DEFINE and discover
During the initial meetings, client and coach work together to understand the client's goals and the scope of the coaching engagement. For some engagements, client’s boss will also be involved to inform goals and stay in touch on progress. The initial contract is formed to guide the coaching relationship. Initial sessions focus on understanding the client on a deeper level. Through a process of discovery, the coach seeks to understand the client in a holistic context—collecting history and key influences, current environment, beliefs and values. In this phase, depending on client goals, the coach may utilize several means of gathering data and providing feedback to the client and identifying performance gaps. Assessment may occur through structured surveys and self-rating instruments or through informal one-on-one interviews with the client's colleagues, employees, friends, or family members. Common assessment instruments used are EQ in Action, SCARF, and Myers Briggs.
ENVISION and plan
Here we formulate goals and future vision. A key element of the coaching process is to uncover the client's passions, purpose, and aspirational goals so that future actions are based on those things that matter most to the client—the core motivators that will inspire the client to act courageously in pursuit of his or her dreams. Client and coach then work together to identify concrete, actionable steps and build accountability for the client in the form of a Development Plan. This plan may be shared with the client’s boss or key stakeholders. “Homework" is frequently assigned and agreed to between coaching sessions.
EXECUTE PLAN / EVALUATE PROGRESS
Ongoing coaching assesses progress toward goals, as well as where clients meet stumbling blocks. Coaching through resistance, as well as providing support and resources, are key elements of this phase. If the client's boss is involved, a mid-point check in meeting is often helpful but only at the client's direction and approval.
CONCLUDE / TRANSITION
The ultimate goal of the coaching relationship is to instill in the client a sense of continual renewal. We want to enable the client to craft ongoing visions, plans, and provide the client with a set of processes, frameworks for understanding, tools and resources with which the client can achieve her or his desired outcomes. Progress is measured along the way and at the end of the coaching engagement.