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Thread: Agreeing on outcome of coaching conversation

  1. #1

    Agreeing on outcome of coaching conversation


    I have been facing this situation on several occasions & would like inputs from experienced coaches.

    At the start or atleast during the early part of a coaching conversation, we are required to establish an outcome that is expected from the 30+ minutes of coaching conversation.

    The coaching conversation requires us to obtain an agreement from the client about what to expect as an outcome from the conversation itself & not the final result that they want around their situation.

    The question I ask is to the effect of "what would you like to take away from this conversation" or "what would you like to take home by the end of these 30 minutes" or something like that.

    Often the answer that the client provides for this question has nothing to do with what is expected from the next 30 minutes but rather what the client expects as a result around that situation - which may be 2 days later, 2 weeks later or even longer.

    Some clients continue to respond with similar longer term outcomes even after clarifying to them the scope of this question and requesting them to focus on an expected outcome from the next 30 minutes. It seems they are so invested in the end result that they don't even understand that they need to identify an outcome from the next 30 minutes.

    And this is happening at the starting stage of the conversation thereby preventing the conversation from proceeding according to the required framework.

    How to handle such conversations? Better still how to prevent such situations from happening during a coaching conversation?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    It might be helpful to help them understand what they are saying (1) it sounds like you are telling me about a remedial or (2) it sounds like you are telling me about what the context is.

    Then I would follow up with a request, " What it is that you want to have happened? "

    It may be challenging for reactive client to clearly state what the outcome or take away is, it should be easier for them to articulate what the Point B is for them and using that as a spring-board to direct their attention to establish an outcome for the session.

    Have fun

  3. #3
    Thanks. Subsequent to lot of practice that I did , I noticed that it helps if I don't dive into asking the outcome of the session till a moment of opportunity presents itself - and this is based on the state the client is in while speaking. There comes a moment when they are tuned in to what they want in the now. I needed to notice that & then ask for the outcome of the conversation. I realize that I was diving in to establish an outcome too soon.

    Nevertheless the questions suggested by you are great questions to shifting their awareness to the moment of now.

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