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Coaching Questions: The Exiting Process

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Following is a set of questions that should be considered by a professional coach in bringing a coaching engagement to a close. These questions build on a set of questions first offered by Gordon Lippitt and Ronald Lippitt in The Consulting Process in Action (La Jolla, California: University Associates, 1978, pp. 55-56).

(1) How can I deal objectively with my own conflicting inclinations to see all the assistance that my coaching client still needs while also encouraging my client to move toward independent “self-coaching” and encouraging myself to move on to do new and exciting things?

(2) How can I involve my coaching client in setting goals that increase self-direction and internal support—that increase my client’s “self-coaching”?

(3) How can I make an appropriate decision with my coaching client to provide additional support as needed and how do I plan for this sustained commitment if it is desired and needed by my client?

(4) If it is desired by my coaching client, how can we identify the best ways in which I might provide “just-in-time” support or support from a distance?

(5) How can I determine with my coaching client (and any sponsors or key stakeholders) if there is a desire or need for specific deadlines on progress checkpoints.

(6) How can I determine with my coaching client (and any sponsors or key stakeholders) whether there should be some assessment of the return on investment (or return on expectations) regarding this specific coaching engagement? What would be the nature of the evaluation and documentation that would accompany this assessment?

(7) How can I determine with my coaching client the need for any kind of continuing development efforts or any continuous learning or renewal efforts?

(8) How can I help my coaching client clarify their understanding of and appreciation for ongoing and potential needs for external help and appropriate procedures for securing such help?

(9)  How can my coaching client and I appropriately reflect on what we have both learned from this coaching engagement and how this learning can be applied in other settings and in future work with other people?

(10) How can my coaching client and I appropriately celebrate the completion of our work?

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