The best way to develop someone’s mindset and behaviour depends, of course, on the individual and, to a lesser extent, their context.
That said, several practical tools can help: highlighting insights from data, inviting third-party feedback, encouraging self-reflection, investigating their impact on other people, exploring personal goals, priorities and aspirations, appealing to their motivations, providing guidance and example, offering practical experiences and, in particular, removing or reducing barriers and limiting beliefs. Succeeding with all of these requires a thoughtful, practical, questioning approach.
Crucially, when coaching someone to help them change their behaviour it is important to remember that people typically find it easier to move towards something positive than to move away from something negative.
So, first help the person look for the goal they want to achieve and take time to explore why they want this goal, what it means to them, how it will make things better. Next, find the right questions to generate energy and clarity. This depends on the individual and their context, but may include versions of the following:
- How will you feel when (not ‘if’) this goal is achieved?
- Who will benefit? How?
- What does achieving this goal mean to you? How will you feel?
- Why is it important?
- What are the implications, benefits or consequences of accomplishing this goal?
- What will ‘good’ look like?
- What will success enable you to do that you can’t do now?
For further information see Coaching Questions for Every Situation by Jeremy Kourdi