Organization Development : Team Building : Leadership Training : Executive Coaching : Facilitation

19 Coaching Questions When the person does not want coaching

team building leadership organization development expert michael cardus

One of the favorite parts of my job is the chance to work with people in a 1 on 1 basis in a form of coaching.

This is generally part of the Exponent Leadership Process, or a managerial-leader is looking for some 1 on 1 development, or high potentials in the organization can use personal / professional development.

BUT sometimes coaching is forced on an employee by their manager because they are having a tough time with a new position or their existing manager just does not know what to-do, and many other reasons.

The people I meet with for coaching are skilled, smart, driven and overall great people and sometimes say, “I don’t really need any extra training or development what I am doing is fine.”

Okay, when that happens what do you do as an executive coach?

Here is the scenario

  • They don’t feel they need any coaching and development.
  • Their manager feels they need coaching and development.
  • They have been successful thus far doing what they have done.
  • Their manager feels they can be more successful and the organization is investing in them.
  • You have signed a long term agreement to coach this person.

What do you do?

You work with it, and realize that resistance is futile and natural and that you have some guidance and goals already established.

When, as a manager or coach, someone just does not want to change or improve and their manager feels they need to change and improve here are some questions.

Understood you don’t feel this is needed, what do you think your manager sees that you are not noticing?

Understood you don’t feel this is needed, what do you think your subordinates see that you are not noticing?

I understand you would rather not be here. What is the reason you decided to come here, in spite of that? from Coert Visser

What kind of things do you value about your work? In what ways those areas  beneficial to what you want to accomplish? If we could develop  / enhance an area of your work you value the most, would you find this time valuable?

What must your boss see, in concrete terms, you doing in order to say that we can stop this coaching agreement?

You rated yourself a 10 out of 10 in x, obviously you are an expert…if we were to ask your manager that same scaling questions where would s/he place you?

You rated yourself a 10 out of 10 in y, obviously you are an expert…if we were to ask two of your peers the same scaling questions where would they place you?

If your (manager or peers) reported to me in 2 months that you are 3 steps higher on the same scale, what would they tell me you are doing more of? Differently? How would they notice?

Have you spoken with your manager (or the person who has recommended the coaching) and asked them what is expected of you? Let’s pretend you did that, what would they tell you?

Looking back at your career, you have been successful, how did you make that happen?

What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work? How did you learn to do that?

If we could end this coaching agreement tomorrow, tell me what would your manager notice when you walked in the office tomorrow morning that s/he did not notice this morning?

We are together for x amount of time, what is the best way to use this time?

I met with your manager and asked them the following questions (share the questions and responses as appropriate) and this is what they feel is important for us to focus on. I am curious what do you think is important for us to focus on?

Once we can make some small progress on the areas you want to focus on, how should we report the results to your manager?

In the past when you completed a task you did not want to complete, how did you make it actionable? What steps did you take to complete it quickly and accurately? How did you share your results with your manager / subordinates / team?

Huh…from our earlier discussions I was excited to see how you were able to be so successful so fast.

Understood you are busy and have too much going on right now for this coaching agreement. How do you suggest we make this work? Here are some suggestions a) short real-time field assignments and you send me an email weekly; b) One phone call a week that will last 10 – 15 minutes, I email you the questions and you respond on the call; c) I buy you lunch twice a month and during lunch you come prepared to share and cover what you are working on; d) I join you in your office and work-day for 4 hours a month and in real-time coach and work with you to achieve the results that your manager and you have chosen.

Okay you do not want this coaching and development time, understood. Now the conversation has to happen about how to best report this to your manager. What do you suggest? What should you tell her? What should I tell him? How do you want me to respond when s/he asks; why? What will you tell her when she asks; why?  

Ultimately people must always have a choice

Allow them to choose and work with that. In the end if they refuse, they refuse and that is okay. Meet with the company contact and the manager who hired you, speak kindly about the person and the company then move on. Maybe the person is already perfect and cannot improve, and maybe you are just the wrong person to work with…

Treat everyone like an adult; do all that you can; let people choose.

If you feel bad or rejected like Alan Weiss says “Get a Dog”

 

What do you think?

If someone is being resistant to your coaching and development what do you do? As a manager what works when someone feels they know everything? Are the questions above useful, how so?

Team Building Leadership Innovation expert Michael Cardus

michael cardus is create-learning

image by kennymatic

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2 thoughts on “19 Coaching Questions When the person does not want coaching

  1. What are the scenarios in which a manager would bring in a coach to work with an employee who feels he doesn’t need coaching? I suspect this is an area that falls under “we need you to shape up because your job is on the line.” The coach seems suspicious, then. He is the agent reporting back to your manager. The employee may feel he has no choice but to go along, even if the coach is telling him he can opt out. It’s become a common scenario for layoffs to be done by outside consultants, so it’s not surprising that employees are resistant.
    On the other hand, if there is a specific skill that a coach can help an employee with, and the manager has discussed this with the employee already so that the outside coach isn’t a surprise, then maybe the employee will more readily accept the training.

  2. Scenario when employee does not feel they need coaching. It is the responsibility of every manager to be involved in some coaching and development with every employee this may vary from ‘formal’ to ‘informal’.
    The formal being when work is not getting done and / or behaviors are that extreme are getting in the way; the employee is about to be promoted or transferred; or just general here is how things look and how I see my work and your work being relevant.
    Yes, when an outside consultant or coach is brought in it will arouse suspicion. Like you mentioned “we need to shape you up” if that is the coaches role then resistance is expected. And if the manager can define some clear objectives, possibly the person being coached will be less resistant.
    Sometimes (as in my leadership programs) coaching is part of the package. Meaning there is on-line, group meetings, and 1 on 1 coaching monthly. Sometimes they don’t want it and I still try to work with them…Plus people can be resistant even when they want coaching.
    The idea behind the article came from a certificate class on Solution-Focused Leadership from a question that a manager asked.

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