Acknowledgement in Coaching

Acknowledgement in Coaching

Vivek Jayaraman
29th Jan, 2022

Acknowledgment in Coaching

Acknowledgment is not about the mail/message received nor the two blue-colored ticks in WhatsApp. That’s a different kind that deals with software communication and what we are going to see further is Coaching communication. So, what about it? Does it mean that the message or the information is received from the actual person in a conversation? Oh, dear! Let us stop dragging the synonym for acknowledgment and see what that is all about, in Coaching.  

We all need acceptance in this world, from the people we love & care for, for what we do, for what happened, and so on and so forth. A recognition of the work done, work in progress, or activity performed. Is it about praising a person for what he/she has done? No, it is not. It's an act of empowering the other person. It is acceptance and it is also validation. Still unclear? Read further. 

Let’s take an example of a person who was straightforward and always keeps her head high irrespective of whatever the situation may be. Her truth-speaking tongue and honesty in things kept her going in whatever she did. While that kept her going, it also earned her fewer friends and more haters. It may look like she kept going but slowly she let herself down. It is because at times she felt that the entire world is against her when it comes to her honesty.  

Acknowledgment as a skill highlights a person’s action and their true nature. It also throws some light on the understanding of the person who gives the acknowledgment. It also reflects How the coaches see their coaching clients and how they support the change their clients are looking for. By acknowledging the client’s strengths, the coach provides more access to the client. The coaching client becomes more resourceful by receiving an acknowledgment. 

In the example, the client does not need praise or an award for her honesty and for speaking the truth. All she needs is acceptance for being herself. Statements like “Nobody can take a stand when it comes to being honest like you”, “You speak the truth and that’s actually a good thing coz you don’t have to remember anything”, “You are being yourself and that’s a nice thing”, “It’s not an easy thing to speak truth always and being honest, I don’t know how do you do that every time”. 

It’s the acknowledgment that keeps a person feeling good for the action they have done and keeps them motivated. While it's easy to fake a compliment or an acknowledgment, it will never go unnoticed. An acknowledgment should be authentic as the person who gets acknowledged knows how real it is. It makes them value the strengths and resources they have and helps them build themselves using them. They will be able to spot their resourcefulness of themselves even in a disturbing reality as the acknowledgment makes the reality clear. Acknowledging a person’s strength will help the person identify the hidden potential in themselves. It’s like focusing the light on the skill which was there in the dark helps them uncover it.  

If a person wishes to quit a habit and if they even take the slightest step in eliminating that habit, an acknowledgment just accelerates the entire process. Acknowledgment goes right through the person’s heart and that is where the magic happens.  

Once a person realizes that they have been understood, the satisfaction they get is huge. The coach should not only deliver the acknowledgment but also notice the impact right away on the client. Listening from level 3 helps the coach is not just getting an understanding but also sense the client’s energy.  

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