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The Coaching Tool Chest: A Further Update

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When we founded the Future of Coaching, we intended to include one or more tools in each issue (or at least most issues). While we kept with this practice for several years, we have decided more recently to devote entire issues of the Future of Coaching to the presentation and description of professional coaching tools. We use the term “Tool Chest” when titling these issues.

The digital chest in this issue of Future of Coaching contains a wide variety of “tools.” There are several inventories that can be administered with a single client, with a team, or with an entire organization. There lists of questions that can be posed to our coaching clients, and there are descriptions of entire coaching processes.

Recently Published Tools

We begin with several coaching tools that recently were published in the Library of Professional Coaching.

The first was authored by Ruth Zaplin. She describes the powerful blending of two strategies: mindfulness and developmental coaching:

Ruth Zaplin

The second, by Laura Lanham, concerns a 3-x3 approach to coaching conversations — this approach incorporating three skills, three questions and three steps:

Laura Lanham

Finally, we offer an essay prepared by Wendy Dawn Davis. She focuses on the use of S.M.A.R.T. criteria for setting goals:

Wendy Dawn Davis

Newly Published Tools

Several essays have prepared specifically for this issue of The Future of Coaching.

The first focuses on a process (TEC4) that enables executive coaches to reflect in a systematic manner on their own professional future. It was authored by John Reed.

John Reed

The second set of documents continues the contributions of Marcia Ruben to The Future of Coaching regarding emerging neuroscience findings. In the first document she provides a description of steps that can be taking in making use of neuroscience findings when engaged in a coaching conversation.  The second document is a worksheet to accompany the enactment of these steps.

Marcia Ruben: Document One

Marcia Ruben: Document Two

We introduce a highly innovative tool offered by John Krubski. It is what he identifies as “thinking whole” and involves a series of steps that provide increasing clarity on a challenging issue.

John Krubski

Assessment Inventories

Finally, we provide two inventories along with accompanying score key and explanatory narratives that are available for immediate use by those engaged in coaching (and consulting) services.

The first of these inventories provides users with the opportunity to assess the relative strength of six different environmental elements that confront them (and/or their client) in their work and their life. These six elements are: (1) volatility, (2) uncertainty, (3) complexity, (4) ambiguity, (5) turbulence, and (6) contradiction. Identified as VUCA-Plus by one of us [WB], these six elements are addressed in three documents. A fourth document concerning questions that elicit reflections on the original VUCA model was prepared several years ago by Agnes Mura and published in the Library of Professional Coaching.

Bergquist: The VUCA-Plus Inventory

Bergquist: The VUCA-Plus Inventory: Score Key

Bergquist: The VUCA-Plus Challenges

Mura: Coaching in VUCA Times: Animation Questions

The second of these inventories invites those taking the inventory to assess the relative strength of six sub-cultures in their institution: (1) professional, (2) managerial, (3) advocacy, (4) alternative, (5) virtual and (6) tangible. Created by one of us [WB] this inventory is supported by a score key and two descriptive documents.

Bergquist: The Six Institutional Cultures Inventory

Bergquist: The Six Institutional Cultures Score Key

Bergquist: Six Institutional Cultures and the Coaching Challenges

Bergquist: The Six Institutional Cultures: Two Summary Descriptions

We hope that you find one or more of these tools to be of practical value in your own work. Like a good cookbook, each of the toolboxes we offer might be of benefit to you even if only one tool (recipe) is used.

William Bergquist

Bill Carrier



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