4.3a | Establishing Trust

As a collaborator, the coach is expected to establish trusting and respectful coaching relationships that encourage educators to explore new instructional strategies.

In my post titled “Overcoming Learned Helplessness in the Digital Age“, I wrote about how educators can use new strategies to encourage learned industriousness by fostering growth mindset and productive struggle in learners. When it comes to helping students who experience learned helplessness in their studies, the first step towards change is to help them establish a sense of control over their schoolwork.

Driving for mindset and behavioral change is often not an easy task but thankfully, there are strategies and skills that can be learned for coaches to carry out this task more effectively.

In a coaching project that I was involved in, I discovered that building trust early on was  absolutely key in the success of a coaching relationship. An effective way to approach building trust is ensure that the coachee does not feel that their core identity is being challenged through the change process. When we are able to separate the two and make the coachee see that change and core identity are not mutually exclusive.

What I found most useful was that if the coachee can be made to see that the change does not impact the coachee’s core identity, the barriers and resistance to change are lowered and that paves the way for trust-building. The implication for me as a coach was to affirm her more and coach for a more expansive sense of self. This is my biggest key learning from the post I wrote on “The Art of Changing Minds“.

I also learned that compassion, communication, commitment, collaboration, ability, and integrity form the building blocks of trust. A successful coach knows how to use the right language to build trust. In my post on “The Language of Coaching“, I shared ways coaches can phrase their sentences to signal that they are actively listening and also to appear non-judgmental which will in turn help to build trust.


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