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Chapter 13. The reality > Coach (close)

Coach (close)

  • Head: At the Close stage, your role is to coach the client through to completion. In moving the client from dependency, you need to carefully manage how they assume responsibility and how your relationship is resolved. In coaching the client through this stage, the primary objectives are to help them get a clear focus on how they will use the change; what role they want to play in the new world; and what their next steps might be. You must help the client to reflect on and learn from the experience rather than simply telling him what has happened. To do this, you might ask the client to think about five questions. What happened at the start of the change; what is the outcome; what happened en route; what did they learn from the experience; where do they want to go next?

  • Heart: Taking the client through this process will call on all your skills. You must empathize with their problems; keep a sense of emotional detachment; provide the necessary care when asked; but still remain emphatically detached if the client tries to entice you back into owning the problem.

  • Hands: A great deal of the change process will occur at a behavioural level, as the client will look for clues from what you do and say. If your language and behaviour is such that you show a sense of dependence on the client, there is every chance they will reciprocate that style.

By considering each of these seven skill areas, you can start to develop a picture of the competencies that might be used. To do this, consider each of the seven qualities and try to assess your capability, assigning a score out of three in Table 13.1. Although this will be difficult, you should try to force yourself to make an honest appraisal of your competencies. It can help to talk through a colleague's perception of your skill-set, just to give a soft triangulation to the exercise.


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