by Catherine Stothart (UK)
At the heart of good coaching is the ability to ask the right questions at the right time and listen attentively to the answers. You can’t coach effectively without this ability. But sometimes an additional tool or technique can help the client crystallise an insight which might otherwise be lost in the coaching conversation.
One tool I particularly like is Rapid Impact Coaching[i]. It helps the client get to the heart of the matter quickly and work out how they can deal with it, and they usually leave the coaching session with actionable plans and feeling positive.
This tool has several benefits which make it work:
- It has a clear structure – some clients like to know where you are going in a conversation.
- It is signposted – the client knows what is expected at each stage and if they jump ahead to later steps, you can park their comments and take them back.
- The desired outcome (Step 2) is placed on the right-hand side, so there is a sense of movement from left to right, which in NLP terms links to the future.
- You can do this standing at a flip chart which is visual and builds physical engagement – it’s a more active experience for the client.
- Writing their thoughts and feelings down makes it real for them.
- Exploring the barriers in themselves and others leads to deeper insights which the coach can explore or build on in subsequent sessions (eg by working with their values and beliefs).
- It helps the client understand at a deeper level what is driving their behaviour – most clients don’t think about what in themselves is stopping them doing something.
- It increases appreciation of the perspectives of others – clients often forget to think about what is important to other people in a situation.
- It is a practical tool which leads to realistic and achievable actions.
- They can keep the flip chart, or a photo of it, as a reminder for the future.
- Once they have experienced it, they can use it themselves as a problem-solving approach.
About Catherine Stothart
Catherine is a Leadership Coach and Team Facilitator. Clients include Airbus, Audi, the EEF, KCOM, and United Utilities. She previously held posts in Ford Motor Company, Mercury Communications and ICL.
Catherine is the author of How to Get On with Anyone: Gain the Confidence and Charisma to Communicate with any Personality Type, published by Pearson. The book is the result of 25 years’ experience of working with individuals and teams in business and education – it’s a practical guide to building better relationships, at work or at home.
Catherine’s qualifications include BA(Oxon), MSc, CFCIPD, and qualifications in coaching and psychometrics.