Coaching for Success by Carol McCall

Carol McCallLISTENING TO INCREASE SELF ESTEEM and PRODUCTIVITY When leaders master the “art of coaching” they experience the “magic” of coaching. What is that magic, you ask? It’s the phenomenon of being in the presence of the person at the moment of the discovery of his/her answers to questions that have for a longtime been elusive, discovery of his/her abilities, talents, gifts and contributions and the increase of self esteem. Coaching requires the coach to “give up” M.S.U. Sm (making stuff up) and “listen” and ask 4 types of questions. A frequently asked question is “how do I catch/give up M.S.U sm ? Answer: stay “focused/present” to what the speaker is saying. I recall a session with the Dalai Llama, when he asked the question, “what’s right in front of you?”. Those of us “enlightened” humans came up with the “enlightened” answers…” the future”, “the next universal challenge to humanity”, “world peace”…,  NULL

his reply?…“how about your nose?” When I truly listen to what’s right in front of me, the speaker’s message, I get the total communication. I am present to what the speaker will and won’t do. How? The speaker told me.

Most people will tell you who they are, what they will and won’t do, their likes and dislikes in the first 5 minutes of their communication.

“…if only you would listen, you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world”…~ Dr. Carol McCall Listening increases self esteem and productivity by letting the person experience they have been “heard”. Studies have indicated that by the time a child is 5 yrs old, they have had the consistent experience of not being listened to, by their parents, siblings, relatives and other adults. Their self esteem is affected, thus impacting their level of productivity. All too often, coaches listen to 25% of what’s being spoken and M.S.U sm the remaining 75% with their own thoughts about what “they” are going to say. Taking the “focus” away from the speaker, has the possibility of creating incompletion, low level stress and diminished self esteem. There is a law in physics that states “no two things can occupy the same space at the same time.” This law is particularly prevalent in coaching.

It is not physically possible to “listen” and think about something else.

The coach is able to “hear”, which is distinct from “listening”. There have been many challenges presented when the subject of “multi-tasking” is discussed. The popular challenge is… one can listen and multi-task. The rebuttal has been, one can repeat everything that has been said verbatim. Right! The communication was “heard”… and… did you listen? Check it out with the speaker if they experienced being “listened” to intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually? As a coach all 4 quadrants are included in “listening”. As a coach, did you listen to all four? If you did, chances are people with whom you communicate experience a high level of wholeness, wellness, self esteem and productivity. The four types of questions to “ask” to increase self esteem and productivity are: powerful, provocative, productive and problem-solving questions. POWERFUL QUESTIONS: What constitutes powerful questions? Questions that are “bold”. Bold is not the same as rude.

Bold requires “focus/presence”.

Having worked and trained numerous coaches, who have the expressed the fearful thought, “am I being rude or invasive by asking a bold question?” The answer, generally speaking, is that people through their comments and actions have opened the way for bold questions. When people do not answer a direct question, it is “bold” to ask the question again until there’s a “direct” answer. Avoid the word “why”. The word “why” (studies have indicated) evokes a defensive reaction versus an information response. Use the alternatives “what happened?”, “how come?”, “by when?”, “are you willing to?”, “do you accept my request?”. Continue to ask the question(s) until a direct answer is given. If a direct answer is not forthcoming, then ask the obvious (bold) …”I’ve asked you this question _ times and have not received a direct answer. Do you intend to answer my question? This is a YES/NO question.” Repeat the statement…”do you intend to answer my question? This is a YES/NO question.” Repeat the statement until you receive a YES or NO. That’s “bold”. What purpose do “bold” questions serve? They save time; they require both the listener and speaker to be “focused/present”; they convey to the speaker that he/she is being “heard” and serve as an important factor in increased self esteem and higher productivity. PROVOCATIVE QUESTIONS:

What are provocative questions? Questions that present possibility.

Questions that provide options for people to choose several solutions to a situation that had previously appeared to have one or two solutions. Questions that begin with: “have you considered?” “what are the chances…?” “are you willing to…?” “what if….?” “have you checked….?” “let’s look at….” Here’s the “game rule”… during the “possibility” phase, ALL possibilities are on the table. Yes! This is the “brainstorming”part. The coach reminds the speaker to avoid negating/dismissing any of the possibilities. The coach is very active in presenting provocative questions during this phase. There is no “cookie cutter” in asking provocative questions.

When the coach listens, a dynamic event occurs between listener and speaker, the coach intuitively “hears” the next question to ask the speaker.

There is no “figuring out”/analyzing” what to ask next on the part of the coach. The coach does not have to solve, fix or explain anything. If the coach spends time “analyzing”

  1. the coach is no longer “focused/present”
  2. the first 4 letters in the word analyze, place the coach in a very “dark” place. Provocative questions allow the speaker to become congruent with the listener and both are able to experience growth, partnership and a mutual increase in self esteem and productivity.

PRODUCTIVE QUESTIONS: What are productive questions? Questions that hold one accountable. Accountability – the opportunity to live at choice rather than accidentally. ~ Werner Erhard Questions like:

  • What’s the goal (what are the goals)?
  • What’s the plan?
  • What are the milestones?
  • What are the dates for each milestone?
  • What is the date for your first milestone?
  • How will you know when you achieved the first milestone?
  • Who’s on your support team?
  • How are you held accountable? hourly/daily/weekly/monthly?
  • Who’s on your support team?
  • How often to you check in for support?
  • What are the excuses used for lack of action?
  • What physical actions are taken to “break-through” the excuses?
  • What “reward” will you give yourself after each milestone?

There are 5 pitfalls that coaches make in coaching for success. Coaches do not:

  • consistently ask the person their level of investment in the goal/project
  • consistently ask how the progress will be monitored-hourly/daily/weekly/monthly
  • consistently ask how and at what level family support is included
  • consistently coach to include daily breaks and relaxation
  • consistently use “acknowledgment/recognition as a tool to inspire productivity and increas
    e self esteem.

PROBLEM-SOLVING QUESTIONS: What are problem-solving questions? Questions that review and update the actions taken to reach the appropriate solutions and defined goals and results.

  • Was the goal accomplished?
  • Was the plan reviewed and revised at each milestone?
  • Were the back-up plans reviewed and revised at each milestone?
  • What were the successful actions taken to accomplish each milestone?
  • What worked in being held accountable?
  • What didn’t work in being held accountable?
  • What physical actions were taken to meet each challenge?
  • What did you learn?
  • What will you duplicate next time?
  • What will you omit at the next level?
  • What is there for you to acknowledge/recognize?
  • Who is there for you to acknowledge and recognize?
  • What’s next?

So what is the formula for Coaching for Success? The formula is: 60% Listening 25% Questions

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