The first class in this course was held on Wednesday, September 26, 2007. I am excited to start and finish this course because it is my last class aside from the Community of Practice and Supervised Coach.
Accountability means doing what we say we are going to do, commitment and reliability, being able to answer for your actions or lack of action. Accountability often times includes another person whereas responsibility is more about ourselves. Accountability is linked to expectation. There is usually a set of ‘rules’ by which one is being accountable for or conditions that have been set.
We spent a lot of time discussing the difference between accountability and responsibility. I have to admit I was losing a little bit of interest as the debate kept going for so long.
The second class was held on Wednesday, October 03, 2007. Someone brought up the question of how to help your clients keep themselves accountable. One idea was to reframe the question by asking what structures they can put into place to support themselves.
I found it interesting that someone shared that she got coaching around an issue and the coach gave her such a huge mountain to climb that she felt defeated before she even started and basically sabotaged herself. I think as a coach we have to be careful not to overwhelm our clients – we need to remember that coaching is a process and that the way to reach the big goal is through smaller steps and successes.
Someone in the class brought up the idea that asking “Why” is not ok in coaching. Angela thought this was not a black and white idea, rather that “Why” can be a probing question. It can move a person to what they are trying to get to. As she was talking I was thinking of other ways to get to the point of the ‘why’ by asking ‘what’ questions and interestingly enough someone else in the class said the exact same thing - that rather than saying “Why?” trying to ask a question that gets to that essence of the issue through a “WHAT” question.
I have not paid that much attention to whether or not I use “Why” questions with my clients and I’m going to try to be more aware of that and be careful not to disempower them by that sort of question.