Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Power of acknowledgement in coaching

Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 by International Coach Federation

I associate acknowledgement with acceptance. And acceptance can be in any form. Every heartfelt “AHAA”, “HMMM”, “WOW”, “That’s Great”, “Good Work”, “Well Done”, “I Like It”, happy eye raising expression, silence, a warm smile, or a hug brings acceptance and connection with the client or anybody that you are dealing with, in fact this works in personal lives as well and when acceptance takes place the acknowledgement is somewhere evolving in the other person’s heart.

Let’s reflect to explore this more.

  • Which is one acknowledgement that you still remember?                 
  • What kind of feelings it generate within you?
  • What did you feel about that person who acknowledged you, even if many years back?                                                                
  • What makes that acknowledgement so special that you still remember it?

You would reflect through these questions that there are only few acknowledgments that stay fresh in your mind and that’s because they have created some kind of acceptance of your effort/skill/presentation or even a gesture. The acknowledgement was the result of the happy emotions generated as part of the acceptance which helped retain that acknowledgement in your mind/heart. You were so touched by those acknowledgements that irrespective of how old you grow; you would remember that forever as if they were as fresh as yesterday.

Let’s turn the table and wear the hat of the coach and reflect:
  • How many times have you gifted something to your clients based on what could help? Maybe a book, a CD, flowers or anything that can help the client in his situation…
  • How many times have you made an extra effort to offer resources to help clients move faster?
  • How many times did you think about the client even after your coaching sessions?
  • Do your clients stay with you in your mind even after your sessions?
  • Do you start feeling the pain of your clients when they cry in front of you?
  • Do you start feeling numb when client tell you about a major tragedy their life?
If your answers these questions are “Yes”, then I believe that you might have accepted your clients with full heart; which is a great step towards your journey as a coach. 

Many times, I have observed that coaches stay so much in boundaries of their own that they are excellent at all the competencies of being a coach; however, they miss the emotional connection which can bring acceptance to the client. If you are in coaching profession just to earn money, think about it again! Coaching is about service and service can’t be done if you have only money on your mind. Coaches need to know how to connect emotionally and bring acceptance to every perspective of the client in order to start making the client feel connected. The barrier of forming a perception or a barrier of agreement/disagreement just doesn’t exist in this scenario. The client is open, happy, looking forward to the coaching session, growing in perspective, and energetic throughout the journey or at least resilient.

Read the complete article to learn “How” of acceptance.
Jaya Bhateja is a Learning and Development HR professional working for a multi national organization based out of India .In the past she has been involved in HR roles where her specialization has been in employee engagement, performance management & grievance handling. She is currently managing learning and development activities for her clients and pursuing her coaching certification from one of the Global institute.

In her leisure time she enjoys reading books,listening to music, travelling ,meeting old friends and connecting with new people. She can be contacted for networking, learning & coaching interventions.


  1. A trusted connection is what makes good coaching possible and acknowledgement is a powerful tool for that. But I think acknowledgement can be used for much more than expressing caring.

    Comments like 'Wow' and 'That's great' can help create a friction-free conversation, but usually aren't memorable. Acknowledgments that are specific and confirm to the client that they are seen and heard in a way that matters to them are sometimes memorable. They are usually shared in the form of statements or feedback.

    But other gestures can serve the purpose of acknowledgement. One of my most memorable acknowledgements was when a coach sent me flowers after my dog died. Few people send condolences when pets die, but my coach 'got it' that this was a big loss for me.

    Thanks for the post.

  2. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!

    Agile Coaching


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