Co-active Coaching - Part 2
- Who we are.
- Who we are in relationship.
- Who we are being and want to be.
- How we are actively creating.
- What we are doing or not doing to achieve the results people want in life and work.
In Part 2 of the book, the author describes the five skills a trained coach brings to the co-active conversation: 1)Listening, 2) Intuition, 3) Curiosity, 4) Forward and Deepen, and 5) Self-Management.
1 | LISTENING
- What prevents you from being totally focused on your coachees?
- When have you recently adapted your coaching approach based on your interpretations of the coachee and their environment?
- What are some of the tapes that go through your mind during a coaching conversation
- Which tapes are helpful? Counterproductive?
2 | INTUITION
- I have a sense/feeling . .
- May I share an observation. . .
- My instinct tells me. . .
- I have a hunch that . . .
- I wonder if. . .
- May I tell you about a gut feeling I have?
- How do you prepare clients ahead of time that you may share your intuitions?
- How do you experience the "nudges" in your mind and body that you should share your intuition with a client?
- When is interrupting or intruding in a coaching conversation helpful? A hindrance?
3 | CURIOSITY
- On a scale of 1-10 (10=very curious), how curious are you with your clients?
- What can coaches do to coach out of a curious mindset?
- Do you have trouble being curious for your own sake rather than the clients?
- What are the questions or phrases you use when coaching to spark curiosity?
4 | FORWARD & DEEPEN
- How mindful are you of helping clients learn from their actions and results?
- Are there ways you help normalize failure as part of the learning process?
- What structures or norms do you help clients create to support their intentions?
- What requests do you frequently make with clients you coach?
5 | SELF MANAGEMENT
- What aspects of self-management do you do well?
- What are some of your trouble spots related to self-management?
- What are some indicators that the coaching process or conversation is "off track?"
- What’s your process for doing an "autopsies without blame" on your recent coaching conversations?
If you've read or listen to the book, please bring your insights and questions to today's conversation. As you consider these questions, reflect on the potential ripple effect they'd have on your coaching impact with clients. If you are a Coaching School student and reading this blog, please comment on which of the 5 skills do you feel is most important for you to pay attention to right now.
"When we are curious as coaches, we are no longer playing the role of an expert." I love wondering and wandering with my youth. I always amazed at the questions they ask and the journeys they take. I tend to listen with my whole being when they are wondering about God or their faith. Because I KNOW I am not an expert on all things faith, I approach each of these conversations with awe and a desire to learn more, seeing through their eyes and their experiences. With coaching, I have not been as ready to bring in the wonder. I am still so new, focused on the basic agreement, on finding powerful questions, on doing it "right" that I have missed such a key part - BE CURIOUS! By nature, I am curious, always asking why or how. I know that with increased practice I will be able to move out of the formulaic process of coaching into what it more natural for me - wondering with my clients. In the meantime, I will be more aware of my need to stop, explore and reflect - learning with awe from my client.
I think intuition is the area that I would struggle with the most. It feels to me like a fine balance to invoke my own intuition without "leading the witness" or inserting myself into the client's own process in a way that could border on 'fixing'. I do think that as we move from lots of short 'one-off' coaching sessions like we are doing in class to more extended coaching relationships, the worry around offering intuition based reframing or observations may diminish as a relationship grows.
I agree that intuition often feels like fixing or leading. I often wonder how I can use my intuition to ask that next best question without leading or if I should just fully embrace what my gut is telling me and be more direct. In doing the latter, I feel I have had the best results with clients.
"How can I use my intuition to ask that next best question without leading ...?" The next best question. Great call!
You're probably right about it getting easier as we move into one-on-one coaching relationships, but I think you're doing an amazing job alreaady!
Under Self-Management, I am intentional about the time I allot prior to an appointment. I typically do not schedule back-to-back appointments because I need time to process and/or decompress. I need to get better about sticking with the time I schedule. I used to allow people to continue talking even though our time was up. I have worked in the last few years to voice that "I'll need to switch gears at [x o'clock], and then mention it when we are within 15 minutes of that time. I recently said to someone, "Having a time constraint forces you to think through what's most important for you to share with me." The question "Are we still on track?" is a great 'tool' to help me, as a coach, as well as the individual, to stay on track.
I like your note about the time constraint forcing the client to think through what is most important to share with the coach. Thank you for sharing that observation. :)
I am focusing a lot on active listening. With the help of the recommendations and books, I have found myself sitting and listening to my colleagues, friends and family members. I have been able to listen to their feelings through their words and it has open up a new level of understanding. after I have received all that information, my curiosity activates and I can ask questions that would give me more details about their thoughts and feelings.
I appreciate your note that once you have received "all that information," your curiosity "activates." I like that idea.
Curiosity is the skill I find most important and most difficult to naturally acquire. In my paying attention to the client, I am collecting details, but rarely asking questions to deepen my understanding. As I continue to coach, I hope to become more curious by asking questions that get the client to dig deep and allow me to help them address their true needs and hopes. I have hesitated to ask these questions for fear of stepping into counseling territory, and I need to become more comfortable in this area.
You've got this! :) I wonder if you were curious as a child? Oftentimes, we lose our curiosity as we become adults. Perhaps some time playing with curious children would help reactivate that in you if it was there and is just overwhelmed by grown up to do lists.
Thank you Julie for offering the suggestion to play with children to regain our curiosity by paying attention to their awe and natural curiosity. I have a couple of grandchildren I could practice with. Love it!
I would say the skill I need to pay the most attention to right now is self-management. I take time after a session to clear my head and to evaluate, but I am most likely not taking adequate time for preparation *before* the session by thinking about our most recent previous conversation and recalling the important points that might need follow-up.
I think self management is the biggest struggle for me. I often forget to ask in my coaching sessions whether or not we are still on track because I'm so focused on the client and the conversation; I often find that asking that question directly would interrupt the flow of the conversation and so I'll resort to recapping and then asking a follow up question instead. Is this effective? Or should we be asking that question directly no matter how the conversation is going? I also wonder about how to discern that you aren't the right coach for an individual and how to build a network of other coaches that you know well enough to refer someone out after a couple of sessions if you feel like you aren't a good match.
I'm most interested in growing in self-management. I recently added an app to my phone with different goals for the day/week. I like checking off when I do them, even though I'm not a checklist kind of guy. I'm finding that clear goals that are set into bite-sized steps help me develop a routine that keeps me moving forward. Being organized doesn't have to be bad, but can help manage my time more effectively and prioritize tasks that lead to progress..
Coaching for me is intriguing and challenging at the same time. I have found out in the last three months that it is possible to relate with others without trying to fix them, knowing that clients are responsible for their own outcome. My responsibility is to provide a safe space for the client that will give him/her the opportunity to explore new creative ways of seeing and being by casting powerful questions that will build bridges from the present to a brighter and more fulfilling future. I also have learned that curiosity is a skill that I need to develop further to really make an impact in my client's coaching. I was taken away in the last class coaching demonstration how the coach reassured the coachee stating “I got lots of curiosity.” This expression made me realize the importance of showing my curiosity in the drafting of my questions for the client to gain clarity and get to the breakthrough of developing the next steps. This acknowledgement was powerful and an-eye opener for me. I think the question for me right now is “how do I continue to develop or regain my sense of curiosity to become a better coach?
The skill I have been working on the most lately is intuition.
How do you prepare clients ahead of time that you may share your intuitions?
-Asking for permission to share observations and being clear and direct with them from the beginning that part of my job is to notice what is not being said. Also, make sure to share observations from a place of curiosity not of judgment... it is important to leave plenty of room for the client to correct me if I'm off base.
How do you experience the "nudges" in your mind and body that you should share your intuition with a client?
--I can feel these in my stomach and in the back of my neck. I will actually find myself cocking my head one direction if there's something that is tickling the back of my mind that I can't quite put my finger on.
When is interrupting or intruding in a coaching conversation helpful? A hindrance?
--It is helpful if it helps the client stay on track with their stated intentions. It is a hindrance if it happens too often or comes from a place of impatience or discomfort.