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If you feel like killing your coach


In my years as a coach I cannot count the times that someone briefly wanted to beat me but thanked me in the end for that feeling. 
And I thank them for not doing it!

One of the first things that I learnt about coaching was the difference between a coach instead of being just a shoulder to cry on, a father or a friend. Being a coach is much, much more than that. It is doing what is necessary to help a person progress from point A to point B. It is also about respecting myself and the other person.

And some people need to be provoked! They respond to the transformation of words, the challenge of dismantling the normal interpretation of a situation or feeling.

I like to provoke and I included some of my personal reflections as to why below. 

1. What is the intention for using provocative coaching? 

Provocative coaching can be used with different intentions. Firstly to create awareness. Secondly it can be used to create real openness with the client. If you use provocative coaching it is very important that the coach has a clear intention. This guarantees that the provocation will serve the client.

2. How do you use these two types of coaching

Creating awareness: requires direct and clear feedback about a specific pattern or patterns of behaviour. It is also important to share the consequence of the pattern. And to prevent any personal projection from the coach, it is important to do this in the most descriptive way possible.

Creating openness: requires going to the level of the absurd. It gives a new and very different interpretation to the client’s statements. Sometimes this means saying something that apparently has absolutely nothing to do with the topic. The purpose of this is to let the client correct you in a more direct way so that he opens up and perhaps acknowledges certain patterns.

3. What is needed for provocative coaching?

If you decide to use provocative coaching with someone it is important that you have one of the basic coaching skills: Rapport. If you fail to create the trust with the person that you are going to provoke, the person may just run away after your provocation.

You must also train your creativity. Provocative coaching is one of those instances when being the same is not going to work. It is important that you are able to use reframing - a technique that gives new meanings to situations or feelings and so create a totally new world.

I hope you have an idea of what can happen if you decide to use provocative coaching. Have fun and I hope to see you soon.

Peter Koijen * In2Motivation