4 Tips for Coaching Introverts and 4 for Extroverts too

The chatty and thinkers - both benefit from good coaching. 

In this series, we are going through the differentiators in Myers-Briggs and talking through each type of indicator. Whether you coach in actual sessions or use coaching culture in your regular conversations, these tips can help! Our focus in this blog is Introversion and Extroversion.

Let's begin with definitions, basically, introverts think inside their head. They prefer to process quietly on their own and have likely thought through what they are about to say when they speak. Extroverts, on the other hand, think best while speaking. 

Neither is a better way. Both have different assets. All benefit from coaching and here's how.

Introverts being coached should find a safe space to process. When introverts have to choose words to explain what they are thinking and feeling it helps them to identify more clearly what is happening. Being an introvert myself I have experienced this many times. I ask someone for space to process, or in an actual coaching session, words come out that I didn't have before I had to speak out loud. 

4 Tips for Coaching Introverts:

1) Leave plenty of room for silence. Introverts choose their words slower than extroverts and need space to process. Just because they are quiet doesn't mean they are ready for a next question.

2) Ask for more. A simple "Tell me more", or "Is there anything else?" could be the space they need to go that little bit deeper and find the "Aha" they need.

3) Revisit the coaching agreement*. Ask what they want or need next. "Shall we move on?", "Do you need more time on this?", "Where shall we go from here?" are helpful questions for the Introvert.

4) Be especially observant. Watch for facial expressions, body language, pauses or out-of-the-ordinary vocabulary. These can all be signs of an "Aha" moment. If you do see something, ask about it. "That seemed like a new thought", or "I noticed ______ is something happening there?"

Introverts value focus. They need space. Good coaching provides both!

Extroverts need space too but have different needs.

4 Tips for Coaching Extroverts

1) Give them space. They need ample room to talk through all the angles of what they are thinking about. Asking them "Is there anything else?" is a completely different gift than it is for the introvert, but also welcomed and highly valued.

2) Help them stay focused. Extroverts have a lot of thoughts about a lot of things. Serving them best will include helping them to stay on point. "You mentioned wanting to focus on ______. Is this helping?"

3) Stay curious. Help them connect the dots/thoughts. Perhaps what they veered into talking about is somehow connected to where they want to go. Maybe it is an obstacle they have encountered or a next step they are discerning. As you respect their process, you can help them determine if what they are talking about is in the idea stage or if they are ready to make a decision. Asking for clear action steps can be especially clarifying for them and for you.

4) Ask for their takeaway. Inquiring about what was actually helpful for them in the session helps them to identify where they needed focus and can help you know how best to help them in the future.

Knowing how people have been divinely designed differently can significantly help you to serve them better and help them grow as disciples.

Coach training isn't just for professionals having sessions. Coach training gives you tools to help make disciples not enable dependents. 

*The "Coaching agreement" is just the professional term for keeping the "client" in charge of the conversation. All good coaching is built on this premise. We talk about it in Coaching Culture and then go deeper in Next Level Coach Training



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