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Graham Hooper – Coaching Conversations (1)

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This series of short articles will enable you to be able to hold coaching conversations that are essential if you want to be able to identify the client's goals and needs. You will also discover useful teaching and learning strategies to implement.

Finding a GOAL is a good starting point. You may find that the original goal might shift as the coaching model is worked through, and there is more realisation of what will help in achieving the goal. It helps if a goal is SMART, but they often start a bit woolly! Making a goal specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely can be achieved by starting with the end in mind. Asking your client to visualise what the end goal would look like, feel like, taste like, smell like and sound like to them, is a great place to start. This makes the visualisation rich in colour and believability for the brain not to be able to distinguish between reality and imagination. Goals need to be broken down into bite-size chunks as the overall goal could become overwhelming. For a goal to be achieved, the client will need a self-belief system and confidence that it can be achieved, or they are likely to give up before they even start. A SWOT analysis is a useful tool before starting a project. Getting the client to look at their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will give them a chance to look at the reality of the task ahead.

When exploring options, it is an idea to look back at the past and find 10 different things the client has achieved success with, this will breed confidence. Options are often about being creative and reframing is a simple and effective technique. A simple question: “If you knew someone in your position what advice would you give them?” This can be a great question to take away any threat of procrastination.
Another very simple technique is to write a letter from the future, explaining how you achieved your goal and what steps you took to get there. A further technique could be to draw your goal in the top right-hand corner of a flipchart or piece of paper draw a step in the bottom left-hand corner and use post-it notes to fill in the missing steps between the current reality and the desired outcome.
The way forward is the actual steps of putting into action what’s needed to achieve the goal.

In the next article, I will give you a set of potential questions that can help you work through a
coaching conversation using the GROW model as a framework.

Graham Hooper ADI ORDIT

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