Spanners and Screwdrivers: The Tools of Coaching

Plumbers have tools. Electricians have their tools. When these are used well they help both the plumber (or electrician) and the person for whom they are plumbing. Coaches also have tools and when we use these well they become the means by which coaches and their clients work towards having the client gain new abilities and achieve new goals. The big difference is that our tools are not physical, they’re conversational.

A conversational tool? What’s that?

When we talk in everyday conversation, we all apply various conversational tools possibly without knowing. We ask a question to get more information. We make a statement to say what we think. In an interview, the interviewer remains quiet after the interviewee answers to encourage them to say more. These are all conversational tools.

Coaches are experts in conversational tools and we use them for the benefit of our client (not for ourselves). This is part of what makes coaching effective.

Over the next four weeks we’ll be introducing you to four tools that we help our students to master in the NPCA Certificate in Professional Coaching.

As an aside, if you want these future articles delivered to you inbox you can sign up to the NPCA Community.

I’m looking forward to next Wednesday when Sarah will be introducing us to “Content vs Process“.

Strength on the journey,


Matt is a credentialed coach for entrepreneurs and business leaders. He is also a past president of the International Coach Federation, Dubai Chapter. His own experience as an entrepreneur is a driver to help others succeed in their own businesses. Matt’s biggest passion is for adventure. He has hitchhiked solo from Fort William to Chamonix, climbed Kilimanjaro and worked into a mountain village in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake. He married the woman of his dreams in February 2017 and is thoroughly enjoying married life.

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