Ground Rules for Coaching
For the coaching relationship to work best and give the results, we should follow some basic guidelines to bring about lasting change that benefits the person being coached, the organization, and team?
There are few basic guideline which Coach need to follow before starting any coaching engagement and during the coaching process. Few of them are:-
- Do not ask closed ended questions at the beginning of coaching.
- Ask questions with specific purpose and with agreement.
- Ask for permission to ask Questions.
- Check the comfort of coachee to ask Questions. (Is it ok to ask question right now?)
– Unless coachee is comfortable you asking
questions, he/she will not open-up.
– Coachee should demonstrate that yes I am ready to receive feedback.
– Check the motivation level of coachee at the end of the conversation.
- As a Coach, you are not supposed to make statements.
- Listening is the most powerful tool in Coaching.
Levels of Listening
Level 1: Ignoring
Level 2: Pretending to listening (Patronizing)
Level 3: Selective listening.
Level 4: Attentive Listening – Listening for content (may be nothing right even if saying right)
Level 5: Empathic listening – Listening to what have not been said/spoken (Listen with eyes, body, facial expression, smiles, face light-up, tonality; if mouth are silent, they speak with lips)
Ref: Stephen R. Covey’s Listening Continuum
- As a Coach, don’t be problem focused (why, how); should be solution focused (what, where, whom, when). – Problem focused thinking decreases motivation (Ref: Steve Mueller, Problem vs. Solution Focused Thinking)
- When asking questions, if your intent is not right, it will travel through; people will know – Be honest about what you are seeking from the relationship
- In general, root-cause analysis is very useful but do not ask in coaching.
- Coach need to be comfortable with silence (I am ok, I will wait.. approach)
- Understand from where coachee is coming, the background, situation, emotions. This must be very critical for you as a coach (Put yourself in other person’s shoe)
- If you are not able to see gesture, you can listen to the tonality.
- During Coaching, try to touch-base with the emotion of the coachee.
- Most of the time coachee should be in front of you (coaching remotely is difficult and not very effective)
- In an environment where coaching outcome is closely monitored, outcome should not be open ended, make a plan, what I am going to do, how I am going to proceed and what I want to achieve.
- Sometime you should be biased towards producing something, at least the baseline.
At the end, you cannot coach someone who doesn’t want to be coached.
@Mohammad Sami -Agile Transformation Coach
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