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Negotiation as a Coaching Concept

In the thick of winter, when it’s nasty outside, it’s hard to resist the lure of Netflix, NFL playoffs, and a new season of shows streaming on TV. We can still hear the vows we made to ourselves at the beginning of the year, our good intentions for diet and fitness, but the couch (and “couch food”) is calling our name… We need help moving from thinking about change to acting on change. In the coaching world, we call that help “Negotiation.”

Negotiation describes the process by which we help people move from thinking about an issue to taking active steps to do something about that issue. Sometimes, this means simple accountability, either one-on-one or in a team meeting. These are the negotiation techniques I’ve used in a wide variety of situations…

  • Determine action steps. What’s next? What specific thing are you/we trying to accomplish? What resources do you/we need? What will you/we have to have in place in order to make this happen?
  • Remove obstacles. What could stop you/we from doing this? What are the obstacles that could stop you/us from moving ahead? What could go wrong? If you/we move ahead, what is the worst-case scenario for how things could derail?
  • Gain commitment. What could you/we do? What are the possibilities? What will you/we do? Let’s pick a specific course of action and commit to it. When will this be done? Let’s don’t leave it hanging out there amorphously. Let’s pick a date and commit to it.
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Once you’ve reached the commitment stage, here are practical tools for “landing the plane”…

  • Small steps—After identifying your goal, what are the small steps that are necessary to get us going on the journey?
  • Backward planning—Let’s “begin with the end in mind,” charting out the steps that are required to get us to the destination.
  • Creating structure—Let’s come up with a framework for how the steps will be managed and accomplished.
  • Anchoring—How do we reinforce our core values as we move forward? How do we stay anchored to the core idea that empowers our goal?
  • Daily actions—What daily to-do items will move us forward toward the goal? As we’re breaking things down into “small steps,” what recurring actions will keep us accountable to making those steps happen?

You’re coaching others all the time in your role, but who’s coaching you? Who’s helping you learn the skills of Negotiation, and all the other myriad of healthy leadership practices? Wisdom means knowing what you need and seeking it out. And we’ve made it easy to connect with our Coaching Team at Vibrant Faith—just CLICK HERE


 Jim LaDoux is the longtime Director of Coaching Services for Vibrant Faith. Jim lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife—he has two adult sons. He’s been a coach since 1992, and has a Master of Management Arts and is a certified PCC (Professional Certified Coach).

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