Core Foundations of Coaching
In any coaching niche there are 5 Core Foundations of Coaching that must be followed.
Actively Listen to Your Client
When listening actively, the coach is fully engaged in what the client is saying, and shows sincere interest and curiosity. Coaching at an advanced level requires understanding a client’s emotional state both through the words the client uses and how they are spoken.
Ask Powerful Questions
When conversing with a client, a coach should ask probing questions based on what the client is saying. As the coach tracks the client’s direction, he or she responds with questions. Questions should be thoughtful and posed from a position of curiosity. They should challenge the client without being combative. There is a quality of “not knowing” that generates this curiosity and consequent questions. The use of probing questions should stimulate the client to think in new and different ways.
Powerful questions asked by the coach help the client to distill down to areas to focus on (i.e., based on what is mission or role critical or what would have impact in other areas). In asking these questions, the coach should consider both what the client will find motivating and what is within the client’s control. Effective coaches then help clients to create opportunities for ongoing learning (during coaching and in work‐life situations) and in choosing new actions that will lead to agreed‐upon results in the most effective way possible.
Set Goals and Action Plans
Coaching at an advanced level requires the coach to develop and maintain an effective coaching plan with the client. The plan should not only identify goals but also clarify outcomes, identify indicators of success and how those will be measured, and describe concrete changes that are desired as a result. The detailed plan should include when and how action will be taken to achieve goals. During planning, the coach asks questions to facilitate development of the plan, including what it will take to implement the plan. However, ownership of the plan must remain with the client.
Managing Progress and Accountability
Coaches manage progress and accountability by focusing attention on what is important for the client and leaving responsibility with the client to take action. By reaffirming the client’s ownership of the process and outcomes, the coach strengthens the client’s commitment to development.