Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished — Lao Tzu
Indeed, nature knows just how to make things beautiful in its proper time. Likewise, coaching people, who are so much a part of nature, takes time and process. Coaching is not a one-time, big-time thing. People don’t change overnight even with the most persuasive person or the most ingenious of techniques. Genuine and lasting changes just don’t happen that way. Coaching takes patience as it goes through a process. Like the ageing of wine, the more time it is given, the better the end product.
Whether you’re someone who desires to be a coach or someone who is already one but still likes to improve on your coaching skills, the following steps in the coaching process could bring your coaching career to a higher level:
Step 1: Identifying the Problem or Critical Issue
Identifying your client’s main problem and the critical issues they are facing, is the first and most important step you should do as a coach. Having the right information about the problem/ issue is vital in coming up with the best possible goals and solutions to address the problem.
Starting your coaching session with a client interview and asking your client the following questions will help you identify the main problem/ critical issue:
– What’s the most important thing we should be talking about today? Tell me some more about that. (summarise using the client’s words)
– What exactly is the problem? How often does this occur? When and where does it occur? Does it affect all parts of your life or just some aspects? (summarise and state the problem)
– Tell me more about the goal you would like to achieve? What exactly is it? (summarise and state the goal )
Step 2: Discover Possible Opportunities.
Once you have identified the problem/ critical issue, you as a coach would then help your client discover the possible options and opportunities available to them by asking them to identify what their life would be like if there were no constraints and they were able to imagine the brightest future possible. (Spend a lot of time on this step).
Questions like “How would you like your life to be in 5 years’ time? 12 months’ time? Where will you be living / working? With whom? How will you be living your life?” can help your client visualise the possible opportunities available.
Step 3: Setting Actionable Goals
You’ve heard the saying, “Begin with the end in mind.” This is what you and your client would be doing in this step. After doing step 2, you and client will then brain storm/ set the goals that would help resolve your client’s problem and make the possible opportunities they’ve identified a reality over the coming months and years. Your job as their coach is to make sure that this goal is SMART = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound.
Step 4: Test Commitment
Your client’s commitment is vital to the whole coaching process. It would be near to impossible to achieve the goals you have set, no matter how good they are, if your client’s not committed to achieving them.
You can test your client’s level of commitment to achieving their goals by asking them to indicate their desire to achieving each one on a scale or 1(low) to 10 (High). Congratulate them on a 10 score!
Step 5: Hold Accountable – Summarise the session and Close
After getting your client’s commitment on the process, you and your client can now summarise their vision of the future and the goals to be achieved, and review the actions that they have determined and committed to undertake to achieve these goals and secure their future.