How to make your coaching spectacular?
Mikko “OJ” Ojanen is an author, coach and the founder of Kaswu Ltd., who has been acting in the coaching field past 15 years. His company’s mission is to escort learnings from training sessions to everyday life. (www.kaswu.fi, 2022.) The main question is how to create efficient and spectacular coaching and training sessions, and how to be an efficient coach who can lead the customer towards to wanted result and the goal?
Business coaching has been developing and increasing field of business during the last couple of years. Because the industry is growing and the selection of coaches has more variety and competition, the quality of coaching started to be more and more important. That is why it is important to think, about how to make coaching efficient in the way that customer can actually get the value of it and has a willingness to put learnings into practice in the everyday life of work.
I have been interested in coaching regarding my career as a fitness coach, but business coaching is a quite new topic for me. Ojanen tells in his book, Valmennatko vaikuttavasti? (2021), how to make coaching more efficient and also practical for the customer to use outcomes in everyday life. That was interesting to see, how these similar things from the sports and fitness industry can be used in business coaching also and Ojanen (2021) uses examples from sports coaching too.
In this essay, I will be focusing on the tool which Ojanen explained in his book. The tool is called six finger goal punch (SFGP), so six-section how to achieve the goal tool. The tool shows a comprehensive way are main points to lead customers to achieve the wanted end result and also highlights what is the meaning of the coach in the coaching process.
Step 1: I want
And the efficiency of coaching and goal achievement comes from the individual: The willingness to make a difference and change. A great coach and great coaching can not do the best end result if the customer is not ready for it and there is no willingness to make a change. (Ojanen 2021) It is easy to want different results, for example, better corporate culture or product sales, but if there is no true will to do anything for it, there is not probably any change in the end. Or there can be some, but the result is not as good as it could be.
As a coach, it is important to crystalise the meaning of the change for the customer. That is why the question of why is very important. When there are arguments and reasonings why that goal or change is important, there is also a more thorough thinking process behind it. That way there is a good opportunity to find the internal motivation towards the goal and change, not just the external goal. Ojanen (2021) reminds us that people and customers are different. That is good to remember: External motivational actors can work for someone, and they are not bad if they lead to a good result. When there are both sides of motivation, internal and external, there can be more efficient results and stronger motivation to act towards the goal. The thing is, that external goals are, of course, visible and they can cause higher motivation when results are visible and easy to follow. When internal motivation is the base and external motivation can be added on, there is a strong platform to do coaching and get the wanted result.
Summary: Help customers to think about the goal carefully by arguing why they want what they want.
Step 2: I can
The second step of the model is capability. A trainee or a customer needs to become aware of needs and matters which are necessary to reach willpower. (Ojanen 2021.) If there is a willingness for change and difference, the focus needs to be on matters which can be affected. It is easy to stay stuck in the mindset that problems are too big to be solved or there are parameters that can not be affected. Of course, and always: Everything can not be under own control and sometimes work seems to be endless.
To achieve a goal, there needs to be an awareness of parameters and matters which are manageable. As a fitness coach, I have seen many times how people are stuck in their own beliefs and focus is somewhere else than matters they can affect. When everything does not go the way would be wanted, it is easy to believe that there is nothing to do. Actually, the truth is that there are a lot of things to do when the focus is on a solution. I can believe that this kind of belief and mindset can also overshadow the operational models of companies. If there have been ingrained standards to work, there can be difficult to see that things can be done differently or that there is a chance to change things.
Ojanen (2021) highlights that one important thing about achieving the goal and making a difference is the attitude towards the normal ordinary and “basic boring” (Ojanen 2021). Making a change in life, either in work or personal life, the difference is a maid in normal everyday life. New is always exciting and that is why many people after education and workshops are filled with excitement and willpower to try everything they learned things in the practice. After a couple of days or a week, new things have been forgotten and normal routines come back into action. (Ojanen 2021.) Why is it so? Probably so, that new things and routines take more capability of brains and that is why it takes more energy. It is easy to get tired of new routines, standards and operational models. They take more thinking. That is why it is normal and natural, that after all the excitement and enthusiasm there are still those routines people are used to.
Summary: Help customers focus on things, which can be affected and motivated them during normal everyday life.
Step 3: Supporting people
Some people are that type that when they want to achieve or change something, they share it and talk about it. According to Ojanen (2021), that is a good way to keep the goal in mind all the time to have a reminder. Also, when the goal has been said out loud, it might feel like it is a responsibility to reach the goal. That can cause positive peer pressure when people support each other to achieve their goals and remind them about it when it seems to be lost.
In the work community, this can be shown the common supporting atmosphere where people are supporting each other with their individual goals but also as an open talk about common goals. When the work community is highlighting their goals all the time, they can not be forgotten. Highlighting goals and reminding about new routines are important to succeed in making a change.
Summary: Encourage to talk about goals and new routines!
Step 4: The coach
The coach has a huge role in successful training sessions, coaching sessions or any workshop where there is a coach-customer relationship. Ojanen (2021) highlights the most crucial things of the coach are attitude and example. Many times, customers want and hope for more instructions and more specific instructions, but inefficient coaching is not a point. The point is to find your own way of doing things with the support of the coach. (Ojanen 2021.) That is also the thing I have faced in fitness coaching. Many times, people would hope that coach gives all information and instructions in a way that customer does not need to think by themselves.
That is, of course, an excellent enticement for the coach: If the customer is asking for direct instructions and strict rules, it would be easy and simple to just do so and make the customer happy, in a short term. But if there are too strict instructions without room for own thinking a modification, there is not going to be own thinking by the customer’s side.
Summary: Remember as a coach that your attitude and example are crucial! Help customer to find their own way to success.
Step 5: Prize
Even though the journey is more important than the destination, everyone wants to be honoured for good work. So, those moments when customers get feedback about their good work are very important moments. Those moments increases motivation and help customer to continue good work. (Ojanen 2021.) In this case, a prize does not necessarily mean some actual prize or physical objective, but it can be positive feedback about doing things right and an encouragement to continue with the same actions. It is easy to forget how important is to give positive feedback and highlight when things have been gone right. Of course, prizes can also be something concrete and physical if they are relevant according to the goal. As Ojanen (2021) highlights, well-focused prizes give motivation and help to continue activities. (Ojanen 2021).
Summary: Think what kind of motivators and prizes can help customers to stay motivated and remember to give positive feedback when good work has been done!
Step 6: Environment
Environment and everything surrounding us have an effect on life, goals and succeeding in them. Environment means everything that happens outside our own body. To achieve goals and make the journey more easy-going, it is important to tune the environment to support your own willpower. (Ojanen 2021.) For example, if an individual wants to lose weight and needs to eat healthier for that, there is no sense to buy candies and junk food at home. Rather that is wiser to buy vegetables and fruits from the fridge and clean every junk food from home. When there is no option to eat anything unhealthy because there isn’t at home, it is easier to achieve the goal.
A company can its own part to decide to reserve some time for every employee’s calendar for innovation and make new ideas if they would like that employee would bring more new ideas to the company. They could tell employees to be more innovative and create new ideas, but if all their time goes to daily basics and customer meetings, there is no time for being innovative. Changing the environment be more favourable for the change is important from the goal point of view. According to Ojanen (2021), the smallest change can be crucial, so that is an important thing to do.
Summary: Make sure, that the environmental aspect is supportive of the goal aspect.
Whatever kind of coaching you do, business coaching, the sport or fitness coaching, sparring your friend to achieve their goal or you have yourself something you want to achieve, it is important to remember these steps to make coaching more efficient and increase the odds to success with them. Whatever we do in life, we want it to be efficient and bring value to the people we are offering our effort and help, right?
Ojanen, M. 2021. Valmennatko vaikuttavasti? Kirja valmentajalle, esihenkilölle ja HR ammattilaiselle. Kaswu Oy (Audiobook). Published in BookBeat 1.1.2021. Listened 10.4.2022.