In Chapter 1 the concept of individual and organization alignment was discussed. Here is a sample of a model of personal development that can be used by an individual to identify key areas of development or to form part of a coaching conversation.
By asking open questions you can help the individual begin to identify areas that he or she wishes to work on.
Do you have an overall sense of direction?
Can you articulate your aspirations?
Do you actively pursue your dreams, or do you see them as pure fantasy?
Could you convince someone else that they are worth pursuing?
How much do you want this dream? Enough to sustain the good times and the bad?
When would you like to achieve this first dream?
How could you modify or change your short-term goals if there was a greater chance of achieving your long-term goal?
Who do you know who could support you?
What opportunities can this organization present to you to help you fulfil your dreams? What are you prepared to offer in return?
As well as encouraging the learner to explore hopes, dreams and aspirations, it is always important to help him or her to establish which of the overall aspirations most closely matches his or her personal vision, values and beliefs. Beneath the goals will be the steps that the learner has to take to achieve those goals and beneath the steps are the skills, knowledge and competencies required to achieve the goals.
What is your short-term vision?
What is important to you?
How well do you understand your inner values? What do you believe in?
How do you make judgements?
How do you feel if your values are compromised?
Do you believe in 'putting something back' into society?
Do you feel that the values of the organization are aligned with your values?
Increasingly, maintaining good health is vital in people's working environment. The pace and style of work are changing; individuals need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
What do you do to maintain good health?
What do you do to stay motivated?
How resilient are you?
What are your coping strategies?
What do you do in a crisis?
Can you make things happen?
What one area would you really like to focus on improving?
What is important in managing these ambitions is to work to achieve a balance. Many organizations are now realizing the importance of helping their employees to achieve a balance between their work and their life outside work. Encouraging your learner to take a holistic view of his or her life is an important step in identifying how the learner can achieve this balance. This may also involve the learner in discussions with partner and family about all of his or her long-term goals. Some of these questions will relate to areas outside work and may not be appropriate to discuss in a working environment, but the learner may want to consider them, particularly if planning for retirement.
Which life stage have you reached? What are your future plans?
What factors may you have to consider in the future?
Can you make contingency plans to cope with these potential factors?
Have you achieved balance in your life? If yes, how will you sustain it? If no, what could you do to make it different?
What financial implications do you have to consider? Will these change over time?
Organizations are beginning to recognize that managing interpersonal relationships is a core competence in their workforce. It is as relevant in the service that they provide to their customers as it is to team and line management development.
How would you describe your working relationship with your line manager/team?
How do you handle difficult people/situations?
What personal impact and influence do you have in work? Outside of work?
How well do you listen? How skilled are you at questioning?
Do you have a network of people in and out of work with whom you regularly meet?
For many people this is still an important issue. Their personal coaching focus may start in this area with their desire to improve or to develop new competencies.
How entrepreneurial are you?
Do you know your worth?
Could you convince someone else to employ you?
Do you under- or overvalue yourself?
What are you most proud of achieving?
How relevant and up to date is your knowledge?
Who do you benchmark yourself against?
How creative do you think you are?
Do you know the role that you could play in the change process?