While talking to our attorney this week, he indicated he was being coached by someone who was not involved in our organization. He mentioned he was sometimes not as happy with the process as he would like to be.
I asked him what was missing and he said: “My coach believes in leaving me to take responsibility for the actions we discuss. I write down all the things we cover and then find I often do not follow through on what I expect of myself and feel disappointed with my progress.”
So I asked again: “What would you like your coach to do that he is not doing at present?”
He said: “I would like him to be more demanding and hold me accountable for specific agreed results.”
I always say: “Coaching is an Adult to Adult Process”, but if we are listening actively some clients would tell us they would prefer their coach to hold their feet to the fire. Other clients, on the other hand, are disciplined enough to follow through on their commitments without sanctions and take responsibility for their actions.
Either way, our job as coaches is to raise the client level of performance to the point where they will live up to their own highest expectations whether we are there or not.
In this case, however, there may be a way to achieve both goals – the coach spells out the assignments more clearly and the client “gets” what he/she has to do.
I said: “Would these following questions be helpful at the end of each session?”
1. What was the most valuable “AHA” you picked up today from our coaching session?
2. Why do you say that?
3. What are you going to do differently?
4. Exactly when?
5. What barriers do you expect to block your path?
6. How will you overcome them?
7. What benefit do you expect from achieving this objective?
He said: “This is exactly what I need and it would make a difference.”
I replied: “Why not ask your coach to conclude each session with these questions to keep you on track?”
He agreed to follow through on the suggestion.
Every coaching dialogue completed with these questions turns the coaching session into action not just more talk. This allows the coach to follow up at the beginning of each new session by asking the client:
“What did you do differently to normal, since we last talked?”
This reinforces the value of the process for the client and keeps the coach informed as to what is actually happening in the real world for the coachee.
Let’s test it and see what happens?
Let’s complete each coaching session with these questions – turn talk or discussion into dialogue and cause specific result-oriented actions to be taken by the client.
This is the essence because it transforms consulting, mentoring, counseling or advising into a Real-World, Event-Driven dialogue, aptly defining the Coaching Process.