In a prior post I shared a coaching framework called the GOAL model to help leaders know the steps and process for having successful coaching conversations with people. In my most recent posts I’ve presented the 5 coaching skills that, when developed, can help a leader accelerate leadership and coaching effectiveness. The skills included Listening, Questioning, Feedback, Challenge, and Praise.
In this post I want to share the top 5 coaching techniques I use to help people move toward their goals. I have more than 20 coaching techniques that I use during coaching conversations, but the one’s I share in this post are the the one’s that I have seen get the greatest results. They are all valuable but must be used at the right time and within the appropriate situation.
My Top 5 Coaching Techniques.
1. Reframe: This is a technique I use to help a person to think more positively about a current situations. This technique uses a simple question. “How could you reframe this situation more positively?”. This often helps people think and mentally view something from a more positive perspective often leading to greater insight and learning.
2. Feed-forward: This technique is quite different than the concept of feedback. In feedback you give information (both positive and negative) about what happened in the past. During feed-forward you challenge the person you are coaching to share with you one or two things he/she will do great in the future that will lead to success or reaching a goal. You can also take part in this process by giving the person feed-forward. You do this by telling the person what you think he/she will do well in the future to achieve outstanding results. In essence, you are expressing confidence in their ability to successfully complete a task that will lead to them achieving their goal.
3. Self-Talk: This technique challenges a person’s inner voice. Ask the person you are coaching, “What are you saying to yourself about this issue?” or “What is your inner voice saying about this issue?” Have a conversation about positive verses negative self talk. Challenge the person to create a “self-talk” statement that he/she can say to him/herself when the negative self-talk begins. The positive self-talk can be used to fight the negative self-talk and eventually replace it.
4. Sound board: This is a great technique for a person to state their ideas and better understand how others will perceive it. Start by asking the person you are coaching if you can act as a sounding board for them. Explain to him/her that as a sounding board you will be giving your initial understanding and feedback on what you hear them say. Then ask them to tell you about the idea, situation, or plan. After you have heard them out, you will repeat what they said as you understand it and in your own words.
5. Six Thinking Hats: The Six Thinking Hats Technique is used to challenge a person to think from 6 different perspectives by thinking from six different perspectives. The six perspectives are mentioned below. Start by asking the person you are coaching, “If you were thinking about this situation/challenge from purely a Logical/Rational standpoint, what are your thoughts and reactions?” Talking through this perspective and then move to the next by asking the same question but interchanging the words “logical/rational” with the next thinking hat perspective (e.g., emotional, positive, etc). I recommend reading Edward De Bono’s book Six Thinking Hats to get a better understanding of this concept and coaching technique.
- Positive (focus on benefits)
- Negative (focus on risk)
- Future Impact (vision)