C. H. O. I. C. E. Coaching Toward Inspired Choices
Coaching focuses on future possibilities, not past mistakes. As coaches we realize that internal obstacles are often more unnerving than the external ones. We need to find the best possible way to help our clients unlock their potential and maximize their own performance. We are preparing our clients for change.
Our current reality is based on the choices we make every hour of every day. The question is: are our choices made consciously or unconsciously. There is no doubt that making conscious choices will lead to a more joy filled existence. As coaches we want to help our clients make inspired conscious choices.
If the client has asked to be coached, then chances are they are ready to start making more conscious choices in their life. As a coach we can facilitate that process as well as support and acknowledge them for honouring their commitments around creating a life on purpose.
Responsibility demands choice and choice implies freedom. Freedom of choice is very empowering.
The symbol represents the circle of awareness. Notice how it gets bigger as we move through the process. The client begins to become more aware of their personal power and learns to make inspired choices about their life.
As a coach I believe that every individual has greatness inside of them and it is my desire to help each and every client that I coach to become aware of that and to help them truly believe and achieve that greatness.
This model can move a client towards awareness of their own unique potential and achieve their desired outcomes.
Clarity on what the client is looking to achieve either in this coaching session or in the near future. We will need to help our clients establish what outcomes they want to achieve as a result of coaching.
The client may start with an individual goal or a series of goals and objectives. These goals and or objectives are sometimes very clear for the client but sometimes they may not be. As coaches we need to hold a safe space for the client to open up and be supportive of their process. We will need our powerful listening and question skills to help the client get clarity on what they want to achieve, change or learn.
Question to help someone gain clarity on their goal:
- What do you want to achieve from this coaching session?
- What results are you trying to achieve?
- What outcome would be ideal?
- What would be the benefits if you achieved this goal?
- What would happen if you did nothing?
Some other tools to help get clarity might be a “Monthly Vision Board” or the “Wheel of Life”
Next the coach and client may want to spend some time getting clear on where the client is right now vs where they want to get to. Doing this will help the client recognize how large or small the gap is from where they are now to where they want to get to and encourages the client to set realistic expectations.
Question to clarify the current reality might be:
- On a scale of 1-10, (with 1 being far away and 10 being almost there) are you right now, in relationship to achieving your desired outcome?
- What progress have you made so far?
- What is working well right now?
- What have you already tried?
Here we can help the client realize their potential for greatness. If the key to change is self-awareness and I believe that it is. Then how do we as coaches help our client become aware of their total potential?
Powerful questioning is one way. Powerful questioning is central to the coaching process and it is the coach’s questions along with the client’s self-questions that deepen awareness.
Often reframing is required if a client is coming from a disempowering perspective. To achieve greatness, movement to a more empowering perspective is necessary. Empowering the client to create a shift in their perception about themselves will help them learn, grow and get results that they truly desire.
Developing Self-Belief is critical to reaching our potential. We need to believe in ourselves. We need to believe that anything is possible.
Once again powerful questions can really help.
Sample questions around “Gaining New Perspectives”:
- What in this situation can you find to be grateful for?
- What can you learn from this?
- If you were your own coach, what coaching would you give yourself right now?
- If you can get this, just the way you want it, what is the best thing about it?
Sample questions around “Developing Self-Belief”
- Where could I be more forgiving and understanding of myself?
- How would your life be different if you really believed in yourself?
- “Image seeing yourself through the eyes of someone who truly loves and respects you”. What new things do you see?
Acknowledging the clients for any progress is very empowering at this time as well.
Now we need to get the client to look at what their options are for reaching their goal and or objective. Here is our chance to help our clients get creative. Creativity leads to possibility. Possibility leads to new adventures and journeys. This is what a learning, developmental setting should be about. We can coach our client to see other perspectives, to see other ways of viewing a situation. We challenge our client to think through possibilities for future action in resolving a situation or achieving a goal.
Questions for “Brainstorming Action Options”
- Have you ever achieved something similar to this outcome before? If so, what did you do last time?
- Do you personally know anyone who achieved a similar outcome or had a similar experience? If so, what could you learn from them?
- Suppose, just for a moment you live in a world where fear and anxiety do not exist. What could you do now?
- What are all the crazy and wacky things you could do to meet your goal?
Here we are supporting our client in choosing a way forward and identifying what the next steps are. The client decides on specific actions steps or a solution to try for resolution or completion of a goal or goals. Here we may also explore the client’s strengths that could impact the identified actions. Having the client identify the resources at their disposal and who can support them can also be very beneficial here.
- What’s the first or next step?
- What action leaps out at you?
- What action can you do today?
- Image you’ve just had an ideal week. What 3 things did you complete?
Here we discuss the commitment of the client. We also want to access the client’s commitment to an action.
Using scaling techniques in coaching is a great way to assess our client’s commitment to an action. Simply asking ‘are you committed’ is a closed question and will more likely prompt a ‘yes’ rather than a ‘no’ whatever their commitment is, whilst asking ‘how committed are you’ might elicit a vague ‘very committed’ response which could mean many things. By asking a scaling question you are helping your client put some measure on it which you can then explore further and prompt you to ask ‘so what would bring your commitment to a 10/10?
Clients with a commitment of less than 8/10 usually require further exploration to establish underlying issues affecting their motivation and to establish what action they will be more committed to.
Commitment and Accountability Questions:
- On a scale of 1 to 10 how likely are you to complete each action?
- What would it take for you to MAKE this happen (use a time frame) ?
- What is the PAIN for you not achieving this goal?
- How do you normally sabotage yourself – and what will you do differently this time?
A willing client enters into coaching voluntarily, with enthusiasm and the desire to examine their gaps as well as their assets. This implies that willing clients are those who are open to self-discovery and personal growth, and who want to be coached; otherwise, coaching is a dead-end street
The premise of empowerment is that our beliefs create the conditions of our life. If we wish to change our life, we need to envision the new possibilities and transform the limiting beliefs that created the current situation. Through coaching we transform the way we live our life.
Once the client has gotten clear on their goal, has confidence that they can do it, identified the action steps to take and made the commitment to move forward, they are empowered! The client is now empowered to take inspired action and full responsibility for both their success and their failures.
It is important that we work with our clients to setup structures that empower them. Simply asking the client how they plan to support a new goal can help them reflect on the structures that they need.
Questions for Empowerment:
- What are some of the structures that will make this goal easier to achieve?
- What things can you bring into your routine to support his new behaviour?
- What structures have empowered you in the past?
- What will be the best thing about achieving this goal?
- How will you feel when it is complete?
- How does your desired outcome serve you in terms of whom you are and who you want to be?
John Whitmore defines coaching as
unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them learn rather than teaching them.
The underlying intent of every coaching interaction is to build awareness, responsibility, and self-belief in the mind of the client.
This coaching model will help me as a coach to build the awareness, responsibility and self-belief that John Whitmore refers to in the above statement.
I hope that the questions included will be helpful to other coaches who may wish to use this model as part of their coaching took kit.