© 2024 Melanie White
If you’re an extrovert who coaches, then there are a few things you can do to maximise your skills and create a thriving coaching practice. As a coach trainer and assessor, I have come to understand some common traits of extrovert coaches in action. If you’re an extrovert coach, I want to help you understand your strengths, areas for work, who your best clients are likely to be, and how to show up and make a difference in the world
Extroverts are people who get energy from being around other people – as opposed to introverts, who tend to get energy by having enough time to self-reflect.
In my experience, extrovert coaches have some skills and strengths that make them great coaches, and I’d like to share some of those with you. It’s not an exhaustive list – but a showcase of the most common strengths I’ve seen.
Extroverts love being around people. Those I’ve met say they prepare for sessions by doing something active or preparing something that will create a lovely atmosphere for the client (e.g. digging right into the best part of the week, or simply setting up a lovely environment).
The extrovert coaches I’ve assessed or worked with tend to be energetic and full of zest, so they bring energy and playfulness to the session that helps people feel relaxed, engaged and positive.
An extrovert coach I know loves doing something that helps her clients laugh or feel playful, and this is a great way for the client to focus on the here and now and shake off some of the day’s tension.
As an extrovert, you’re probably great at talking and you’re probably very curious. You might be good at positive reflections and picking up opportunities to build on the positive.
You might also be quite courageous in coaching, being confident and willing to challenge them (tactfully of course) around any stuck points and help them get motivated to move forward.
If you’re like the extrovert coaches I know, you are also probably fun, engaged and empathic, able to lift the mood and build energy in a session. These are especially important skills when clients are
creating a vision or preparing their goals – you’re the one who encourages them and gets them excited.
Bringing all these skills together, you might also be very good at helping your clients see the possibilities, get excited and be committed to action.
Not all these things apply to all extroverts – and this list is not exhaustive, it’s just a guide based on my experiences.
Every coach has areas for work, and extroverts are no exception. During the coach training and assessing work that I do, there are certain areas for work that many extroverted coaches seem to share.
Some find it hard to actively listen or to leave silence. Extroverts may feel uncomfortable with silence! They may talk more than the client, or to go into teaching mode. I think these things happen because extroverts are used to talking and having people ask them for tips and tricks. They are used to being the motivator, the inspiration, and the answer. To that end, learning to sit in silence, be mindful and present, and to calm their energy can help, as can being coached yourself.
Extrovert coaches may also struggle with spending enough time on vision and why and wanting to spend more time on action-based goals and accountability. The vision and why are critical to a client developing their own intrinsic motivators – learning to rely on themselves rather than others.
To develop the skill of spending more time in the why and avoid rushing to goals, extravert coaches can practice going slower and really being curious, digging into what’s behind the clients’ desired outcome, so that they can create their own motivation to move forward. By asking more why-type questions, and asking what that could create, and then what, they can spend enough time on the why for the client to connect to their own motivators.
If you talk more than your client, and with more energy, you may end up draining them and causing them to feel overwhelmed and shut down. Some ways to address this can include practising being curious, listening, and leaving longer silences (count to three). Leaving a silence after reflecting is part of this.
Reflecting back on their words (instead of using your version of their words) lets the client know you have really heard them.
To avoid going into teaching mode, extrovert coaches can ask the client to come up with the answers, or if they really get stuck, to brainstorm with them (one-on-one).
Also, it’s important to match the energy of the client. If they are quiet and withdrawn, lower your energy, tone of voice and speed, so you are more at their pace. They’ll feel more comfortable and more likely to open up to you.
If your client is withdrawn and emotive, some techniques to get them out of their feelings and into logical thinking could include questions like – ‘What would you say to a friend who felt like this?’, or ‘What might your first step be?’ or ‘what strategies might work for you?’
Like introverts, extroverted coaches can also feel a need to fix people and it comes across as saying ‘Yes, it’s important to eat well so that we get enough fuel for our muscles’ or suggesting ‘Why don’t you do try taking soup?’ Slowing down and listening can really help, learning to let the client lead and come up with the answers.
Having heard some of the common strengths and challenges of extrovert coaches, you can probably see what’s required to get the balance right.
Firstly, it’s really helpful if you prepare for sessions by doing something quiet and calming to level your energy. Do some deep breathing or get outside to help you become mindful and quiet. You might also practice using reflections with a short silence afterwards, to set the scene for a session where a client really feels heard.
This process can be incredibly helpful in building connections and relationships, which leads to better outcomes in the session.
As I mentioned about introverts last week, listening is just as valuable than talking – and sometimes more so. Being silent and holding space can be a key value proposition that you offer!
Finally, balancing your energy is important. You may find that working with groups feels best for you, and you’ll probably find that you feel bored or frustrated by 1:1 sessions (or too many of them).
Like introverts, having plenty of space between sessions is important to help you maintain calmness and presence before moving to the next. I gave some examples in last week’s introvert coach podcast about what you can do between sessions, but others for extraverts could include:
1. deep breathing or meditation to calm the energy;
2. burning off some steam with physical activity;
3. recalling the last conversation with the client, remembering how they were feeling, how they showed up, and the body language cues they gave you to indicate what they needed at the moment.
These are just some examples – you might have your own method – but using it is important!
I believe that for any coach, finding your people is essential to your success as a coach. You might find you work best with other extroverts or ambiverts, more energetic go-getter people, more feelings-based people, or introverts who are quiet yet ambitious and motivated.
The best thing to do is to check in with your own energy as you work with different types of clients. With whom do you feel drained, and why? And in which situations?
This leads to my next point – maintaining your energy.
I believe that for you to maintain your energy as an extrovert, the same rules apply as for introverts – self-care is a priority – but so is personal growth.
Having enough time with people to build your energy, but also enough time on fun activities that create a sense of fun, freedom and stress relief is important for you to show up and be your best in every coaching session.
In my experience, extroverts have abundant energy – their risk is creating too much energy and crashing, or overwhelming clients. Learning to be still and listen carefully is the key. They don’t need you to inspire or motivate them – they need you to help them generate their own inspiration and motivation.
Extroverts can be amazing coaches who can help to inspire and uplift clients and get them into positive action. Their unique skills are valuable for anyone who needs help to get started, to set clear goals, and who wants to feel energized, and accountable to someone reliable and rock solid.
To be successful in their coaching practice, extroverts may like to target with clients who have similar energy, to work with groups, and to practice listening and slowing down. They may benefit greatly from calming exercises, and physical activity which can help them process, and work with their own coach. Personal growth with the support of an objective third party can really bring out the best in an extroverted coach so they have a more zesty, engaging impactful business.
Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.
Learn more here: