the way more, allowing the client the space for awareness to emerge
  • As the reflection is more intense in search of precise expression, we think more
  • Cultural diversity helps us see things from different points of view
  • The attention to nonverbal communication and deep listening makes it easy to detect incongruence

Designing Actions (49 percent)

With the awareness that Words create worlds,” things are articulated carefully when designing actions. There is more clarity in checking different options, choosing steps and finding the client’s own way. Simpler, bolder and straightforward actions have been noticed.

Planning and Goal Setting (43 percent)

As both coach and client tend to be precise, the goals are clearly defined and explored. Coaches facilitate the process and the understanding of it with intuition and simple language. Cultural awareness and sensitivity are present when exploring and creating a plan.

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