Coaching is one the greatest, unused tools within the school community. We tend to overlook coaching because it is primarily associated with sports. Let’s stop there and think about that for just a minute. Coaches – even those in sports – exist to improve performance by finding the strengths of each individual and shaping them into something better.
If you use that definition, every person in a school should be coaching. But how? A solid coaching plan can be summarized in these three steps: (1) ensure both parties are committed to the process, (2) set a time where both people are undistracted, and (3) the coach asks questions and then more questions.
The first two steps are the easiest but the third one is the hardest. We often admit that we do not know the right questions to ask. Well, our free resource here gives you a series of questions for each phase of coaching, so let’s look at a brief description of each part:
Seven  Steps to Coaching
1. Starter – you turn the session over to them for the topic of conversation.
2. Shake – with the topic stated, you dig deeper to get them to tell you more about it.
3. Sight – the intent here is to get them to look at all aspects of the issue. Far too often, we jump to solutions without true understanding; so, these questions slow everything down.
4. Structural – now, they are to see beyond the problem to name success and what they want.
5. Support – you simply inquire how you can best help them and listen to the response.
6. Strategic – this vital section forces them to commit to action by prioritizing work and then naming the steps they will implement. Do not allow them to be generic or unclear as to timing, but force specificity as that drives dedication.
7. Study – this wrap-up segment is where you get feedback on the process and how you can better coach this person.
Your role as a coach through these phases is simple – by asking the right questions, you leverage the collective wisdom to prevent impulsive preferences from undoing the intended purpose. Coaching is the process but success is the product!