On your good days, coaching is a dream. It is a conversation that ebbs and flows towards an outcome and an action plan that the client defines, commits to and then is so motivated that they begin their action plan as they’re walking down the corridor.
Sometimes, however, you struggle to get started and find the client is unable to centre and focus on anything other than how frustrated they are.
That is when a coaching model can be useful to guide you both through a structured and logical manner.
The STEPPPA Model is an excellent process to follow.
It moves both the coach and the client through the steps needed to explore the problem, explore options and identify a plan of action that is both realistic and achievable.
While only one of many models to facilitate a coaching session, the STEPPPA model is one that has ensured because it is so effective.
Context is a good start in reducing the scope of a coaching session. Sometimes, deciding on a subject is can take some time and the client will drift around the topic until such time as they overcome their reluctance and you come to the issue that needs addressing. Once you have the subject it can be useful to restate it in logical terms. This will help the client disassociate from the emotions involved and allow a more considered approach to the session.
It is important to have an idea of where the session is going. If the client has a goal, it is useful to assess if it is realistic and achievable. Remember you are looking for the client to move towards a well formed outcome. as you progress, you are looking for a goal that is motivating, stretching and moving towards a larger strategic goal either a target achievement of a target behaviour.
Is the state the client is experiencing positive or negative? Is it motivating or hindering. Is it useful to change the emotional state or will you use it and enhance it for the purposes of the outcome you are after. Do you want to anchor the emotion as a resource that can be called upon at a later time.
The coach’s aim here is to grow the perception of the client. There are always a number of choices to consider, paths to chose that could take your client towards that well-formed outcome. Sometimes there are too many choices, but your aim is to get the client to select one. To make a choice that is motivating, and still fits with the style of the individual and the needs of the organisation.
Conscious perception is the product of understanding the context you are working in and considering how each option plays out. Once the client has tried each option on for fit, perhaps visualizing the cause and effect of each option, then the better choices are often revealed.
Having identified a target, a well formed outcome, it is important to build a plan. But plan early and your client will generally have to plan twice. Make sure that the client has actually made a choice and has committed to that choice before planning.
Allow your client to pause and ensure they are happy to continue.
Look at the steps that can be taken to get to the target.
Then have the client make a plan. Ensure it is motivating and aligns to their personal values (easier if you have elicited them at an earlier session) and the corporate policy.
Pacing will help commit the client to the goal and enable them to check out the ecology of the outcome. For those coaches that are NLP trained, timeline techniques can be used to reinforce both the Plan and Pace stages of the process.
Once your client has a plan and has committed to it, then the last step is to act.
However, the level of your client’s motivation may still be low.
There are a number of techniques that can be used to allow the client to be motivated towards the goal.
Timeline, anchoring, overcoming limiting beliefs and visualization can all be effective.
Having stepped through this process, your client should now have a motivating and achievable plan that leads to a well formed outcome and is aligned to organisational values.
As your coaching experience grows you will spend less time following this and other coaching models and more time reading the mood of the client. But until that time, the STEPPA model is model you have in your coaching portfolio.
Dare to Aspire