Executive Coaching Questions, Part III The best way to close a coaching conversation is to ensure commitments are established and a follow up plan is in place.

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Executive Coaching Questions, Part III  The best way to close a coaching conversation is to ensure commitments are established and a follow up plan is in place. post image

Guest Post by Augusten Del Vento

In Executive Coaching Questions, Part I, I reviewed questions that can be used to define the coaching goals and establish a contract. Part II reviewed those questions you can ask to review expectations, explore resources and solutions, and create insights.

In Part III, the last of the series, I would like to present some of the questions you can use to review the coachee’s commitments and motivation, and create an action plan.

Together with my previous blogs on this topic, you will have a number of useful resources to conduct a preliminary coaching conversation.

Question Potential use
What would be something that you can start doing/you can commit to? Moves the coachee from reflection into action and encourages him/her to commit to it. It is useful to come back to the coachee’s commitments in later conversations to celebrate successes and re-assess challenges.
When can you be ready to make the first step towards your goals? It is important to assess the coachee’s motivation to start, not only to know the likelihood of success but also to help him/her to get more real about his/her goals.
What is a realistic timeframe to start? Similar to the question above, asking your coachee for a timeframe ensures both of you have a clear expectation on timelines and measurable goals.
What can get in your way? Allows the coachee to think ahead and review the challenges he/she may face and get prepared.
What will be your next step once you have mastered this? Thinking about the next step of doing something different helps make it more real to the coachee.
What are you taking away from this conversation? Before closing the conversation, it is important to review what was discussed and the coachee’s commitments. Asking your coachee to recap (instead of doing it for him/her), increases the chances of the change sticking.

Note from Bob: When asked “What you are committed to getting done by (set time)?” have you ever responded by saying, “I am really going to TRY to do X?  I call those “Weasel Words” and remind us all of Yoda’s wisdom: “No! Try Not.  Do.  Or Do Not.  There is No Try.”   

AugustinDelAugusten Del Vento is the director and founder of Change Champions Consulting, Agustin works with a team of highly qualified coaches and consultants to meet the particular needs of every client.  Agustin has more than ten years working with leading organizations  in several industries supporting them with the change initiatives. Raised in Argentina, Agustin is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.