What is your coaching style?

There are ten pairs of questions below. Which item in each pair best describes how you approach coaching?

  1. I coach mainly in formal appraisal or development sessions
  2. I coach mainly in ad hoc conversations
  3. I tell my direct reports when to come to me for coaching
  4. I expect my direct reports to tell me when they would like to be coached
  5. I see coaching as remedial, aimed at overcoming weaknesses
  6. I see coaching as developmental, aimed at building on strengths
  7. I tend to set the agenda for coaching conversations
  8. I let the direct report decide what we will focus on
  9. I emphasise giving the direct report feedback
  10. I emphasise getting the direct report to gather their own feedback from colleagues
  11. I use a lot of words like “Should”, “Ought”, “Must” and “Need”
  12. I use a lot of words like “Imagine”, “Possibilities” and “Options”
  13. I tend to give my opinions and perspectives, to guide them
  14. I tend to listen 80% of the time, speak 20% or less
  15. I assess coaching sessions on whether we have clear outcomes and actions
  16. I assess coaching sessions on the quality of thinking that took place
  17. I use my greater experience to explain the best way to do things
  18. I use my greater experience to craft questions that make the other person think things through for themselves
  19. I believe the responsibility for effective coaching is mine
  20. I believe the responsibility for effective coaching is a joint responsibility for me and my direct report

All the odd numbered statements represent a directive coaching mindset, although some of these items are legitimate coaching behaviours, when used in moderation. All of the even numbers are non-directive. The higher your score of even items, the more effective your coaching style will be.

© David Clutterbuck, 2016

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