I have found there to be five outcomes from coaching – and only number 5 is successful. Might be worth thinking about this before even starting….!
1 – They actually are fine. Maybe their boss has sent them for some reason, or they worry about themselves, but there’s little or nothing to work on.
2 – They talk a good story, and as the coach you can’t tell what’s true and what isn’t. They claim that their boss doesn’t understand them, that they don’t need to change, and you can only agree with them. Maybe it’s true, maybe it isn’t – who knows? I suspect that there is a problem there, but unless they admit it we can’t move on.
3 – Problem agreed but I can’t find an answer. Sometimes it’s just too difficult, maybe their boss is expecting a miracle, or wants something fixed that they haven’t been able to fix in years of managing this person – maybe it’s the individual’s personality, or a deep structural problem in the organisation. So we just can’t come up with a plan. This is the only one that I feel bad about; the others are all down to either the boss or the person being coached.
4 – Jam tomorrow – a common dynamic in coaching is the person who keeps promising that they are going to improve – they know what’s needed but never quite do it. “Once I’ve moved office, once this big job is out of the way, once I have my new person working for me” – the months slip by and nothing changes. Frustrating because they DO have a problem, they have agreed this, and we have identified what needs to be done.
Can be due to
- Don’t want to change
- Weak so not confronting problem people
- It’s too hard to change
- Too lazy to change
- Too disorganised to change
- Don’t have the brainpower or ability to make the change
5 – Yes! Success!! Problem identified, plan agreed, changes made, and it worked.
onwards and upwards!