How to Coach Anyone

Coaching is simple, but it’s not easy. Great coaching goes against all our natural impulses.

When faced with helping someone get better, our tendency is to take control. To “do it ourselves” or “be the hero.”

But trust me, no one wants you to be their hero. They want to be their own hero.

A great coach doesn’t swoop in and save the day, they guide. Here’s how:

SIDE NOTE: Not yet subscribed to Free MBA? You should be. Every week you get a new article on how to succeed in life and business. Subscribe now:

Processing…
Success! You're in (no tuition required)

1. To coaching anyone, you need good conversation.

But good conversation doesn’t come easy. To start a good conversation, remember these insights:

Once you have a good conversation started, the ongoing quality of the conversation depends on your personal character. All the trickery and tactics of good conversation in the world fall apart (eventually) if you lack strong character.

To develop stronger character, remember…

2. The four coaching principles:

When an attitude of real intent, “extreme listening,” self-reliance and positive trajectory permeate the conversation, things go well regardless of how much you know about a topic or how skilled you are in the “tactics” of good conversation.

That’s because the best coaches aren’t always the most highly skilled. They’re the people with the strongest character. We’re drawn to people who radiate optimism, integrity and honesty.

Now, the greatest challenge of coaching is making sure we’re addressing the real challenge.

To do that, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel… instead, I’ll turn to Michael Bungay-Stanier, a world leader in the art of coaching. He teaches that you can identify the real challenge by asking…

3. The 7 coaching questions:

  1. What’s on your mind?
  2. And what else? (asked multiple times because a person’s first answer is never their best answer)
  3. What do you want?
  4. What’s the real challenge here for you?
  5. How can I help?
  6. If you’re saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?
  7. What’s been more useful here for you?

Now at this point, based on the quality of your conversation and your character and the questions you’ve asked, you should have an idea of what this person really needs. So your next goal is to guide them toward the real solution to their real challenge. To do that, we’ll use…

4. The four coaching quadrants

The breakdown is simple: your job is to help this person you are coaching to identify what the next step is for them. Which of the four quadrants do they need to enter to address their real challenge.

When you know what quadrant they are dealing with…

If they’re having severe performance issues in life or work, then formal performance coaching with a subject-matter expert is needed.

If they need to improve their performance at something, but the need for improvement isn’t so severe that they could get fired or experience a similarly disastrous consequence, informal performance coaching from a boss or respected peer may be the answer. This is usually achieved by mustering up the courage to ask for help.

If it’s more a matter of personal development than performance, you may be able to help if you ask the right questions.

The four quadrants are meant to help you identify what the real solution to their real challenge is.

Offer your advice in a friendly, straight-forward way. “It seems like you’re dealing with a [performance/mindset/relationship] problem. What are your thoughts?”

Let’s review:

  1. Great coaching starts with a thoughtful question and great conversation.
  2. To keep the conversation going, embody the four coaching principles: real intent, “extreme listening,” self-reliance and positive trajectory.
  3. To find the real challenge someone is dealing with, ask Michael Bungay-Stanier’s 7 coaching questions.
  4. To find the real solution they need, try to identify which of the four coaching quadrants they are dealing with. Then, guide them in the direction they should go.

That’s how to coach anyone.

SIDE NOTE: Not yet subscribed to Free MBA? You should be. Every week you get a new article on how to succeed in life and business. Subscribe now:

Processing…
Success! You're in (no tuition required)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s