How To Be A Creative Coach

Friday, 28th February, 2014

Think Outside The Box IiiHow do you get creative as a coach?

When we’re working with coachees, we regularly help them to be creative; e.g. when they’re exploring their options or if they feel stuck.

Whether you follow the GROW model, another model or coach purely intuitively, there is a good chance that you’ll be asking questions and providing the coachee with the right environment to consider a range of choices … and you may well need to be creative with your questioning, if your ‘usual favourites’ (I’m sure we all have them!) don’t work!

As well as being creative with your questioning, where else might you be creative? Here are a couple of suggestions:

1. Get creative with your coaching tools

One of the most versatile coaching tools I’ve come across is the Wheel of Life. I’ve been creative with this on several occasions!

Leadership Wheel

I’ve shared one of them here:

This one’s been completed by a school leader, and it shows their strengths lie in Communication, Leading meetings and Relationship with parents.

Here’s another one, referenced in this blog post

Being visual myself, I find this tool very appealing, and considering about 60% of the population are visual, it’s a good one to have in your coaching tool kit!

Which coaching tools have you been creative with?

2. Get creative with your ‘mirror’

Coaches talk about holding a mirror up to their coachees. In other words, by reflecting back what a coachee is saying, or giving feedback in the form of an observation, the coachee gets greater insight into their situation (or rather – how they are perceiving it!)

How often do we do this to ourselves?

Keeping a learning journal is part of many coaching training courses. How many of us continue to keep them beyond this? They are ideal for keeping a record or our reflections. Whether you record your reflections on paper, in digital form, or in some other way – reflecting on our own practice and our continual learning helps us to be more creative.

Two key questions help with this:

  • What could I do differently? … The ‘could’ encourages us to create options for ourselves.
  • What should I do next time? … The ‘should’ helps us to select the optimum one(s) for our future development.
Would love to hear about your creative coaching experiences!


debbie019 fThank you for taking time to read this blog.

I’m Debbie Inglis, a performance coach, mentor and trainer, working with Heads, Principals, School leaders and their teams to maximise leadership performance, create more effective, confident, and motivated teams … in a way that brings out the best in you.

If you’re interested in my services, please get in touch, and you can read more here.