Exactly what is the coaching process?
Coaching is a process of 1) awareness, 2) action, and 3) accountability.
There is nothing scary or magical. It can be the highlight of your week.
When starting any coaching engagement we use assessments and an intake
conversation to help you develop awareness of your strengths. Awareness leads to action.
In each call, we ask something like, “What is your agenda
for today?” That way we remain focused on your agenda, which may evolve.
There is an aspect of both science and “art” in every coaching session. The
scientific aspect is a process described by the International Coaching
Federation (see www.coachfederation.org ) The artistic aspect requires
each coach to follow their intuition as they explore whatever is essential
to the client. Many times clients request content, models, examples from
other clients or related businesses.
Near the end of the session our coaches ask the client to summarize
“takeaways or possible actions.” These actions may be designed by the
coach, as a stretch goal, or they may be co-designed for a specific outcome.
Examples may include “taking a renewal break every 90 minutes at work, or
blocking time on your calendar to do work without interruption, or scripting
notes for a difficult conversation. They are not homework. Sometimes the
very best action you can take is to decide NOT to do something that you may
have thought was important during the coaching session.
Action leads to accountability. At some point in each coaching session we
will ask about previously stated takeaways or possible actions. The
accountability phase is the hardest for most people, perhaps because so many
successful people are so hard on themselves. One client, a former engineer
now a director, likes structures. So, prior to each session he would email
me a form with the following questions completed:
- What do I want out of this session?
- What is my agenda?
- What were my recent challenges?
- What did I learn this week?
- What did I fail at this week?
What were my possible actions/ takeaways after the last session?
What do I need from my coach today?
He liked the structure because it helped him monitor his progress and be
more accountable. Other clients take the summary notes we send and use them
as a reference for each session. Other clients determine their
accountability by specific actions, such as whether they secured a
promotion, or how many people/week they developed relationships with across
a business line. One manager keeps listed on interaction with each of his
12 direct reports. At the end of the day he runs down the column and lists
the number of positive, and not positive interactions they had that day. He
sends me the weekly summary. Another client has developed his top 10
metrics. They must be answered by a yes/ no/ or a number. He sends his
weekly accountability sheet that includes answers to questions ranging from
“did I reach out to Jerry every day this week? to “how many days did it take
me to respond to all work orders?” to “what is my daily weight?”
Accountability takes many forms.
If you or your business group is interested in a complimentary sample
session please contact us. Recently we had a sample session using Skype with someone in Japan. The result was that she
gained clarity about how to apply action learning to her corporation. And
she shared content with her colleagues in England and Europe. Give us a
call at 704.895.6479.