Gaye Kuelsen, PCC • August 7, 2023 • 8 Minute Read
PCC Marker 8: Facilitating Client Growth
Competency 8: Facilitates Client Growth
The main foundational outcome for coaching is growth or progress towards a different state or goal. This PCC Marker is the culmination of all core competencies and coaching conversations. There is much more to the end of a session than a list of actions. By incorporating each PCC Marker here, you will give your client the best possible opportunity of achieving the success that they desire.
8.1: Coach invites or allows the client to explore progress toward what the client wanted to accomplish in this session.
Here is an opportunity for you to loop back to the topic and outcome, so your client can gauge progress. You may ask: How much progress do you think we’ve made so far? Progress during a session may focus on the outcome or goal, or assessing the measure of success. Always invite your client to evaluate progress, and thereby remove any temptation for you as coach to make that determination. If there is still a gap in progress, and time permits, then ask your client what they need to know or consider to continue forward.
8.2: Coach invites the client to state or explore the client’s learning in this session about themself (the who).
This Marker moves the focus to the client’s inner self. I often ask: What did you learn about yourself today? Usually, this answer brings new information and insights and gives me a sneak peek into my client’s thinking during the session.
8.3: Coach invites the client to state or explore the client’s learning in this session about their situation (the what).
Having a few simple questions is very helpful to incorporate your client’s learning about their situation into the coaching conversation. Give some of these questions a try:
From our discussion so far, what do you know now?
What is your greatest take away from our session today?
What has changed/shifted in your thinking about [the situation]?
Asking about the learning your client has gained can help your client articulate the advantages they are receiving from coaching. This then strengthens their engagement and motivation to continue working with
8.4: Coach invites the client to consider how they will use new learning from this coaching session.
Here is an opportunity to add an additional layer to your client’s learning. After your client has identified and described what they have learned from the conversation, then ask how they can apply this learning to other areas of their life. This provides the maximum connection and insight for your client.
Bringing these PCC Markers together, 8.2 and 8.3 assist the client in knowing ‘what’ they have learned about their self and situation. Then proceeding to 8.4, your client discovers ‘how’ to apply this learning to move them forward towards their goals.
8.5: Coach partners with the client to design post-session thinking, reflection or action.
This PCC Marker provides the opportunity for you to partner with your client to apply their knowledge into action, or to assimilate a new awareness. As we all know, actions which include a game plan with clear steps are easy and specific to implement. On the other hand, a new thought process or reflective practice is not so tangible, and more difficult to apply. I’ve had clients come to their session the following week and give themselves a hard time as they completely forgot to practice their new thoughts or reflections. For this to be effective, we must partner with our client to find a way to interrupt their automatic behaviours. A simple and effective way it to set up physical reminders using sticky notes attached to their monitor, mirror or other obvious places around their environment. Ask your client to think of a word or use an image to put on the sticky note to act as a trigger for changing their thinking habits.
8.6: Coach partners with the client to consider how to move forward, including resources, support or potential barriers.
There are two opposite elements here – one that helps and assists your client and one that may hinder them. Once your client has identified their actionable items, then proceed to ask them what resources and/or support they need to be successful and fulfill their commitment. The discussion about potential barriers may occur anytime during the
conversation as it may be critical for your client to move forward into action. However, if you find that your client identifies a number of barriers close to the end of the session, then ask which barrier needs to be addressed first. You are then able to help your client step through possible scenarios. If these scenarios do happen, they will be equipped to overcome their obstacles. Another way to assist your client assess the probability or their confidence to take action, is to use a scale, say 1-10. You may link this scale back if you used it at the beginning of the session, when you were establishing the coaching agreement.
8.7: Coach partners with the client to design the best methods of accountability for themself.
As the coach, avoid automatically taking responsibility for your client to be accountable to you. Take note of the word ‘partners’ and ask the client for their ideas first. Then, if they have none, suggest an accountability method, and immediately invite your client to state what works best for them. Self-accountability is the most effective way for your client to build their internal reliance, trust and resilience.
8.8: Coach celebrates the client’s progress and learning.
A theory that works really well with clients is Process Praise – where the effort is recognised and acknowledged, instead of the end result. This is more impactful than ‘cheerleading’ types of praise such as: Good job! You are amazing. Instead, focus on the effort and the unique talents and approach your client used to achieve their success: Your persistence and focus were really key in getting you to the next stage!
8.9: Coach partners with the client on how they want to complete this session
As the session draws to the end, avoid declaring the session is finished, as your client may feel they have been dismissed. Instead, demonstrate your respect and courtesy for your client and foster the partnership within
your relationship. Try asking a question to initiate the wrapping up of the session:
What would you like to have the last word for our session today?
Is there anything else you’d like to share or say regarding our topic today?
Is this a good place to pause our conversation today?
Invite your client to say or share what they need or how they wish to complete the session. If your client has affirmed that they feel complete, then acknowledge this and close the session.
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