BY Nicky Denegri

DATE: 15 MAY 2015


In the first blog in this series I explained that coaching is about change. It’s working with people who are already “good at” or “successful in” their jobs, then helping them to help themselves become more so.

Because of this, it’s important to be able to measure what’s different – what’s changed - not only at the end of each session but across the coaching programme as a whole. We usually do nine hours of coaching across three sessions when we start to work with people, with three or four weeks between each one – so that’s almost a quarter of the year – and a lot can happen in that time.

There’s a rough framework around the coaching meeting –starting with identifying the issue and from there creating a goal - and ending with an action plan. In the middle there’s an examination of what’s happening at the moment and what the options for change are. This is the GROW model (Goal, Reality, Options and What Next).

Here are some typical examples of the issues that people bring to coaching:

  • An overarching lack of confidence (despite their success).
  • The challenge of influencing a more senior colleague who is widely regarded as “challenging” people (because let’s face it, the further up the corporate ladder you go, the more of them you have to deal with).
  • Working out what do with the next stage of their professional lives (because there’s still a long way to go and it’s not impossible that they will have a couple of career changes along the way).

And here are some examples of a session goal related to those issues:

  • In this session I’d like to identify the situations and people that really bring my lack of confidence to the fore. Then when I’ve done that I’d like to identify some options for how I can manage those feelings.
  • In this session I’d like to identify what works well when I’m influencing this colleague; what pushes their button and consider what I haven’t already tried – and evaluate those as options going forward.
  • In this session I’d like to identify where I’ve had most satisfaction from work, and why, and identify options that would allow me to do more of the stuff I love and less of the stuff I don’t.

One interesting thing is that sometimes you think you’ve got the goal, and then when you get further into the conversation you realise it needs a bit of a tweak – or it’s masking something else that’s more urgent/relevant/anxiety-provoking – and you need to go back and start again. This is fine. It’s part of the process and helping your client to articulate what’s important to them at that moment, and what progress looks like.

This means you can regularly summarise on progress towards the goal, and see if anything is missing. Tolstoy suggested you need goals for your life, each year, month, week, day, hour and even minute of your life. Most of us aren’t propelled along in such a way, but however briefly, in your coaching session you will be.

Got an issue you’d like some coaching on? Give us a call and we’ll help those translate those into manageable goals and measurable progress!


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about the author

Nicky Denegri is our Senior Consultant. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop her an email and we will be in touch.

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