For example, a coaching client was responsible for overseeing a specific project. One of the managers on the project was simply uninterested in completing their work. This coaching client was at a loss as to how to make it happen because without direct authority over the manager, it became a power struggle. In a coaching session, we explored the situation. Questions I asked included:
- How does this manager view the working relationship?
- What are the long-term benefits of a good working relationship?
- How are you able to help this manager in their job or career?
- What benefit is there for this manager to complete the work?
- What approach have you taken in the past?
- What approach will you take now?
Through answering these questions, the coaching client felt they had a better understanding of what was happening and created a plan of action to move forward. Specifically, the coaching client decided on these action steps:
- Schedule time for a social lunch with the manager.
- Ask the manager what they wanted to support their work and discuss ways to help.
- At the next project meeting, ask each team member to list the benefits of completing the project successfully.
- Ask the team to list remaining action items and create a timeline.
As a result of the plan the coaching client created, the client successfully rebuilt their relationship with the manager and saw results with the entire team.
An added bonus: during the coaching, the client experienced coaching questions learned by their coach in coaching certification and realized the value of using the techniques in their conversations. When a professional coach models skills from their coach training, the client learns new coaching skills.