There are many kinds of coaching conversations which can lead to positive and life-enhancing transformations. And whilst there are thousands of different topics that our clients bring to the table in their coaching sessions, we recognise that there are pattens to these conversations. That actually most coaching conversations could be put into one of seven categories. A good Meta-Coach will uncover the kind of conversation that their client wants to have and facilitate that conversation through skilled questioning.
In this blog I will explain the seven different kinds of coaching conversations and how they assist you, the client, in getting the outcomes you want. Often a client does not know what kind of coaching conversation they want to have until the coaching conversation is underway, this is perfectly normal and why the coaching process can be so valuable.
1. The Clarity Conversation
This kind of conversation is simply to explore for clarity. Often a client feels stuck and doesn’t know what to do or doesn’t have enough information. Often the clarity conversation facilitates understanding for the client so they can have further coaching conversations such as a decision or change conversation to achieve their desired outcome. These clarity conversations are very important to get really specific about what the client really wants. It answers the question; what to do?
2. The Decision Conversation
This kind of conversation assists a client to make a decision for a commitment. It is where the client and coach can explore the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages of a decision in order for the client to make an informed and intelligent decision. Clients often want to have this kind of conversation when they are vacillating back and forth in indecisiveness or in a state of in-congruency. These conversations answer the question; what decision to make?
3. The Planning Conversation
This kind of conversation is to create and design an action plan for change. It is to create a strategy for how to achieve the desired outcome that the client wants. This is a pragmatic and practical conversation; it is hands on regarding the details and the sequence of what has to occur to actualise the decision or change. This conversation answers the question; where, when, with whom, and in what way?
4. The Experience Conversation
This kind of conversation is about experiencing - for developing resources and embodying them. This kind of conversation facilitates the experience that enables change… to translate from mind to body, so the client can close the knowing-doing gap. This conversation builds capacity and unleashes possibilities for the client. It answers the question; what resources do you need to take the action or make the change? And, how will you access these resources?
5. The Change Conversation
This kind of conversation is to alter, add to, or eliminate an experience for change. In the process of implementing the plan a client may need to make some changes. A change in beliefs, lifestyle, habits etc. It may be that the client needs to learn or unlearn something to facilitate the change. This kind of conversation answers the questions; what to change? How to change?
6. The Confrontation Conversation
This kind of conversation is to challenge the client to their highest and best, by holding the client accountable to what they say they want. It could be to identify a blind spot, a lack of performance, or to bring up an unpleasant subject or conflict to resolve it. These can be fierce conversations with a bull-dog persistence from the coach to ensure the conversation is not side-tracked. This kind of conversation answers the questions; what gets in the way of achieving your outcomes? What stops you from acting on your decision or making the change?
7. The Mediation Conversation
This kind of conversation is to bring up an unpleasant subject between two parties (or more) who are in conflict, to resolve the conflict which is stopping them from effectively relating, co-operating, working together or succeeding in a project. By its very nature, a mediation conversation involves a confrontation conversation as well. This kind of conversation defuses the conflict and seeks a win/win outcome. It answers the question; what is needed to resolve the conflict?
Although we’ve highlighted seven different kinds of conversations, this does not mean that they are separate or that you should only have them one at a time in your coaching conversation. We’ve separated them for the purpose of distinguishing them, however, the coaching conversation is much like a dance, moving between some or all of these kinds of conversations depending on what comes up in the coaching conversation.
So now that you know there are many types of conversations that a coach can facilitate for you to reach your highest and best, what type of conversation would you like to have?
If you would like to find out more or begin to engage with any of these types of conversations, reach out to the Modo Team to begin your journey!
This article was co-authored with Dr. Michael L. Hall, Meta-Coach Co-Founder.
Dr. Hall’s doctorate is in Cognitive-Behavioral Psychology is from Union Institute University, Cincinnati Ohio. His dissertation explored the languaging of four psychotherapies (NLP, RET, Reality Therapy, Logotherapy) using the formulations of General Semantics. He addressed the Interdisciplinary International Conference (1995) presenting an integration of NLP and General Semantics. His Masters degree was in Clinical Counseling and Psychology from Regis University in Denver Colorado and his Bachelors of Science was in Management of Human Resources. Prior to that he took a Masters in Biblical Literature and Language.
As a prolific writer, Dr. Hall has written 58 books, another 30 serial books, over 100 published articles, and is recognized as a leading NLP Trainer and Developer. Most notable of the models is the Meta-States Model, also The Matrix Model, Axes of Change, etc. Michael co-founded, with Dr. Bob Bodenhamer, Neuro-Semantics® in 1996 as a field which focuses on meaning and performance.
As a modeler of expertise, Dr. Hall has completed 27 modeling projects which include modeling resilience, self-reflexive consciousness, “thinking,” communication excellence, sales, persuasion, accelerated learning, wealth creation, women in leadership, fitness and health, cultures, leadership, collaboration, and more.