• Helen Burt Iain McCormick

Coaching in a hurry

What approach should you take if you are working with a team member, employee or client and you need to quickly help the person deal with a painful situation or problem? One of the best options is Brief Solution Focused Coaching as set out in the great little book Coaching Plain and Simple by Peter Szabo and Daniel Meier. They have a set of steps to quickly develop a path out of problems. Their steps are:

1. The outcome question - Ask the person what they want to gain from today’s discussion or coaching. This immediately moves to a solution focus and away from the past and the causes of problems.

2. The miracle question – If a miracle happened and you suddenly reached your goal – what would it look like? This helps focus more clearly on what the solution might be.

3. The progress made question - What are some of the things you have already done that have helped you move forward? This helps to person to build upon past progress to achieve future success.

4. The future step question - Where are you now on a scale from 1 to 10 and what would the next step be? This gives the person a sense of moving forward and it generates practical actions.

5. The improvement plan question – Based on our discussion today what are the steps you wish to take to improve the situation?

In my experience this approach has a far greater chance of success than giving advice or preaching at people!


Iain McCormick, Partner, Executive Coaching Centre 021 575449


Photo credit: Danielle MacInnes

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