Before you can coach others, you have to spend some time thinking
about what coaching means to you, what your coaching goals are, and
what characteristics you need to embody to achieve those goals.
Step 2: Remove personal obstacles
Aside from the practical considerations of being a coach to your
employees addressed in Step 1, there is some deeper preparation
that it would benefit you to undertake. Being a coach demands focus
and mental energy. If you really want to coach, you have to be
willing to look inward. You have to know yourself, what you're
capable of, and what you want to avoid. You have to be able to be
present with whatever your coachee brings your way. You may need to
unload some emotional baggage - including a lack of confidence in
your ability to coach - before you can be effective. Only after
you've considered these issues yourself will you be able to address
them with your coachees.
Step 3: Create your coaching relationship(s)
It's one thing to ready yourself for coaching; it's another thing
completely to articulate what you want to do for others and to find
the right people to coach. When you put yourself out there as a
coach, you are displaying vulnerability, strength, and marketing
savvy all at once. This is also the step during which you'll
discuss how you and your coachee will work together - a very
important foundation for the coaching process.
Step 4: Find out about your coachee
A coaching relationship can be a powerful engine for growth and
change, but only if there is a deep sense of trust between coach
and coachee and if the coachee truly feels known by the coach.
Creating this in-depth relationship is the foundation of coaching
and will set you and your coachee on the path to success. You'll
use this knowledge of your coachee and how he works over and over
again in the later steps.
Step 5: Agree on what you want to accomplish
Even some of the most eager coachees sometimes enter a coaching
relationship unsure about their focus issues and goals. They may be
unaware of some of the areas in which they need coaching, although
their bosses, colleagues, or friends can see them clearly. Coaching
goals need to focus not only on what coachees want to accomplish,
but also on who they want to become as they accomplish these
things. As such, agreeing on what the two of you want to accomplish
through your work together is more than just standard goal setting.
To ensure that coaching actually is closing the gap between where
the coachee is and where he wants to be, accountability that comes
from establishing these expectations has to be built into the
Step 6: Use the power of possibility
Coaching comes from an expansive rather than a limiting place.
Coaches need to help their coachees think more broadly about
themselves and what they're capable of accomplishing. Responding to
powerful questions posed by their coaches, coachees come to
recognize their own greatness and the possibilities that are
available to them.
Step 7: Partner to enhance growth between sessions
A goal of coaching is to help your coachee become self-sufficient.
You can jump-start this process with assignments for coachees to
complete between coaching sessions. Assignments serve to help the
coachee notice what is happening for her, try out new approaches,
or take action toward achieving specific goals. The way these
assignments are created and given is quite different from the way
you remember getting homework!
Step 8: Realign when things go bad
Coaching relationships can unleash more emotion than your standard
manager - employee conversation; so, by their very nature, they
have the potential to hit potholes. This step will help you
recognize the signs that coaching is derailed and then help you
learn how to realign the relationship and troubleshoot a variety of
problems that can crop up in the coaching process.
Step 9: Maintain positive changes
The beginning of a coaching relationship can be exciting and
invigorating for both parties. There comes a point, however, when
the initial energy is wearing off; when the coachee, who's made
significant changes early on in the process, starts to revert to
the way he used to be or used to do things. Knowing how to coach at
this step helps keep your time together from growing stale and
helps your coachee continue to move forward.
Step 10: Complete the coaching cycle
Many coaching relationships continue long after they've ceased
being beneficial. Knowing when and how to end a coaching
relationship ensures that the progress you and your coachee have
made together is integrated into how the coachee lives and works
going forward. Likewise, from each coaching relationship you
complete you learn much that will help you continue to be engaged
and excited about yourself and your coaching. Bringing an
appropriate end to the coaching relationship will help both parties
confirm achievements made and lessons learned.
After reading and working through these 10 steps once, review them
periodically. They'll inspire you with new questions to ask and new
tools to use in your coaching.