In coaching, it’s the other person’s responsibility to manage progress and accountability, not the coach’s responsibility. But in our coaching role, we can still help them to hold themselves accountable by asking a simple question towards the end of the session:
How will you keep yourself accountable?
There are many possible answers to this question, and they need to figure out what will keep them on track. What’s good for one person, may not be good for another.
You could also check in with them the next time – if they’ve asked you to, as part of your contract:
- What progress have you made since we last met?
- What have you learned that you can apply for future situations such as this?
Stay away from parental behaviours
Some people report back as though you were their parent. But this isn’t for your benefit, it’s for theirs, to recognise their own progress and to realise what they are capable of. Your job is to stay in adult in order to keep them in adult not child. Stay away from parental behaviours that simply suck them into being dependent on you. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a bit of direct communication, acknowledging the qualities and values that they displayed in taking these actions, but pay attention to your tone of voice, so that you don’t sound like their Mum or Dad.
Confirm progress and accountability
At the end of a coaching session, I like to wrap up with four things (the acronym is courtesy of 3d Coaching):
C – return to the Contract (you said at the beginning that you wanted X; where are you with that now)
A – Accountability (what are you going to do, and how will you hold yourself accountable?)
L – reflecting on the Learning (what have you learned about yourself today? How can you transfer that learning to other situations you face?)
F – are we Finished? (they take responsibility for saying that they are done, not you)
Something to think about
What are your thoughts about managing progress and accountability in coaching?
How can you stay out of your managerial role at this point?
Where you are used to holding people to account?
How can you stay out of being parental?
More reading in this series…
To read all the previous posts in this series about the Leader as Coach competencies, take a look below: