I get to review dozens of recorded coaching conversations every week. Within one minute of listening to the coaching session, I can predict with some certainty how well the coaching conversation will go.
The odds of having a successful coaching conversation go up significantly when the coach sets the tone for a great session right up front.
He or she does this by creating an environment of value to the client.
Specifically, the coach should do the following:
1. Ask the client what would make this hour the best hour of their week (or month if you meet monthly).
2. Specifically define a Point A (where the client is now) and a Point B (where the client wants to be by the end of the session). Note that this is also important to do before each and every coaching engagement, except Point B is where the client wants to be by the end of the engagement.
3. Confirm why getting to Point B matters to the client. That way, everyone is clear on what is at stake for the client, and why this session is worth the client's time and their (or their organization's) money.
The coaches who don't do this tend to get lost in a hairball of events, circumstances, and problems, without focusing in on a result that matter. The session meanders without measurable traction or progress, and often the client gets
frustrated or feels like they are in therapy. The coach sometimes has fun, but the client suffers.
In contrast, with a clear Point A and Point B, the coach and client can dig into why the gap between the two points exists, and how to move forward towards insights, results, and value.
Similarly, never end a coaching session without reconfirming value by asking:
What was the most valuable thing you got out of today's session?
This re-grounds the client in value, and keeps momentum going into the next session. It also provides important information for the coach — because if the client can't think of anything valuable, then the coaching relationship is at risk.
As a colleague of mine says: "In any purchase, cost is only relevant in the absence of value." Make sure that cost is not relevant when you are coaching your clients, starting by doing the above.
Meanwhile, coaches also need a robust set of tools and frameworks to get leaders from Point A to Point B in their most challenging leadership situations. The Center for Executive Coaching gives you those tools, along with all the support you need. No other program comes close the the practical, results-driven focus.
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Call me anytime at 941-539-9623 to discuss whether we are a good fit for you and your goals.