The third step in becoming a coaching leader is to develop your coaching tools. The purpose of coaching tools is two-fold. First, they should help bring clarity and action to your client’s thinking, priorities, and goals. Second, they should also help you set expectations and provide a framework from which to deliver a great coaching experience.
In our first year of marriage, my wife bought me my first tool box and tool belt. When I opened the toolbox there was a basic set of tools that allowed me to do most projects around the house. Over time the need for new and specific tools arose and I would go and buy them but it was wonderful to have a basic set of tools that helped me do 90% of the projects around the house. Today, I want to share with you a basic set of tools that I believe will help you deliver a great coaching experience.
The 10 essential tools for becoming a coaching leader are as follows:
Coaching Agreement: This basic agreement should include how long you will coach the team member, if there is any cost involved and how to pay, how you will deliver coaching services (phone, in-person, video conference), and any expectations from both parties.
Client Questionnaire: This questionnaire should focus on basic information about the client, their goals, priorities, and areas for personal and professional growth. The desired end result from a questionnaire is to provide you with insight into your client’s business, mindset, and priorities.
Commitments Statement: This statement should outline the commitments each person is making to the coaching relationship. These are like your coaching vows and should be signed by both parties acknowledging they are committed to the coaching relationship. See the example under the resources heading at the bottom of this post.
Behavioral and Communication Analysis: There are so many wonderful tools you can use to assess someone’s behavioral style. At Building Champions, we prefer the DISC behavioral assessment. I’m also a fan of Marcus Buckingham’s StandOut Assessment.
Coaching Session Update: This tool is completed by the client prior to each session. It should be a simple form with questions that provide you with insight into your client’s greatest victory and challenge since you last spoke, and what they would like to focus on in the upcoming session.
Action Plan Record: This tool is also completed by the client prior to each session and allows them to update you on their progress towards completing action items from the previous sessions.
Personal and Professional Priorities Worksheet: This tool is completed during the initial on-boarding of the client and should result in a list of 3-5 top priorities to focus on in coaching. These are generally areas that need to see growth or improvement.
Planning Tools: This set of tools should include at minimum a life planning, business planning, and business vision tool for your clients. Depending on your industry there may be specific plans already available for you to use. Make sure each of these plans is simple, meaningful, and measurable.
Priority Management Tools: This tool should provide your client with the ability to take all of their priorities and high-payoff activities identified from your planning tools and put them into a schedule or routine. I like to have my clients develop an ideal week or a thematic time block to bring clarity and focus to their daily routine.
Review Tools: My favorite tool to use for reviewing plans or periods of time is the Keep-Start-Stop tool. The goal of this tool or any review tool should be to have your client spend time reflecting on their past performance and evaluating what they need to keep doing, start doing or stop doing to improve results/relationships in the future.
I highly recommend two books to help you create your coaching tools. Both of these books come with sample tools for you start using immediately:
Here are a few other resources to help you get started:
Make it a great day!