Coaching Skills For Leaders

Revitalising Stagnation: Coaching Techniques for Forward Movement

August 17, 2023 Neil Thubron and Jana Hendrickson
Coaching Skills For Leaders
Revitalising Stagnation: Coaching Techniques for Forward Movement
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Get ready to unravel the mystery behind coaching individuals with a strong zeal to make progress but are stuck somewhere. Join us, your hosts Jana Hendrickson and Neil Thubron, as we dive into the complexities of understanding progress from an individual's perspective rather than the traditional coaching viewpoint. We address how to keep our assumptions in check and explore the power of questioning that can reveal the true reason behind the individual's stagnant progress. We also introduce the potent tool of Quality Quantifiers to help you assess an individual's current state, desired state, and their feelings about their own progress.

Strengthen your coaching skills with us in our second segment as we delve deeper into the application of Quality Quantifiers. Learn how to leverage the 0 to 10 scale to measure progress and emotional states, providing a tangible, manageable path for the individuals you're coaching without overwhelming them. Together, let's create an environment conducive for growth and positive change. Discover how these coaching techniques can be a game-changer in empowering individuals to take charge of their current situation and move forward with confidence and clarity. Be part of this enlightening conversation and harness these strategies to their full potential!

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Coaching Skills for Leaders podcast with Janna Henderson and Neil Thubberon. The purpose of the podcast is to help leaders anywhere develop their coaching skills to transform the lives of those they lead, as well as their own.

Speaker 2:

Alright, welcome back to another episode of Coaching Skills for Leaders. I'm here with my dear colleague and friend, neil Thubberon, who's joining us from the beautiful, most marvelous, sunny Antica today. So thanks so much for tuning in to our conversation. I'm actually really excited about today's conversation because it's the first time that we have a listener question that we're bringing into our podcast, and this question was about what do I do if I have an individual who wants to be coached but isn't making progress, and so it had me reflect a little bit what do I do in those kinds of situations? And then, as I was having that conversation with Neil, he was proposing that we combine it with something that's called quality quantifiers, because it's a really great coaching tool to assess where you are, where you want to be, what you want to create, how you're feeling, and so this is what we're going to be talking about today how to get someone to engage, and using these new tools.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I'm excited too today because the quality both of these are really great connections. Because the quality quantifier is something I use so much in my coaches, though it's a real coaching skill that I'm really excited about sharing with the leaders that are listening to this. And also that question about how do you help someone, how do you move someone forward who's being coached but that isn't making progress. That's a really good question. It's really frustrating as a leader sometimes when you have that individual who wants help but you don't feel like they're making the progress you want them to make. So, Iona, how would you?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I think one of the things that came out of my conversation with the listener was that sometimes it's unclear as to what progress would even look like and what it means to them versus to the coach. So I think from a coach's mindset perspective, we have to be astute and aware to check in with ourselves if it's our definition of progress that's not being met, as opposed to the coach's or the team member's definition. So that was one point. But also it's often a sign that the outcomes aren't very clear, that they want to work towards, or the action steps weren't very clear, or that other stuff is just going on with them. So in principle, when I have somebody coming to a coaching call and they didn't take action on what was previously discussed, it's usually just a point for me to get curious.

Speaker 2:

What's going on? And I would just ask them how did things go? What's happened? What didn't happen? Was there anything in the way from making this happen? Remember not to use why didn't you, because that puts people on the back foot and defense, but really just getting curious. Is there maybe something going on that personalized, that's preventing them? And really, what were they hoping to get done and what prevented them?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I can see this in leaders in business being that kind of that frustration because you want to see progress, you want to see action, and I've personally struggled with switching from that action-oriented person who wants to get people moving along at the pace I want to get them moving along at, but having to then step back and actually take the coaching mindset is it's about them, not about me.

Speaker 1:

And so if you feel they're not making progress which is valid and you might see they're not making progress, I guess that question around so how, how we doing, how we doing against you know, you you ask me to support you or coach you with this career of aspiration or this customer situation. How we doing about what you, where you wanted to get to, on the you know, on against that goal, against that objective. So, rather than you're not making any progress or Progress isn't what you expected, a question around how do they think? Because it has a really key point that you make there, yana, which is it's about how they feel they're making progress, not about how we feel as the leader or the coach.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, from you know. Returning back to the coach's mindset, you know which is one of the most listened to podcast episodes? Of all the episodes, it's very, very popular. I think the difference here that we have to bear in mind as leaders is to really keep in check our own judgment and assumptions and opinions and biases, because we want to support them in a holistic way. We want to understand. Okay, so sometimes we it may be, you know, in the case of the leader, it may be that we weren't very clear in our communication or we didn't really dive into how you know what are the agreed actions until next time, right, or what is it that they specifically want to get out of it. But sometimes also it's that the person who raised their hand to get the support May not actually be fully enrolled in what they're working towards now. That, I think, is a like much trickier situation, because there's then something underlying where we have to figure out Basically, it's not enough leverage, right, like so yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, kind of say they want all these things, but the leverage and the buy and the enrollment is not there. And that's where I think the powerful questioning comes in, and we really want to get clear on hey, what had you sign up for this in the first place? You wanted to have the support. What did you want to be different? What is it that you're not sure about or clear about in order to make the most of this time? Now we know that most of our listeners and leaders are not coaches. Right that they are coaching. They're using coaching skills in their workplace, so we wouldn't expect you to be coaches and act like them. But in order to truly get the most out of the individual, I would, for first of all, just start on focusing on having them Evaluate how it's going.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, right, and and that's a perfect lead into how we, how you, can then use quality quantifiers in that and and so the most simple one that I use so, just as a teaching now, the most simple quality quantifier that I use and you are using the one that looks that's really easy to remember is a one to ten scale. So one is is where you were, where you don't want to be the worst case, and I, and ten is where you want to be, it's the future, is where you want to be. And a great question to ask someone is you know? So you were here and you want to be here on a scale of one to ten. Where are you now? Where do you think you are now?

Speaker 1:

And it doesn't matter what the answer is, it doesn't matter whether they think there are seven and eight, or two or three, because the next question is the key question, and, and if the next question is, what would it take To move from a seven to a seven and a half or from a three to a five, what would it take? What are the things that either are holding you back or what are the things that would support you to move you to that next level, if you want to.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

One of the things I also like about that which just occurred to me as you were talking, was Something I notice with motivation. Leverage is when you're moving away from something so you're moving away from the one you haven't got the same leverage as when you're moving towards the 10th. I see that a lot in people in the business world there's things they don't want and there's behaviors they don't want or they don't want to. I don't want to be late for meetings anymore. I don't want to procrastinate anymore, I don't want to overrun on these situations or I don't want to keep missing out on a promotion that's moving away from and that's the one end of the scale, whereas the 10 end of the scale is moving towards the one. That comes back to your famous question what do you want?

Speaker 2:

What would?

Speaker 1:

you like, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Exactly that, I think, in coaching terms. Another way that we look at this often is a very classic, this wheel of life coaching tool, or we can call it wheel of work. We've used it even as a wheel of sales in our workshops. It's really just helping to look at different areas of what's going on in their work life or personal life to help them make that assessment of where is it actually out of balance. When we look at it as a wheel, which areas like a five, a seven, a 10, a nine, a zero, where is it out of whack? Because sometimes people aren't even quite aware of what's having them feel the way that they are feeling. That can be a really other great way to get more depth into that. But, like you're saying, the biggest piece around this is really creating some leverage and enrollment in what they actually want to create.

Speaker 2:

If a person is seemingly not making progress, it's not that they are lazy. Usually there's something else that's keeping them from making progress. Another coach to stand is that we hold them as being whole and complete and creative remember from our previous conversations also and that means that they are trying and doing the very best they can right now. That's the basic assumption If they knew how to do any better or differently, they would. That's a hard one for people to work with sometimes, because we often consider that they're not doing their best.

Speaker 1:

Making judgment? Yeah, absolutely, and I think that's where these tools come in is to help them just take a step back and break that down a little bit. Yeah, and so I had a real example actually the other day where the wheel of leadership should we call it Mm-hmm, really? And the wheel, by the way, for those that are listening and is a wheel segmented into chunks, like cheese, chunks that are maybe eight, and each chunk you would put, let's say, with leadership, you might put people management, and you'd rate your relationships with your people naught to 10. Yeah, it might be the relationship with your boss, it might be your strategic time spent doing strategy or whatever the different elements are, and you rate them naught to 10 and you can then see where you're at.

Speaker 1:

I had a real example the other day where someone in a new role was feeling very overwhelmed. So I'm really not sure I'm enjoying it and I'm not sure I'm able to do this or I'm able to actually do this new role. Yeah, I use that wheel of lead. Step back, ok, let's just chunk down all the different elements of your job Managing people, dealing with customers, selling, building partner relationships that's my people and let's rate against where you see yourself, skills, experience, motivate against all of that. And it actually only came down to nearly two segments where they weren't comfortable, which was to do with the new products they were selling, because it was a new company, and some something to do with business development, new business. Actually, when you looked at it, it was only those two chunks and suddenly that overwhelm became much smaller, empowered right, it's empowering.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's a great example of empowering the person because it's really helping them see that it's not everything right, because sometimes you can be a bit generalizing and like everything is terrible, I feel terrible, but actually it is. That it's something specific that is figure outable and fixable, right. Yeah, so this may be the case from the listener's question, maybe the same case that actually they realize in conversation that what's been holding back from holding the person back from taking any action is something very fixable, right. So I love that you bring that up because it's really bringing clarity to what's actually causing the issue.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think those two tools we've just shared with you the quality quantifier, the 0 to 10 or the 1 to 10 scale you can use that in so many situations. You can use that in a project. Where are you at the start of the project is zero, the completion of the project is 10, where are you on the scale? Where are you in this deal you're trying to close? You can use it not just well I suppose that is coaching with a project or coaching but you can use it in any way and then the wheel chunk it down, break into the segments. You can use that as well. And the third model which I've just learned, by the way, that you're not just shared with me is it's called the emotional scale.

Speaker 2:

It's about really from zero to all the way to top, plus positive 10, or from zero to negative 10, which is a way for us to discern and distinguish what we're actually feeling. In the case of zero, you have to imagine it's a scale of 20 feelings. At zero we would be feeling neutral and relaxed. The plus one is peaceful, calm. Plus two content okay. Plus four would be whole, plus five is strong. You can see that we're getting to better and better feelings, and then confidence and happiness, enthusiasm are in the upper top there. Then at the top, at plus 10, we have joy and love and freedom and gratitude. It's a really expansive, self-actualized feelings Towards the negative side of emotions, into the minus we have maybe something like pessimistic or frustrated, irritated, overwhelmed, anxiety, boredom, doubt, those types of things, all the way to really anger, worry, guilt, depression, feeling stuck those types of feelings to minus 10, being complete powerlessness, unworthiness and shame.

Speaker 2:

The way that I use this model is really to encourage a person to do two things One, to expand the vocabulary that they have about their feelings and their feeling states that it's not just a matter of I'm feeling fine, fine, fine, fine, okay and absolute losing it, because that's usually where people are at, because they're so disconnected from their feelings.

Speaker 2:

Using something like the emotional scale just gives vocabulary to discern how bad is it really?

Speaker 2:

Because they go from zero to minus 10 or zero to plus 10, it gives us an opportunity to make this assessment that you just mentioned. Then the other piece is that oftentimes we approach a coaching conversation or a negative situation wanting to get from minus seven or eight to plus seven or eight, when really sometimes it might be just as simple as wanting to get back to zero and feeling neutral, okay, some acceptance about things, even as little as where could I be finding myself or what would make me feel from going something like overwhelmed and anxious to at least having some relief, feeling more neutral, feeling some calm, instead of trying to go all the way back to oh, I'm empowered and fun. It's a bit like fake affirmations where you're broke and you're like I love abundance, money is flowing freely to me, like that stuff which is just too far apart. So it's not believable for us that that's available. So the emotional scale really helps to look at what is actually believable for me in terms of progress from here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, what I love about it also is that we've talked about chunking things down. That's what all of these quality quantifiers do. It helps you put a pin where you are now, where maybe where you were and the progress you've made or not. Maybe you've gone backwards, but it helps you put a pin in something that's tangible Again in a business world. For leaders, this really helps, because we spend all our time talking about KPIs, talking about numbers and figures and stuff, so this really helped.

Speaker 1:

The thing I love about this is you mentioned going from minus seven to plus seven. I'm just looking at it now. So if someone wants to go from it, it's discouraging and difficult. That's how I'm feeling the emotion I've got. Now I want to move to confidence. Right, that isn't one step. Yeah, it's not why that? So, being able to do those steps, being able to move from discouragement and difficult what would it take to move to being frustrated and irritated, which is minus three on this scale or whatever the emotion is, what would it take? That just helps make it more manageable for the person to get their head around. I'll never be confident. I'll never get there. It's too much. I just haven't got the time to do all of that, well okay. What would it take, though, to just make this little step now, and then, maybe next week, we'll do another little step?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely, really great point. I really like that, and it just again, it's about empowering the person and really have them take ownership. You know, one of the things that we have sort of mentioned on the sides in different ways is that really what we want to help people do as leaders is to go from a level of being at the effect of life and being sort of in victimhood to being at the cause of life, to be responsible for what you're creating, and so using these quality quantifiers for me is a way to help them gain a level of, you know, ownership and responsibility and really being like okay, well, yes, I'm here right now, and the other pieces, of course, that you shared. That this is not, this is a snapshot. Always it's not the whole movie, so really, you know, encouraging the person to see that this is what it is. It's not every day, not every day, it's a momentary snapshot. It can be very empowering as well.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, brilliant. So so these three models, this and any kind of model that's going to help someone put that pin in, to work out, visualize, or visualize where they are on that scale or on that wheel or which part of the wheel might not be working, or on the emotional scale is going to help them be able to move forward without the overwhelm type of in the conversation and when we're talking, we start talking at the beginning about those people who might not be making progress the way you want. Just remember what we said at the beginning around that is, you know it's their progress, it's their, it's how they're doing, not how you want them to do. So I think that kind of ties those pieces together.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, I think, especially when it comes to someone who's not making progress, you know, there's really just a level of curiosity necessary that holds the other person with grace and is one where you assume the best right.

Speaker 2:

And it may also be that it's a good check-in point for a leader to assess one's own thoughts about what is it that I'm trying to get out of this individual and how much of this is my agenda versus their agenda versus their agenda? You know what have I defined as success here and progress versus you know what's really in the best interest for the person and the business, not just myself, right? So it really helps to take a stand and maybe have a moment of reflection of what is it for me that? What am I, what am I triggered about? Right, that I'm thinking, oh, this person's showing up and is not making progress and it's, you know, what are we going to do? They're not doing the thing they said they would. They're not doing. You know the things that we agreed, right? So what is it about that? So I think a masterful leader would always really look at what is it that I'm making this mean as well.

Speaker 1:

And actually I was just thinking the reverse is true. So the reverse is true where they might be making more progress than the leader feels comfortable with because of the leaders, the blueprint on life and the way they've approached things, and this person might be able to make progress faster than you think as well. So don't hold someone back because your blueprint is different to theirs. So is there any final thoughts you wanted to add to this conversation, Yarn? And then I've got a question for the audience.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there's one more thing that I was thinking of as we're speaking about quality quantifiers, and that's really to give a little sidewink back to the six human needs from season one, because that's another great example where we're essentially using the scale from zero to 10 to assess how are we feeling in terms of certainty, uncertainty, love and connection, contribution, significance and growth, right? So it's another way of giving us a hint at why it is that we're feeling the way that we're feeling. So it's another great tool to bring in when we think about helping someone assess.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely true. And so if we're we wrapping up now, should we wrap up? I've got one question then I'd like to ask the audience on a scale of one to 10. How are you feeling about your coaching skills on that scale and what action could you take? What could you do that's going to move it one more up that scale?

Speaker 2:

I love that. That's great and, of course, if there are certain things that you feel we can support you with that you would like to hear us talk about, speak to any gaps that you've identified and what would make you a better leader using coaching skills, then absolutely let us know and email us Our email addresses are always in the show notes. Then we would love to pick it up, just like this listener question, and we'll be happy to give it our best and speak to it next time. So thank you so much for listening today. We hope you got something out of this and we'll see you next time.

Speaker 1:

Cheers. Thanks, janna. Thank you for listening to Coaching Skills for Leaders podcast with Janna and Neil. If you found the conversation useful, please share with your colleagues and friends. Please also leave us a rating and a review, and if you would like to connect with us directly to discuss your own or your business needs, you will find our contact details in the show notes below.

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