The Coaching Conversation

There are many things to consider in the area of performance management and one of the considerations is what method to use. One method is to use the coaching approach based on the model developed by Corporate Coach U (CCU). This method can be used to take the under performer to satisfactory or above, and it can be used to take the good performer to great. It is a very effective method for developing your “A” players.

When coaching through the gap from the current reality to the desired goal there are four essential skills used:
1. Contextual Listening ©
2. Discovery Questioning ©
3. Messaging
4. Acknowledging

Step 1. Focus

Through a series of discovery questions the focus of the current reality is established, such as:
–What would you like to get from this conversation?
–What feels most urgent right now?
–What do you need most to move forward?

During this step the desired goal is identified and made clear.

Step 2. Discover Possibilities

–Looking at this goal, what is the best that could happen?
–If you knew you could not fail, what would you do first—right now?
–What other outcomes might you achieve?
–What other possibilities can you see that can move you forward?

During this step look at all possibilities, even the unusual ones.

Step 3. Plan the action

–Choose the most compelling action steps.
–Decide where to start.
–Discover what is needed for success
–Decide on who might be needed to assist
–Be clear on how these action steps will lead to achieving the goal
–Review the plan to make sure all of the actions steps are there and in the right sequence

The coach sends a clear message that action needs to be taken and helps to develop the action plan

Step 4. Remove the barriers

–What might keep you from succeeding?
–What is missing?
–Do you have all the resources that are needed?
–What roadblocks might come up that need to be overcome?
–Who can you communicate with to remove these roadblocks?

The idea here is to acknowledge there will be barriers and to identify as many as can be and remove them. The idea here is to make them non-issues before the plan is even put into action. This step addresses the concerns of the person being coached.

Step 5. Recap

–Tell me what you are going to do and by when
–What are you taking away from this conversation?
–What will you have achieved by our next meeting?
–How would you like me to hold you accountable for your commitments?
–What date and time works best for our next meeting?

The recap ensures clarity of the issue and implementation of the action plan and the system for accountability. It is important that the person being coached is clear on the steps and the goal. Any lack of clarity is cleaned up at this step.

The Coaching Conversation Model © does not work in or apply in every situation. When it does it is a very effective method for achieving the desired results—and often more!

Want to learn how to do it? Give us a call!

Judith Harris, MBA 2014
Executive Coach

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