Saturday, 18 September 2010 19:59


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Here’s what a foggifier sounds like:  you start an important coaching session with Mark about a serious issue at work.  In response to your observations, Mark says, “Well, yes, that’s part of it.  But I think we have too much pressure around here.”   And then he says “Did Susan start this?  I don’t think she likes me.”  And then “I think Jack is also part of the problem... And last week my car broke down too…And I haven’t been able to sleep well since…I think maybe I need you to explain the whole project to me again…And I wasn’t really hired for this work, was I?”  Soon Mark has presented you with more issues than New York City has bedbugs!

At this critical point, you’re thinking “Where do I begin with this?” It’s like sorting out a big ball of yarn.  In our manager/coach role we often grasp the easiest, most available loose end.  It’s often the one we think might be easiest to solve, the one for which we have a ready answer. Unfortunately it also is often the least critical to getting performance back on track.  You’ve fallen into the foggifier trap!

Foggifier” probably isn’t in your daily vocabulary, but managers who use our Coaching for Great Work approach know all about these dead ends to  effective coaching interaction:

•    Temptation of the Presenting Challenge
•    Overdeveloped Sense of Responsibility
•    Avoiding the Real Issue
•    Proliferation of Challenges
•    Generalizations and Abstractions
•    Seduced by the Story.

Sound familiar?  Here’s how we get it back on track:  ask some Get Clear Questions.  Ask, don’t tell.  When we tell someone what to do, give them advice, or point out what we think is critical, nothing much changes in the electrical activity in the brain.  So no connection, no commitment, no buy-in to change, so no action.

If we ask Get Clear Questions (step 1 in Coaching for Great Work) we get connection, focus,  a declaration of purpose.  Here’s some of my favorite Get Clear Questions:
•    What’s most important to you?
•    What’s the real challenge here for you?
•    Give me the bottom line – what’s the challenge here?
•    If you had to choose one challenge to work on now, what would it be?

Give these questions a try the next time the fog is rolling in during your coaching moments – and pause to let them sort and answer!  If you like this tip, you’ll love the full Coaching for Great Work approach!  Check out the only U.S. open workshop we have this year – October 7th in Washington, D.C.   Just press the button on the right for more info.  I’m so excited about you experiencing it, I’m happy to offer you the special “Friend of Rita” discounted rate of $149.  Just use the coupon code FOR when you pay.  Also enter to win the FOUR COMPLIMENTARY registrations as part of my Big Birthday Giveaway below.  See you in October!

Last modified on Sunday, 19 September 2010 17:52


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