I had a wonderful practice session with Malina and Jamie today. They were fabulous groupmates, and this practice format is very powerful!
So much can be accomplished in a brief session, just 15-20 minutes.
It really helps with time efficiency when the coachee has a clear topic identified before the session (as we all did).
When we establish trust and demonstrate empathy from the very start, it enables our coachee to be open and vulnerable...which takes us to the heart of the matter more quickly.
Although it's not necessary to use the exact wording of the questions, the overall flow is helpful to follow. It takes the exploration through a natural, ever-deepening exploration of the issue working from a very positive starting point (the preferred future), and then constantly reinforcing this vision at every stage.
What Worked Best
Our group was very supportive of each other and provided lots of specific, affirming feedback. This built everybody's confidence.
We followed the suggested format, which is very well designed.
We spent a little time talking about how various coaching questions/moments were received by the coachee; this was instructive and provided additional insights that will help us develop our coaching skills.
Surprising Insights / Applying them into everyday conversations
I wouldn't say I had any major surprises today as I've done a little bit of solutions-focused work in the past, but this experience absolutely underscored the power of the approach for me. As a positive psychology coach, I love working with the future-perfect concept and uncovering existing precursors to the ideal state.
What I appreciate about what we're learning/practicing here is the focus on resources and resourcefulness. Most of my coaching has focused on identifying/applying the client's strengths; this course is helping me expand my "palette" of resources to explore with them, e.g. proven routines, useful mindsets, support structures in the environment, etc.
One area where I'm growing through our webinars and practice sessions is around explicitly discussing confidence toward the end of the session. Inviting our coachee to explore how they're feeling and what is giving them confidence is such an uplifting way to close - much more inspiring than simply deciding on next steps, which has been more of my approach in the past.