Forrest Coaching Path

The Forrest Coaching Path™ is a series of signposts to guide the coaching engagement. The Path is the culmination of extensive research and over 20 years of effectiveness coaching.

Visualize the End Goal

The End Goal is the future, enhanced state of effectiveness to which the organization and the client aspire as a function of both organizational strategy and personal development. End Goals are as diverse as organizations and clients, but can include increased effectiveness in specific or general work capacity, future status or position, or communication and interpersonal abilities.

After the End Goal has been identified, attention turns to the Current State. It is important that the End Goal be identified prior to the Current State; otherwise, the client’s aspirations may be artificially constrained.

Identify the Current State

The Current State reflects the self-awareness of the client. It is directly linked to the End Goal because if there is too large a gap between the two, the resulting tension can either compromise the reach of the goal or make it unattainable. The Current State examination will require honesty and forthrightness on the part of the coach and the client.

No coaching session can keep the two elements of End Goal and Current State separate – it is a continuously iterative process. However, the coach needs to always bear in mind the natural tendency for a client to overly dwell on and react to the Current State. This can distort the client’s natural energy – it may seem overwhelmingly difficult to escape their current reality or, from the opposite side, the client may be overly eager to escape the world in which they live.

Develop an Action Plan

The most important part of the coach’s role is to help the client develop a plan to achieve their goals from their current position. The coaching relationship thus far is focused on questioning but, by the third signpost, the client will likely be looking for advice. Developing and following a detailed plan will help the client handle the tensions on the way to achieving the goal. However, the coach needs to beware of putting too much emphasis on a plan and, in some cases, it may be necessary to allow the client to let matters unfold rather than follow a script.

Manage Goal Tension and Minimize Conflict

As the client works toward the goal, the role of the coach is to anticipate where the client may have difficulties and where the tensions of reaching goals may be too difficult to overcome. Here is where the coach really demonstrates their value. The coach needs to be able to anticipate tensions, be available to assist the client as these tensions grow, and aid the client in minimizing these tensions in order to allow the client’s creative abilities to work unencumbered. In many cases, the client will have to adjust his or her plans and the coach will need to be able to provide suggestions. Forrest coaches anticipate these issues and, by being proactive, can profoundly help their clients.

Measurements and Adjustments

Ongoing through the engagement is the necessity to set measurements and make adjustments. Measurements will be as complex or specific as the engagement requires, and may be as simple as checking-in after every session to see how, and how much, they valued the session. The more mature coaching relationships will likely be able to set measures upfront. Coaches must avoid the implicit tension of these benchmarks, either avoiding them or racing toward them. Measurements enliven the client and allow them to see true progress being made. The other half of setting measures is to allow for adjustment to plans. When the circumstances surrounding a goal fundamentally change, the measures attached to that goal must also change. These changes are realistic and will naturally fall from discussions with the client.

The Forrest Coaching Path™
The Forrest Coaching Path™

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