First, a quick recap of Managing Progress and Accountability (Core Competency 11):

Ability to hold attention on what is important for the client, and to leave responsibility with the client to take action:  Staying focused on what is important for the client and holding them accountable.

Second, an admission:

A very honest and self-aware coach said something like “I keep hoping the client’s will just come up with their plans and keep their plans.”  I was impressed by her ability to article a common struggle among us that we don’t spend too much time talking about – that of setting the stage for measuring and monitoring future progress.

As I work with coaches, I’ve noticed a pattern wherein, because Managing Progress and Accountability (MP&A) is the last core competency, it often becomes one of the last to be addressed between coach and client.

Third, a new approach:

Let’s turn that approach on its backside for just a few minutes.   Consider for a moment, how you could build Core Competency Number 11 into your very first coaching dialogue?  What would you ask and why would you ask it?

As the client determines what is the desired outcome from the coaching relationship, the coach can build in a MP&A structure addressing such things as:

  • What will help to keep you going when you feel stuck?

  • What do you need from me if you get discouraged?

  • How important is it for you to achieve this goal?

  • What is your reason for the timeline?

  • How do you typically like to celebrate major successes?

For the accountability piece, probably the single most important question a coach can ask is:

  • How do you want me to respond if you are not meeting your objectives?

You don’t have to wait until you’ve had a client for 6 months to begin learning how to work with MP&A.

Starting at the onset will give both you and your client a strong start to maybe an even longer standing relationship because both you and the client will begin to see real results that happen as a result of proper use of  MP&A.

Photo credit: Denise Myers | 1 Impression 2 Remember