The Importance of Coaching as a Leader and How to Do It

  1. Goal. This applies to the now. What does the person hope to get out of this specific exchange? This is not to be confused with project or job goals. A helpful question to pose is, “What do you want to have when you leave this meeting that you don’t currently have?”
  2. Reality. Ask questions rooted in what, when, where, and who. This allows the person to focus on specific facts and makes the conversation real and constructive. Leave out why — it demands the exploration of reasons and motivations instead of facts. A good question to ask is, “What are the key things we need to know?”
  3. Options. Encourage them to think broadly and deeply. Consider this question, “If you had a magic wand, what would you do?” After their perspective has broadened and new options have been discovered, prompt even deeper thinking and advocate the exploration of the upside, downside, and risks of each option.
  4. Will. Part one can be fueled by the question, “What will you do?” This encourages them to revisit the action plan that was created from your conversation. This will be easy if the conversation has gone well; if not, you’ll need to cycle back through the earlier steps to help them define how they’ll tackle the problem. Part two answers the question, “On a scale of one to 10, how likely is it that you’ll do this?” An answer of 8 or higher means they’re probably motivated enough to follow through. An answer of 7 or less means it’s unlikely it’ll get done. In that scenario, you’ll cycle back through the previous steps until you arrive at a solution in which they’re more likely to act.



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