Think of your best coaching relationship. You know, the one that comes to mind when you think “This is how coaching is supposed to go…”
In that relationship, how do action steps develop? I suspect you have a list of what separates effective plans from the rest. Maybe a helpful mental picture would be putting guard rails around the actions you develop.
Here are five simple reminders to help clients design actions that work:
- Actions must come from the client, not from the coach.
- The timeline says it gets it done before your next coaching conversation.
- The outcome matches your values and moves you closer to your vision.
- Client energy and enthusiasm increase during implementation.
- The celebration comes quickly from the accomplishment.
Here’s the ICF description of Competency #9: Designing Actions.
Ability to create with the client opportunities for ongoing learning, during coaching and in work/life situations, and for taking new actions that will most effectively lead to agreed-upon coaching results.
Notice that the ICF values learning BEFORE results. Take an action, and evaluate what you learned, then look at the outcome. That seems counterintuitive, but what you lose in instinct you gain in impact.
So, what’s your next action step?