Coaching is usually a structured process where a coach helps someone set goals, develop skills and achieved desired outcomes. We are not suggesting you have formal coaching sessions with the people you support but the principles of coaching could help you with your conversations and helping people to take positive steps to improving their circumstances.  

Coaching conversations can encourage self-reflection which enables the person you are supporting to create their own solutions. We recommend reading this guide alongside our positive communication resources. 

Here are some top tips to help you with coaching: 

  1. Find out what the person hopes to achieve through this support, even if it’s a one off visit they might have a short-term goal for that day.

  2. Ask open ended questions that get them to reflect on how they can achieve their end goal and consider different options and help them break down the goal into small achievable steps. For example:

    What would you like to achieve when we go out today? 

    How will it make you feel if you achieve that? 

    What do we need to do to make that happen? 

    What is the first thing we should do/consider? 

  3. Active listening is a key part of coaching, this is listening to understand not listening to respond. Read our Active Listening guide for more information.

  4. Resist trying to fix the issue for them, if you can help them find their own solution they will be more invested in making it happen.

  5. Help them to reflect on the actions taken and think about what the next step(s) might be to continue towards their goal. 

Remember, effective coaching involves active listening, asking open-ended questions, and empowering people to find their own solutions.