Conversations are used in every aspect of our lives as researchers.

Why the course is relevant

Having a good or a bad conversation could affect the outcome of a project, the productivity of a team or the result of a pitch. In short, having better conversations could make all the difference to your work and your working environment.

Coaching skills teach us about having effective conversations, and by using these on a day-to-day basis, people can have much more productive relationships with colleagues and clients alike, ultimately leading to higher levels of satisfaction all round.

Many of the skills involved in coaching are innate to researchers, but most researchers do not use these skills to their best advantage. Effective listening and questioning are key, in addition to setting clear goals and objectives for each conversation. We often draw on these skill sets with respondents, but not in other professional situations where they could be useful. Learning the basics of coaching will help any researcher be even better in what they do, improve their interviewing technique and enhance their potential to deliver better results to their clients. It will also help their people management skills as they develop in their career.

A few examples of where coaching skills can help aid conversations during the day-to-day of a research manager are:

  • Having constructive discussions with clients, especially where there is lack of clarity around objectives for the research itself
  • Developing staff, both within the formal appraisal/ review setting, and during the more informal, every-day delegation and communication of tasks
  • Achieving a deeper level of insight within interviews through using advanced listening and questioning skills
  • Designing research materials, including discussion/ interview guides and projective techniques, that ask better, more pertinent questions

An introduction to the skills used in coaching is enough to provide those with already well-honed research skills the confidence to start having better conversations in every aspect of their job. This has the potential to make them better researchers but also better people managers and better client handlers.

Who is the course for?
  • Researchers with at least 3 years’ experience, ideally with managerial and/or client management responsibilities, or stepping up into this
  • Those interested in developing their management and research skills at the same time, by learning a new technique that will aid all conversations from respondents, to colleagues to clients
  • It will be mainly designed for those with agency-side experience, but client-side researchers are welcome as the skills learned are applicable to all
Course outcomes:

On this course, delegates will be introduced to the basic skills of coaching and discover how they can use these to have better conversations, become better researchers, better managers, and to develop stronger relationships with their colleagues and clients

By the end of the course, delegates will:

  • Understand what coaching is and how it can help them hold better conversations
  • Know how to use simple coaching models to hold more constructive conversations with colleagues and clients
  • Have developed advanced listening skills to help them be better managers and better researchers
  • Have learned new questioning techniques, including the power of not asking “why”, to improve their skills as a researcher, manager and client services provider
  • Be better at working and communicating with people at all levels, from respondents, to colleagues to clients
Course outline:
  • Introduction to coaching and how it can help with better conversations
    • What delegates want/ expect to get from the day
    • Outline of what coaching is and how it is useful
  • Coaching and communication skills
    • Listening, questioning and goal setting
    • The power of not using “why” questions
    • Common models used in coaching – GROW, CIGAR
  • Coaching practice
    • Trying out coaching sessions in pairs
    • Debrief to discuss experience – pitfalls, successes
  • Practical application of coaching as a researcher
    • Practical every-day scenarios where coaching skills could be applied*
    • Conversations with staff
    • Conversations with clients
    • Conversations with respondents
    • Round robin to explore how coaching could help the outcome of different conversation scenarios
  • Pledges around key take-outs and how delegates are going to use what they have learned

*Delegates to submit common every-day issues/ situations prior to course to ensure this section deals with relevant scenarios for them

For more information please take a look at the site:


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