Whose agenda is it anyway?
The role of a coach is to support the coachee to achieve their goals by fostering solution-based thinking through listening and questions. But whose agenda should be at hand during a coaching conversation? The coach or the coachee? The coachee’s of course. A disciplined coach supports the agenda of the coachee which ensures ownership for the goal and the plan stays with the coachee. This is easier said than done.
Six signs that a coach’s agenda is in play:
- they ask leading questions to steer the coachee in a certain direction
- their judgements surface about what the coachee should or shouldn’t do
- their frustrations increase when the coachee isn’t doing what they would like them do
- their curiosity about what the coachee is thinking is minimal
- they ask closed end questions (problem solving)
- they forgo questions all together and ‘tell’ the coachee what they should do
A coach is agenda free when they are not tied to the goal or the solution.
A disciplined coach manages their own problem solving instincts and judgements, and keeps the coachee’s agenda top of mind.
Sandra McDowell, MA, PCC
Author Sandra McDowell is a Certified Executive Coach with a Masters in Leadership and a Certificate in NeuroLeadership, and Vice-President Communications & Culture for First Credit Union & Insurance.