Coach: Coaching can help you to reach your goals. It can help you to change the way you do things for the better. It is best known for its use in sport and business but the good news is that you can now use it for personal development. And get an expert to coach you in a new skill you want to master.
Me: What skills does a good coach need?
Coach: The key to good coaching is to find out what the client’s agenda is. A good coach uses questions to do this. He or she then works with the client to achieve this agenda. In other words the coach is not doing what he or she wants but what the client wants. Very few clients can tell you what this is without some skilful prompting. And it is the ability to help them do this that makes the difference between a good and a great coach.
Questions are the key to good coaching
Coach: Questions are the key to good coaching. The coach does not tell or teach he or she asks questions to lead the person being coached to what is best for them. He or she listens, learns and accepts what the client wants to achieve.
Me: What kind of questions will help me to identify my agenda?
Coach: Coaching questions come in strings rather than just once off. Like: What do you want to achieve? What is your goal? How will you know when you have reached it? How will you measure your success? What strengths will you use to get there? How do you plan to use these strengths? What work do you need to do on these strengths to improve your chances of success?
Me: Do you always use all these questions? Or do you just select the ones you need to get the answers you want?
Coach: You listen very carefully to the answers you get. And you then select a question to provoke the person to think through the issues he or she has raised.
Me: So listening is another key skill of the good coach?
Coach: Yes. It helps you to tune into the person’s needs and their understanding of their needs. Where they want to go and how they plan to get there.
Help people to stay focused on important goals over time
Coach: To help people to set a goal is one thing. To get them to stay focused on this goal over time is much more difficult. This is where a good coach can make a real difference.
Me: Why do people find it hard to stay focused on a goal over time?
Coach: We already have a very crowded schedule to begin with. We must give up some things to make time to work on the new goal. And for some strange reason we tend not to be very good at doing this.
Me: That’s not very bright is it?
Coach: So you see yourself as an exception to this general rule?
Me: Yes I am probably an exception. Oh! I get it that is what everyone says…
Coach: I’m afraid so and the truth is that none of us are an exception to it. We set goals for ourselves and depend on our willpower to overcome whatever obstacles get in our way. I’m sure you do this the same as the rest of us do?
Me: Yes it is an issue I could do with some coaching on.
Use Coaching Questions to motivate people to make action plans. And to solve problems that may arise.
Coach: Coaching can motive you to plan any change we wish to make. Help you to spot problems that may arise. And take steps to solve them.
Me: Can you give me an example of the kind of questions you would use to do this?
Coach: What are your strengths? (Nothing motivates you more than using your strengths). How can you use your strengths to achieve your goal? How will you measure the progress you make? What is your action plan? How will you get time to work on it? Who can help you? What problems or set backs do you expect? How do you plan to deal with them? How do you plan to monitor your progress?
Me: I like it. Do you stick to this list? Or do you deviate from it?
Coach: These are my first thoughts. Where I go with them depends on the answers I get. And the progress you make or problems that arise for you.