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UK Coaching Participation Team
Rapport Building and Communicating

Five Ways to Develop ‘The Art of Noticing’

Providing great coaching requires coaches to effectively observe and notice people’s actions, behaviours and emotions

Developing your noticing skills will obviously help with technical and tactical skill development but it also supports coaches in understanding and connecting with people so that they can thrive and achieve their personal and social aspirations.

Noticing requires effort. Here are five ways that we can notice more effectively: 

  1. Be aware that we need to observe ‘on purpose’. It is an intentional activity that should include all of our senses. It requires coaches to have the patience to look a second, third or hundredth time. 
  2. Paying attention requires us to be in the here and now. As coaches we need to let go of the thoughts and worries of the past or future while we are observing our coaching session.
  3. Being non-judgemental is essential when observing. We need to avoid getting swept away by our own feelings and concentrate on being curious and kind when we are busy noticing. Coaches may need to ignore some preconceived ideas and assumptions about people and look at them from a different point of view.
  4. Make space to notice. Physically step away to look at the big picture. It’s also useful to be prepared to observe new things you might not have noticed before. 
  5. Know the difference between what you are looking at compared to what you are looking for.

Have a go

Challenge yourself to notice something new about each person in your session so that you can understand them more.


Related Resources

  • Coaching the Person in Front of You: The Key to Helping Your Participants Thrive

  • Person-Centred Coaching – Understanding

  • Behaviour Change: Connecting with Others


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UK Coaching Participation Team