Motivator, Champion, Listener, and Beacon: Just a Few Roles of the Coach

This week, we feature a YouTube clip with Sylvia Hepler about the many hats a coach wears doing a
coaching engagement.

It takes expertise to transition the conversation and put on other hats easily. Sylvia answered a few questions that will help us understand how this works.

How often do you experience transitions in an average coaching session?

It is rare for me to wear only one hat during a coaching session. More typically, I wear three or four hats in a given session. These hats may include: support, trainer, champion, beacon, motivator, partner, confidence builder, unconditional listener, guide to name a few. As a coach, I need to wear the hat that best fits the situation or mood of the moment.

What’s the most difficult hat to transition to and from? Why?

The most difficult hat to transition to can often be the “wake-up call” hat. If a client is not seeing a situation clearly or comprehensively, it is my job to show him/her the truth. While I need to do this lovingly, I still have the obligation to help the person see reality. It’s difficult for people in management positions, for example, to make decisions based upon fantasy or partial truth.

How do you prepare for a coaching session in order to be flexible and ready for this transitioning?

The more experienced I become as a coach, the more naturally these transitions occur. I am now to the point where I don’t need to officially and formally prepare for transitions. What I do have to do, however, is prepare adequately for each coaching session in terms of potential content, client responses and reactions to that content, and strategies for moving the client forward.

What is the one thing you hope your client(s) gain as a result of using different hats?

Clients witness and experience my flexibility, and this models flexibility to them. This is important for two reasons: 1) they can personally feel how I am meeting their needs in a variety of ways during a session; 2) they can get ideas about how they, themselves, may incorporate more flexibility into their own lives.

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thanks for posting such an informative blog