How to F.O.C.U.S. and F.R.A.M.E. the Coaching Conversation

It’s well documented that coaching helps people. But if you want know to know more about how I do what I do, let’s start here:

A Primer on the F.R.A.M.E. Coaching Model™

In my coach training, and continuing study of the field, I’ve learned about – and worked with – a seemingly countless number of coaching models and processes. But none of them quite fit the bill, as far as I’m concerned. So I created my own, the LeadershipTraction F.R.A.M.E. Coaching Model, which I’ll share with you now.

I feel it’s the best way for me to help you create powerful and lasting change. Here are its basics:

LeadershipTraction F.R.A.M.E. Coaching Model

  • F – F.O.C.U.S. EACH INTERACTION – in increasingly relevant, and powerful, ways. (More on the F.O.C.U.S. elements below.)
  • R – RESPOND STRATEGICALLY – respectfully, collaboratively, engagingly, purposefully.
  • A – ASK QUESTIONS THAT ARE INTRIGUING TO ANSWER – to induce clarity, discernment, choice, and drive.
  • M – MONITOR PROGRESS – acknowledging efforts made and outcomes enabled…or not.
  • E – ENCOURAGE CONTINUED F.O.C.U.S. – inviting further exploration of one’s goals, objectives, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, challenges, self-limiting beliefs, and such.

F.O.CU.S. – The ‘Secret Sauce’ of Meaningful and Lasting Change

So if the way I COACH best is to ‘frame’ each coaching conversation by using my F.R.A.M.E. coaching model, how then do clients LEARN and GROW best?

My view is that it happens through ‘focus’. Why?

Because when people focus, they naturally feel increasingly motivated and engaged to:

  • Think more strategically more of the time
  • Collaborate more freely and easily
  • Take full responsibility for the choices and decisions you make
  • Strive for increasingly meaningful, game-changing, results

So I’ve created an acronym – F.O.C.U.S. – to help articulate what my F.R.A.M.E. model is working to get you, the client, to DO:

LeadershipTraction F.O.C.U.S. model

  •  F – FACE Your Challenges, Head-on – Most ‘stuck’ people simply don’t do this. Instead, they spend an inordinate amount of time and effort ignoring or ‘awful-izing’ what they know they need to be doing, or justifying why they shouldn’t have to do whatever they ought to be doing. But, these are just their fears and doubts and other assorted ‘scary monsters’ talking – one’s self-limiting thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors running amok. In contrast, when someone actually faces their challenges, head on, they can begin to get beyond all this, get past what’s holding them back, and start moving forward again. Sure, that takes courage, a change in perspective, and a few good counter-intuitive ideas they likely haven’t considered before, but that’s where I come in!
  • O – OUTSMART the ‘Unhelpful Extremes’ – People often evaluate their next steps by looking at things in a binary fashion: All or none; black or white; what they’d do in a perfect world scenario or, because things aren’t perfect, how to feel better about the status quo. Ever hear someone (or yourself) say, “It’s too hard to do all that, so why bother?” That’s the UEs (pronounced ‘YOU-eese’ or ‘EWW-ies’) talking. Ever see someone (or yourself) ‘productively procrastinate’ by overloading on low-level activities instead working on what’s strategically important? That’s the UEs in action, again. In contrast, by recognizing what the UEs actually are – false choices that bookend a near-endless number of realistic possibilities – one can start brainstorming concrete, viable, and non-threatening actions for getting unstuck.
  • C – CHOOSE Particularly Powerful Next Steps – William James said it best, “When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.” Brainstorming possibilities is an important step, but the actual choosing of one’s next steps is even more so. Stuck people, if they choose at all, tend to choose tactically – actions for action’s sake; ‘busyness,’ not business. In contrast, powerful choices are strategic, savvy, and specifically geared towards moving things meaningfully forward. How to choose? What to choose? What it might mean? All powerful stuff.
  • U – UNHOOK from Your Self-Limiting Beliefs – It’s hard to show up as your Best Self, sometimes. Maybe because the stakes feel high. Maybe because the stakes ARE high. Maybe because you’re in unfamiliar territory. Maybe because you’re not focused on right things or not even sure what the right things are. Regardless, one’s ‘inner monologue’ – that judge, critic, narrator, gremlin, or whatever you call it – can instantly undermine your great plans and Best Self. In contrast, learning how to listen for, and work with, the constructive insights and recommendations of your gremlin’s non-constructive messages is a profoundly useful skill. (It’s a great way to become instantly better with conflicts, as well.)
  • S – STRIVE  for Increasingly Meaningful Results – While effort is important, in business it’s really about results – which includes both working to make good things happen sooner, and solving tomorrow’s problems before they even occur. What will move the needle? What will turn the dial? What will make it clear to all involved that it’s truly a wonderful thing that YOU are involved? For learning to stick, it’s essential to talk about the insights, discoveries, and lessons learned along the way – and apply those lessons learned early and often. As Vernon Law said, “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.” When you’re known as someone who consistently, and collaboratively, looks for, and integrates, the lessons learned, the possibilities of what’s possible begin to soar. And the power of meaningful and lasting impact becomes yours!

There’s obviously much, much more involved to the F.R.A.M.E. Coaching Model. To learn more or arrange for a training program to help the people in your organization better F.O.C.U.S. by improving how your leaders better F.R.A.M.E. their coaching conversations – contact me, directly.


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