Coaching is one of the most powerful tools for people development. Using coaching methodology, we could even say philosophy, may help in many areas of our life.
In business, we learned to ask the right questions, focus on the customer or be brave to experiments with uncertainty and unknown outcome.
In private life, we learned to be patient, how to love unconditionally, how to set long-term goals.
When it comes to the process of how to coach someone or how to coach the team, we could write about many different approaches. No one wants to be judgemental and say which approach is correct or which isn’t. Or even shouldn’t be. But, we can follow a certain path in the coaching process and this is an only recommendation, not a rule.
First, we need to establish rapport. That means that before any conversation between a coach and a coachee (or a team) we need to establish the same level of energy (chemistry). That helps that the coach and the coachee (or the team) start to build trust within. Without trust between two sides, we cannot do coaching. So simple, but 100% true.
After we had established almost the same level of energy and trust, we would define what could be the best outcome of this coaching session. When we have a clear goal and we provide a safe environment, we start to explore. After exploration, we need to narrow down all the options and possibilities and create few action steps. The crucial thing to get a commitment from the coachee’s side that they will do additional effort in order to fulfill these action points. In the end, we should clarify that the goal is 100% dependable on coachee, and that the coach just sparkles ideas and lights the way for the coachee to follow.
Now, let’s get back to the most inspiring part of coaching, both for the coach and the coachee – the exploration.
Exploration helps the coach to use the most powerful tool in coaching – to ask powerful questions.
By asking the right questions, we provoke and ignite the process of thinking.
Asking the right questions can unleash the full potential of the coachee and initiate changes in one’s behavior. Because the purpose of coaching at the end leads us to personal change to achieve goals that the coachee has set.
Using exploration, through powerful questions a coach helps a coachee to see even beyond the horizon the coachee can see or even imagine at this moment. Exploration can lead the coachee out of the comfort zone, and that is the crucial reason why we need to be persistent as coaches in exploration. Because, without leaving the safe, well known, comfort zone there is no opportunity to change ourselves. Exploration also widens our point of view, helps us understand other people better.
Exploring is like using the compass, moving slowly to one side or another until we find our true North. Using powerful questions, we also seek our true North and align with our core values. In that sense, our goal will always be achievable, no matter how long your journey could take.
Trough exploration, a leader learns to lead team, complex relations among the members of the team, and how this could influence the final outcome. The outcome could be anything in any area of our lives. But it must be clear and understandable to us and to other people that are depending on our actions.
How can we explore? In coaching, there are numerous techniques and frameworks that a coach can use to inspire a client or a team to explore. Through exploration, the client needs to feel like there is a sandbox for all failures that might emerge. In exploration, trust is crucial, because the client during exploration could feel vulnerable and insecure.
Regarding the teams, exploration is very powerful because it can use diversity as synergy among team members. Leading the teams is the most challenging role in today’s business environment. That is because the team can influence your business to be better, but also to be worse. It doesn’t matter whether you are a coach, an agile coach, a lean coach or a team leader in any industry, using the exploration enables you to move the mountain in business. That is the reason why we need to pay attention to exploration.
In the end, we should be brave to explore, because it is just one step into a long journey of development, which never stops. Once you stop learning, you are not exploring anymore. Through continuous education and learning, we are constantly embracing the challenge and facing the change.
Stay hungry of knowledge, stay brave to explore!