Taxi, Uber, and Lyft drivers have a lot in common with good coaches!
When you are looking for a ride somewhere the first question is always, “Where to?” Good coaching is like that as well.
In the Next Level Bridges Coach Training course we have been talking about the importance of the Coaching Agreement.
(That’s coach-speak for defining the goal or focus of the conversation)
Just like when you hire a driver you have to have a destination for the ride to be successful, in a coaching session, it needs to be clear where you are going. This is the shared responsibility of both the person being coached and the coach.
If the coach doesn’t hear a clearly defined destination, it’s his/her job to ask the kinds of questions that will help define where the conversation should go.
Remember, the conversation is supposed to be coaching the client toward the destination!
If we don’t have a clearly defined destination we are just wandering around, both in our ride and in our conversation.
Here are some questions that could help if the destination seems unclear:
And in our course, we learned that defining the focus is likely not a one-and-done. A masterful coach pauses a number of times throughout the conversation to check-in and see if the conversation pathway is still on track. That sounds like this:
It’s worth the effort!
No matter how long it takes, when the coach is clear where the client wants to go the conversation will flow more intentionally. Just like a destination will keep you from just driving all over the place, a clear definition of where the conversation needs to go keeps the conversation from unproductive rambling.
Proverbs 20:5 (AMP) says, “A plan (motive, wise counsel) in the heart of a man is like water in a deep well, But a man of understanding draws it out.”
I was recently in a coaching conversation where the majority of the conversation was focused on helping the person being coached figure out what exactly was bothering them in an area of personal angst. Defining what peace would look like, labeling current emotions, and looking for lies were all a part of that conversation.
In the end, the person being coached was served by a perspective shift rather than a change in their circumstance or situation. Since we knew where we wanted to go, it changed the focus of the conversation.
Examples of coaching conversation goals could be anything from something transactional, like: “finding time to __________ in my schedule”, or something transformational, like: “taking time to drill down on ______________ and brainstorm ways to face it well.”
The key is in the outcome. It’s not enough to want to talk about something, it’s important to define the destination - the specific desired outcome.
Hats off to this first cohort of Next Level Bridges Coaches! They are doing the hard work of assessing their coaching and taking it to a next level!
Pro Tip: Make the client do the heavy lifting. If they are not sure what they want from the conversation, it may not be time to have one yet. Better yet, train your people to come with a goal in mind.
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