Coaching Techniques

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Quorum leaders, auxiliary leaders, advisers, visiting or home teachers, and welfare specialists coach people in need. Sometimes leaders call members with specific skills and experiences to help others. Members may also coach friends or family.

In any of these situations, you may need to use the Coaching Techniques outlined in this article. Place this article in front of you—and the people you coach—as a reference while you are working together. This will help both of you to focus on the subject matter rather than trying to remember what to do next. Listen for the promptings of the Spirit as you meet together.

Use these steps as a guide for coaching people in need:

1. Following an Agenda

Having a written agenda helps you remember important issues. Effective agendas recognize the person being coached is in charge. They also provide time to:

  • Build rapport and trust
  • Open and close with prayer (As appropriate)
  • Define the purpose of the meeting
  • Review goals and actions since the last meeting (Add goals and action steps to the candidate home page)
  • Analyze what may be preventing success, for example:
  • Study appropriate Job Search Tips (especially Job Search Planning and Networking Effectively) and articles
  • Review the Upcoming Events and Useful Links portions of the Employment Center Profile to identify resources, workshops, network groups, and other events that will help.
  • Then, add an action step to the Candidate Profile describing what was done and the results of the action
  • Other issues or prompting by the Spirit
  • Practice skills (See Technique 5), for example:
  • Discuss sensitive issues (As needed. See Technique 7)
  • Commit to future action and schedule future meetings
  • Record action steps and notes in the website
2. Asking Questions

Asking questions helps people clarify their thoughts. The questions asked should help the person being coached:

  • Start to think and talk
  • Examine and probe their thinking
  • Summarize their thoughts and decisions
  • Find solutions
3. Listening Carefully

People may understand what they really think and feel the more they talk. Coaches help people do this by listening effectively. To listen effectively:

  • Let the person being coached do 80% of the talking
  • Repeat a person’s own words back to them (so they hear exactly what they said)
  • Restate people’s thoughts in your own words
  • Resist interrupting others while they are thinking
  • Transition smoothly from one topic to another
4. Building Faith and Hope

Long-lasting change occurs as people develop faith in correct principles and let those principles govern their actions. Acting in faith strengthens hope that they will succeed. To build faith and hope, a person needs to:

  • Read correct principles from the scriptures, conference addresses, articles and other authorized materials
  • Ponder what they read. Ask questions to reinforce comprehension. Apply it in their lives
  • Hear a witness of the principle from someone else
  • Take action on what they have learned
  • Ask Heavenly Father to confirm the principle is true
  • Nourish the promptings of the Spirit so that confirmation grows in the mind and heart
5. Practicing and Role-Playing

You may wish to role-play or practice certain skills as you meet together. Many need help improving phone, interviewing, follow-up and other skills. Effective practice and role-play involves:

  • Review key elements of the skill as outlined in Job Search Tips, articles, or other sources
  • Prepare what needs to be said or done
  • Practice the skill many times until it can be performed comfortably
  • Recognize good performance. Highlight only one possible improvement at a time
  • Repeat the skill again including the identified improvement
6. Helping Others Explore Options

You will have to explore career, education, or business options as you meet together. Wise decisions can be made as you:

  • Identify at least three options to consider by asking “That’s one option. What is another?”
  • List the benefits and consequences of each option
  • Make the final choice and seek confirmation through prayer
  • Support right of the person being coached to make the decision
  • Accept both the benefits and consequences of the choice
7. Discussing Sensitive Issues

Occasionally, you may have to discuss sensitive issues to help the person being coached progress. The following simple steps will reduce the possibility of creating hurt feelings:

  • Set a time in the agenda to discuss sensitive issues (see technique 1 Following an Agenda)
  • Ask permission before saying anything
  • Describe the issue and how others might react to it
  • Discover any reasons behind the issue
  • Discuss options for a solution, and decide what action to take. Add the action to the Candidate Profile.
  • Monitor progress, in future meetings, as you discuss “goals and action since the last meeting.” (See technique 1)

Additional Training Materials on

Helping Candidates: Planning

Helping Candidates: Providing Resources

Helping Candidates: Following Up

Helping Candidates: Individualized Services


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