The Single Most Important Coaching Tool

Let's talk about the single most important coaching tool of all. It’s not listening, guiding, challenging or even cheering on clients. In fact, it involves all of those things.

The Single Most Important Coaching Tool

Today we’re going to talk about the single most important coaching tool of all. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not listening, guiding, challenging or even cheering on clients. 

In fact, it involves all of those things—and that’s why it’s the coaching tool to trump all other coaching tools. 

That tool is called encapsulation. 

What is encapsulation as a coaching tool? 

During our first group coaching call in Kim’s Coaching Corner, I mentioned the concept of encapsulation. Straight from our conversation, here’s what encapsulation means:

“What I'm looking for as I'm digging deeper underneath the surface of a client’s story is this: what are their beliefs about themselves? I’m looking for their beliefs. Why? Because their beliefs will determine what they do and what they don't do, and ultimately what their outcomes are. 

If they're not happy with their results, we need to look at their beliefs. So I'm there to identify their beliefs and then I will say, ‘Is this what's going on with you? Is this what you believe to be true?’

What I do is something called encapsulation.

What is encapsulation? It's being able to capture a person's emotional state about a subject and their beliefs in a way that they haven't previously expressed. I'm looking to make sure that I have captured them accurately. What I'm looking for is for that person to say, ‘Yes, that's exactly how I feel.’

When I'm able to identify those beliefs, and we're on the same page about those beliefs, I can determine whether or not those beliefs are useful or harmful. And by harmful, I mean that there are beliefs that slow us down. We all have beliefs that prevent us from taking useful action.

We have beliefs that might make us feel a sense of self-doubt. And when I sense that those beliefs are in play, then what I do is I start challenging those beliefs, and that's the coaching process.”

infographic describing encapsulation as a coaching tool

Let’s go over that one more time. Encapsulation is the process by which I listen to a client, hear them out, and then reiterate what they’re telling me in a different way that accurately captures previously hidden beliefs and emotions. 

It’s sort of like getting a bird’s eye view of someone’s mind—and then showing them an aerial view of their thoughts.

Do they like what they see from that view? Or is there a house, street, road, forest or fence that’s getting in the way of where they want to go?

That’s the power of encapsulation. It’s an extremely potent coaching tool that combines many of the principles of coaching in order to help clients achieve that next level of self-awareness, power and control. 

Want to learn more about the different coaching tools I use to help executives, leaders, movers and shakers break free from their restraints? Join Kim’s Coaching Corner now.

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