5 Coaching Programme Essentials – Part 5

Friday, 23rd May, 2014

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Coaching is about moving forward. In order to do this, changes need to take place outside the coaching session, as well as in it.

Talking about making changes in the coaching session is one thing. Making changes beyond it is another.

So how does this happen, and whose job is it to decide what the action points from a session are … the coach’s or the coachee’s?

If you look at the Core Competencies listed on the International Coach Federation’s website, #9. ‘Designing Actions’ provides guidance on this topic, including:

“(The coach) promotes active experimentation and self-discovery, where the client applies what has been discussed and learned during sessions immediately afterward in his/her work or life setting.”

By promoting self-discovery – using the usual coaching tools and skills – the coach has some part to play in guiding the coachee towards taking action, but it is ultimately the coachee’s decision about what they will do. Some questions which I’ve used here include:

“So what will you do?”

“Which action, out of all the options we’ve discussed, is going to give you the best outcome?”

“What are you going to do differently between now and the next time we meet?”

“What will you do next that will move you closer to your goal?”

Often, coachees are good at holding themselves accountable for their actions, but sometimes they need a little help … especially if they have developed a pattern of not taking action when they said they would!

How would you like to be held accountable for this action?”

Who would you like to hold you accountable for these actions?”

(If the coach) “How will I know when you’ve completed this task?”

“How do you want me to respond if you don’t complete the task?”

 Next Steps at the end of the Coaching Programme

It’s important that the coachee has a plan at the end of the programme – to ensure changes can become embedded and lasting. I like to use a Personal Development Plan, but I don’t tell the coachee what to put on it! It’s down to them, then I arrange a follow-up session 2-3 months later to check progress.

What about Next Steps for the Coach?

This is about the coach ensuring they keep up to date with coaching, and have regular coaching supervision. Coaches need to be mindful of not falling into bad habits, and checking that they are regularly measuring themselves against a professional coaching body’s core competencies.

So what are your next steps right now regarding developing your skills as a coach?

If you’re not a coach, but are having (or thinking of having) coaching, how will you ensure you choose the right ‘Next Steps’ for you?


debbie019 fThank you for taking time to read this blog.

I’m Debbie Inglis, a performance coach, mentor and trainer, working with Heads, Principals, School leaders and their teams to maximise leadership performance, create more effective, confident, and motivated teams … in a way that brings out the best in them.

If you’re interested in my services, please get in touch, and you can read more here.