The Coaching Process

To be fair, the phrase "Coaching Process" may be slightly inappropriate. For each coachee (recipient of the coaching - i.e. you), the coaching experience will be different. Every individual's needs are different, and so are their issues. Given this, what we depict here is a fairly generic approach which would apply at a broad level across all coaching engagements.

The high level process of coaching is depicted below. The first step is to understand the context for the coaching interaction. The coachee provides the background that is relevant to the topic of discussion. The background could include a walkthrough of the coachee's career till date, or can be very specific to the current situation that the coachee is facing. While there is no standard format for this, the coach may need to ask some questions to get additional clarity.

This leads to the next step, where the coachee talks about the reason for seeking the coaching - the intent or the coaching need. The coachee describes the problem, or the dilemma that he/she is facing or simply a goal that he/she wants to fulfill and needs help for. Once again, the coach may ask some probing questions to know more details about the intent or the desired state in the minds of the coachee.

Once we know the background and the intent, the discovery phase takes over. The coach and coachee start defining the journey from where he is today, to where he would like to be. This journey map could include milestones, to track hurdles that need to be crossed and even some opportunities to celebrate the successes on the way. While there may be multiple routes available to reach the goal / destination, the coach helps the coachee select the "optimal" path.

Before this actual journey begins, the coachee will need to understand the preparation that he/she will need to do, to make the voyage successful and smooth. Once again, some prodding and guidance from the coach may be involved to make sure the coachee has it all figured out. This could include knowledge, skills, techniques, and also the right mindset (read attitude).

While doing all this, the coachee needs to ensure he/she has the will, desire and motivation to do what it takes to achieve the goal. Either by way of some questions or with the help of relevant checklists, the assessment is made on the readiness on this front.

The coaching interaction will conclude (for now) with the next steps that the coachee will be taking, in line with the discussions. Subsequently, the coach and coachee will have a few interactions, to make sure that things are going as per the plan. If there are some new roadblocks on the way, the coach helps the coachee to find solutions and move ahead.

However long or short the journey to the goal, the approach remains more or less similar. But remember - tread the short cuts with caution - or they may cut you short!