I recently read “Brilliant Coaching” by Julie Starr. The book explores practical ways you can apply Coaching in the workplace. She provides great examples how you can apply a Coaching style moving from Directive leadership to empowering others(Self Directed)
In the book Julie presents a model; the Scale of Influence. This can be used as a model to build self-awareness in your Coaching conversations.
In a Coaching conversation we may use different levels of influence but we want a good coaching conversation to be more self-directed (left of hand side of the model). In particular Julie recommends that new coaches should try to avoid giving advice or instruction at all.
I’ve recently started using this model to reflect upon the conversations I have with people around me. It has helped to identify times where I could have taken a less directive approach.
As many of my blog readers are Testers I’ve translated what the model might look like in Testing context. For example a conversation between a Tester and a Developer on deciding how to test a particular User Story.
This is a good way to reflect upon the conversations you have with people and understand “Are you really Coaching?”
Next time you are engaging in a Coaching conversation use this model and reflect:
- How often do you tell someone else what to do?
- How do you feel listening to someone share an idea when you think there is a better approach? How often do you follow with an opinion rather than asking further questions?
- When you feel you are the expert, how often do you refrain from sharing advice and ask a question instead?
- How does silence make you feel?