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Home » Blog » Framework- The Essential Component of a Coaching Conversation

It is an already established fact that coaching is a relationship. It is designed and redesigned to shift individuals from where they are to where they want to be. The relationship must generate more value for the coach and the coachee; it must be a powerful conversation between two or more human beings with a litany of skillsets being applied. In order to achieve these results, coaches must apply a structure to the coaching conversation that facilitates focus and commitment. Without applying these skills in some sort of framework, it just tends to go all over the place. And then it’s just a chat, not a coaching conversation. So, let us unpack the elements of a great coaching conversation.

  • Define the challenge- As the coach, the first thing you want to do is to understand what lies ahead of you. In the position where they (the coachee) are right now, what is holding them back, and what do they see as their biggest challenge right now? Understanding it through their lens, with empathy, and getting a clear picture of why this is important to them and why they want to make this change. Not understanding this, you might coach them down the wrong path. It’s like that first conversation the doctor has with you, where they look at the symptoms they ask you, “What’s been going on? What’s been happening?” And then they’re able to take you further into a diagnosis and then to the treatment.
  • Pinpoint the outcome- Otherwise the journey may just end up being a haphazard one. “You know the problem; what are you going to do about it?” Specifically, within the conversation “what do you need to arrive at the end of this conversation so that you know what you need to know and feel confident to work through the next part of the journey?” And you, as the coach, need to make sure that you understand where they’re going and what they need to be able to get there before you complete the session. So, by asking some great questions, you and your coachee can determine the outcome.
  • Generate options to reach that outcome- In the flow of the conversation, the coach can ask some great questions to generate some ideas from the coachee as to how they might be able to change things. Coaching is about allowing them to work out what they could do. What are the options they have ahead of them to overcome those roadblocks and get that desired outcome? So together, working on that will mean that they feel empowered to make the change because there are opportunities there for them to work on. Having the coach there enables them to test the value of those options and see whether or not those options are healthy options or something that goes against what they want to achieve.
  • Formulate a plan/strategy- You have identified the problem, found out what the objective is, and have generated a few ways to reach that goal, now it is time to come up with a plan. That strategy is something that the coachee feels confident will move the needle towards where they want to go. A strategy means that there could be some shifts in thinking and behaviour to make that change and get where it is that they want to go. Having a clear set of steps ahead that is going to overcome those roadblocks and get them to the desired destination, whether that be the next coaching session that you have with them or the meeting that they’re having this afternoon with their peers, having a strategy to go into that with is exactly what you, as the coach, can help them to establish before moving on.
  • Hand them resources- This is a video game and they are the main character. They will need tools to go through the tasks! As a coach, ask them questions like “What do you feel you need to shift so that you can do that?” This really brings out the person in front of you. Sometimes they don’t know and that is where a coach can offer his/her insights from their own experiences.
  • Anchor the plan- This is all about getting their full commitment. A coach must bring both- support and accountability. So, making sure that that plan is anchored with things like putting it in their calendar when they’re going to do certain things that they’ve committed to doing. Ask them when the check-in is going to be, how will they know that they’ve got there and how will they let you know. Making sure that it’s anchored so that they have everything in place to make it happen, and anchoring it around their why. Before the session’s finished, they know the value of doing what they say that they’re going to do. Future pacing in their thinking as if it’s already happened. So, when that is done, what are you going to have then that you don’t have now? So, giving them the motivation, internal motivation, to go and actually take the steps.

All these elements can be chopped and changed as per the need in every session. This is the blueprint for how the coaching conversation must proceed. Otherwise, it is just a chat between friends with no tangible goals. Therapeutic as it may sound, that is not coaching.

Framework makes the dreamwork.

Blog you later!