Coaching For Better Health Results
When it comes to helping people get healthy, the “expert talks, everyone listens” model may not be the best.
Now it’s time to ask:
- How can we get better results for everyone by improving what we’re already doing?
- How can we get those results to continue, even after the programming is over?
- How can we get those results to expand, even beyond our original intentions?
What do we know about traditional wellness programming?
- Traditional wellness programming has limitations we haven’t been able to get past simply by trying harder.
- The “start and finish” wellness programming model does little to promote integration of ongoing wellness thinking and decision making, and building upon earlier successes.
To be successful, workplace wellness programming should inherently build ongoing personal commitment to wellness. Click to tweet
Traditional Wellness based on the deficit approach
Research validates the successful impact of an asset approach to people rather than a deficit approach.
Deficit Approach to People:
- Strengths and resources are overlooked in favor of imperfections and limitations to correct
- Limitations are the focus of attention because they are seen as challenges to success, while assets are ignored because there’s no problem to address
- People focus on problems and interferences more than goals that are important to them
- People are expected to squeeze their individuality and varying realities of living into alignment with one-size-fits-all recommendations
- Information is expected to make the difference for people
- Advice is given often and freely
- People complain a lot
Asset Coaching Approach to People:
- Strengths are highlighted and awareness of resources is expanded in search for assets to protect, develop, and build upon.
- Strengths, rather than weaknesses, are the focus of attention because strengths are seen as building blocks of success.
- People focus on goals to accomplish, and problems that arise are solved along the way.
- People regard one-size-fits-all recommendations as a starting point and expect to adapt them to their individuality and varying realities of living.
- Information is expected to increase knowledge but not, necessarily,
create behavior change.
- Participants listen a lot and ask questions.
- Challenges are seen as opportunities for learning.
Coaching: “To Instruct, Direct, Or Prompt”
Coaching was seen as a way to move from where the person was to where they want to be, through conversation that elicits, expands, and betters their thinking. Coaching is the opportunity to clarify, explore resources and options, decide, do differently, assess the outcome, and report.
It’s been repeatedly proven that telling people to “do it like this” doesn’t work when the array of variables is complex. Coaching is conversation that elicits best thinking and decision making so people can create results that are important to them.
- To do this, wellness practitioners need to do two things—listen a lot, and tailor their information and advice to whatever is needed to inform new behavior, rather than wasting time answering questions no one is asking.
- When wellness conversations are asset focused, people are not seen as passive recipients needing to be directed, but rather are asked to lead by responding to content, assessing its applicability, and guiding the conversation to what will offer the greatest benefit.
This means wellness practitioners elicit and listen, rather than tell.
Coaching questions to ask your participants:
- What do YOU want?
- What do YOU think?
- What are you doing now that is working?
- What are you doing now that is not working?
- Close your eyes, visualize what you want, and describe it to me….
- If it were possible, where would you start?
- Is anything stopping you from doing it right now?
- What do you need from me so I can be the best coach for you?
- If you were going to set a goal during this conversation, what would it be?
- What do you recommend we do/talk about next?
- What do you want to take away from this conversation?
- What structure do you want in place to keep you more accountable?
- If you were coaching yourself, what would you ask yourself?
- Will you send me an email to let me know? Or call me?
With a coaching asset orientation in your presentations, results are assessed in terms of successful strategies for long range applicability, not in terms of victory over weaknesses.
Would an asset coaching approach be a benefit in achieving your workplace wellness goals?
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!