The following is a dialogue of a real coaching session I conducted with a young mother we are calling Karen. I have also given a commentary on my coaching. I hope it will be useful for newer coaches to see how e-coaching can be used. In the next posts I will be continuing the session to show how it evolved.
Bob: HI Karen, welcome. What would you like to work on this session?
Karen: hmmm…I think organisation. Particularly systems…and staying on track when plans are changed by external factors…
Karen: and staying calm and focussed when that happens!
Bob: ok great
Bob: If you were more organised and stayed calm what would somebody watching the scene from outside actually be seeing and hearing that would indicate that you have succeeded?
Karen: I would arrive early and appear calm…also my children would be listening and attentive (don’t know if that last bit is a goal or evidence of a goal met though?)
Bob: ok no problem
|I though initially we would be working on Karen’s time management and planning skills. So my first question was to move Karen into thinking about her success criteria.
Interesting how a coaching session can turn in an unexpected way, as she started talking about her children.
|Bob: I think it would be useful to focus on the organisational stuff or the staying calm stuff. Which would you like to focus on first?
Karen: I think staying calm…as I have not looked at that as a separate factor before.
Bob: Great although a similar question. How could you confirm that you had achieved your goal of staying calm?
Karen: I would feel better…wouldn’t be shouting..heart beating fast…would be feeling happy on journey (thinking of school run for example)
Bob: So if we turned those into positives. You would be speaking more quietly, your heart would generally be steady and you would feel happy on journeys?
Karen: yes 🙂
Bob: Ok great. Realistically by what date do you want to have achieved your goal(s)?
Bob: Karen: did you get that question?
Karen: I did…just thinking
Bob: no problem take your time
Karen: it is quite a big one…
Karen: Ideally I would like to feel calmer from now!
Karen: But it ties in to so many other things!
Karen: I am starting to make changes to make it easier
Bob: Sure but we want to be realistic. I would go for a time that feels like it gives you time to change but not so long it feels too far in the future.
Karen: to feel calmer….eg I have applied to change my son’s school so that we can walk to school and not depend on a car journey which is affected by traffic….
Karen: I think maybe 2 weeks?
|I did not understand that yet and tried to focus Karen on the one element that she most wanted to work on.
it became clear that Karen had one specific time issue she wanted to talk about – the school run!
So I moved into turning this into a timed goal without doing much more exploration at this stage. It is always a moot point as to how far you should go in defining a clear goal. What we have discovered in e-coaching is that it is better to get a clear enough goal and move on than to spend a lot of time getting a perfectly clear one.
As we were doing the session by text and there was a delay I checked in with Karen if she got one particular message.
|Karen: for me it comes back to organisation…ie being ready to leave, having everything there
Karen: as well as my response to problems
Bob: ok lets try that and see how things go. We can always change it.
Karen: that sounds good
Goal updated – You would be speaking more quietly, your heart would generally be steady and you would feel happy on journeys within 2 weeks.
Karen: yes! I had a good morning on Monday and it felt lovely!
|So at this point I had a good idea that the session was not going to be about general organisation but an issue that was still very important to Karen.
I grabbed hold of that and tried to convert it into a goal which, fortunately, Karen agreed to.
|Bob: So Karen, what would you like to gain from this session? A plan of how to achieve your goal or something else?
Karen: A plan sounds good but is there anything else you had in mind?
Bob: Not particularly but if you wanted advice or anything similar we could look at that
Karen: Can you combine both?
Session Goal Statement updated – – A plan sounds good plus advice if possible
|We then moved on to establishing a session goal for the session. A session goal is what the client will have in their hand by the end of the session. Some coaches don’t bother with it but I usually find it useful to clarify it.|