When I was taking my coaching diploma, I was taught a number of tools and techniques. GROW and SMART goal setting for instance, ones that all leaders know. But my favourite coaching method has proven to be the one I’m going to tell you about now.
The one that I find myself using time and time again is an approach called ‘Appreciative Inquiry’.
This approach was developed by David Cooperrider nearly 40 years ago. It is based upon the notion that change happens in the direction of inquiry.
So, if you look into problems, you and your coachee will find more problems.
Whatever we focus on, grows.
The key to any successful coaching conversation is the quality of the questions being asked.
Instead of asking what the problem is, the approach tries to find what strengths the coachee has. What energises them, what they value the most. It then builds on these areas.
Essentially, instead of looking at what isn’t working, coaches and leaders should look for moments when something has worked. The idea is to grow the positive instead of reducing the negative.
Therefore, if you have a struggling sales rep, inquire into moments of success, rather than focus on what’s not working.
When have they been at their best, and how can they bring that into other areas of their roles and lives?
How can they turn success into a consistent, repeatable process?
You can help them to do this by asking the right questions…
What’s worked well before?
What’s working well now?
What gives them energy?
If you’d like to experience Appreciative Inquiry for yourself, or would like me to train you or your management team in how to coach with an AI approach, feel free to schedule some time with me to discuss below: