5 steps to ensure a more directive approach to business coaching is effective

WHAT’S THE POINT OF MANY YEARS OF HANDS-ON BUSINESS EXPERIENCE IF YOU CAN’T SHARE ANY OF IT? This question effectively sums up what I, along with many business leaders entering into a new career in coaching, ask themselves.How credible can we be as a business coach targeting senior executives if we fail to draw upon our own experiences?The majority of the reading around the attributes of successful coaching is consistent with the non-directive approach with the coach holding back & not offering any advice, recommendation or suggestions to support the client in resolving their particular concern.The non-directive approach successfully encourages the client to build their own self-awareness and to discover their own solutions through developing their own resourcefulness via skilful questioning, challenge and support from the coach.

Whilst this approach is recognised as the cornerstone to successful coaching and is widely & effectively adopted across the coaching community, it can be argued that its translation into the professional world may not be as straightforward or as effective as it appears.The expectations and understanding of what ‘coaching’ means can vary significantly from client to client. Many will seek a coach with experience within a similar industry or with a credible business background with the objective to tap into the knowledge and expertise of the coach.The best business coaches should be able to adapt and flex their approach to suit the needs of the client and be receptive to offering a more blended approach between coaching and mentoring.

CHECK Framework for coaching

1. Contracting

Be clear and clarify with your client as to their needs and expectations from you and ensure their full understanding of the preferred approach.  Agree at the contracting stage if the client will be receptive to your input by drawing on your previous business experience to add value to their thought process and decision making.

2.  Hold back

Allow for the listening stage and give the client time and space to reflect and think. Hold back on offering any views of suggestions too readily.

3.   Explore

Explore and exhaust all the options from the client through effective questioning and challenging their thinking.

4.  Challenge

Challenge the client again before considering to share any relevant experiences or knowledge to support them

5.  Knowledge sharing

Any sharing of knowledge, experiences or suggestions should be relevant and appropriate to support the client’s thinking and decision making process.

Encourage time for reflection in order for the client to consider the input to reach their own solutions and actions.