Preparation – Part I
- Defining a leadership coaching conversation
- 3 different levels
- How to set the stage
A coaching conversation conducted by a leader or manager can be defined as:
An interactive conversation wherein the leader/manager uses active listening, open-ended questions, and reflective feedback designed to assist in raising their team member’s self-awareness and to help them get in touch with their own answers in order for them to move forward.
This framework can also be applied when the coaching conversation is focused on working together to ideate and plan how to reach agreed upon goals that they both believe will lead to the team member’s peak performance.
If you are a leader, manager, or supervisor your “coaching conversations” are a balanced mix of open-ended questions with an “empowerment” mindset and appreciation/consulting feedback from you to them.
IMPORTANT: You cannot conduct a true coaching conversation if the person you are using coaching techniques with believes you do not have their best interest in mind.
Based on the work by Judith Glaser in Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extra Ordinary Results, conversations fall into three distinct categories.
The 3 levels of conversation are:
1. Transactional – the focus is specific to getting a task done or process completed.
2. Positional – the focus is on having each person’s point of view heard and an outcome occurring that one or the other party can agree to.
3. Transformative – the focus is on co-creating an outcome that could not have occurred without both of the parties input and discussion.
Coaching conversations fall into level 3 – transformative in which the highest level of trust is necessary to ensure that open and honest dialogue occurs.
It can be said that the most important part of having a successful coaching conversation is in the preparation.
To prepare for a coaching conversation be sure:
- Both parties are prepared to have them
- Time is set aside to have the conversation in a “neutral” place
- Both parties agree that what is said is confidential
- Both parties believe that the other has their best interest in mind
- The coach is in a non-anxious state of mind, focused solely on helping the person get what they want
- The person being coached wants to be coached by the coachee and trusts that person is empathetic towards them and the situation they are in
- The person being coached wants and has the capacity to be coached (mentally, physically, emotionally)
Be aware that if the person you are trying to have a coaching conversation with feels that your intentions are not good in regard to them your conversation will be limited to one of consulting, advising, or goal setting, It would be very difficult to have a transformative, coaching conversation with that person when they do not believe you have their best interest in mind.
More to come in Part II.