Identifying and facilitating learning and change

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(For individual use only, not to be reproduced or used in any way without permission)

Here is the sixth -Coaching Tip- to help you continue to develop your coaching skills.

Coaching Tip #6-"Coaching" is a balancing act.

Dealing with excuses and resistance is a balance between being supportive and focusing on the topic and need.  The main point is to expect some resistance and excuses if you are talking about a significant performance change-it is human nature, we all do it.  We have a need to justify our past actions (Type I excuses), and also justify why we haven't made the proposed change already (Type II excuses - resistance).  For more on Type I and Type II excuses see pages 94 - 96 of The Coach (hardback book)

Don't let the coaching process turn into a sword-fight  (He said-She said).  When faced with reluctance to move in a new direction, be supportive, be firm about the need for change, be helpful in getting them to understand the impact this situation has on them, and help them focus on what they can or will do to change this situation.  They will use a lot of seemingly valid arguments to avoid the situation ("We don't have enough manpower to do all of that").  As a coach, acknowledge their concerns and help them focus on what can be done.

This can be a very trying phase of the process.  CAUTION:  Please-Please-Please remember to use active listening during this time.  They only have to slip in one Valid Reason amidst all the smoke screen to blind side the process.  If they casually mention that the existing operating system won't do what the client wants without a very expensive upgrade, you had better pick up on that and ask for clarification.  Then your next step may involve joint problem solving on this issue to remove it as a barrier to the change identified in Step #2.

Listen, Acknowledge, Re-focus (on Step #2).  Step #6 (Confront Excuses / Resistance) is actually an opportunity to support, focus, and joint problem solve to strengthen your partnership for a competitive edge. 

Remember Step #8 (Don't Give Up)

To view the 8 Step Coaching Model referred to in this tip, click here

Copyright, Center for Coaching & Mentoring
Contact Matt Starcevich at matt@coachingandmentoring.com