Personal Coaching Techniques by Dean Amory - HTML preview

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 What has worked before? Can you try it again?

Intuition questions

 What does your gut-feeling tell you? What does your

intuition tell you?

 Answer within five seconds – what would you do if you

knew how you should behave?

Confronting your fears

 What are you most afraid of?

 What are you least afraid of?

 What is the best thing that can happen if you make a

move, even if you are scared?

 What is the worst that can happen?

 If you were completely without fear, what would you do?

 When others are frightened, what do you tell them?

 Has it ever happened that you worried about something,

even after it turned out be alright in the end? Can you

draw any parallels to your current situation?


 What do you expect if you do nothing – how will you look

at that decision when you are eighty years old?

 If you let your fears control you, does it help?

10 Personal Growth Questions to Ask Yourself

Question # 10: "How am I spending my time?"

We all have 24 hours each day. We cannot manage ‘time’, yet

we can choose how we manage ourselves with the time we

have. Time is your most valuable resource. You only have a

limited supply.

What is your present relationship with time? Does it give

you the satisfaction and fulfillment you seek? Do you feel

there are never enough hours in the day to achieve what you

want? Do you sometimes feel that others are managing your


How you choose to spend your time is how you spend your


The way you spend your time tells you much about your








Do you know what your core values and priorities are?

Have you decided what the top ten things are that you want

to spend your time on this year?

"If you want to make good use of your time, you've got to

know what's most important and then give it all you've got."

(Lee Iacocca)

Take some time to reflect on the larger areas in your life,

such as your work/career, health, relationships, finances,

personal growth, fun and recreation.

How can you manage yourself more effectively allowing you

to spend more time in those areas that are most important in


your life? What choices will you make? What will you say

'no' to in order to gain more balance and experience more

fulfillment in life?

If you choose to live a more balanced life, you must redefine

your relationship with time, to shift the emphasis from

quantity to quality, from frustration to fulfillment, from lack

to abundance, from pressure to peace.

Managing your time is a choice!

Question #9: What Would I Do If I Knew I Couldn’t Fail?

What if failure was not an option? The fear of failure holds us

back more than anything else in all our pursuits in life. Many

people don’t even set goals because they are often so afraid

of failing that they do not even try.

How many opportunities have you missed in the past

because you lacked the courage to take a chance, to play full

out, all because you were afraid you might fail? How much

more pain and lost opportunities are you willing to endure

by continuing to allow fear and procrastination to rule your


Failure is a concept that only exists in your ego’s mind. If

your ego would have a favorite slogan, it would probably be

“Playing It Safe.” Your ego operates in the emotional comfort

zone of your mind and will do anything in its power to keep

you there. It is that little voice in the back of your head

giving you all the reasons why you shouldn’t do this or try

that …

The only way to create results in your life is by taking action.

Realize that, succeed or fail, you will produce results from

which you will learn.

Don’t be afraid of failure; be afraid of not taking action!


Question #8: Who Am I becoming?

How satisfied are you with the person you are becoming?

What kind of person do you see yourself becoming ? Do you

see someone who is becoming more stressed out or tired

with an unsatisfying job or an unbalanced work/home life,

or do you see someone who is enjoying a happy and fulfilling

lifestyle? How do you feel about your future self?

"If you want to have more and experience more in life, you

have to become more."

What are some of the personal qualities you would like to

further develop this year?

Perhaps you would like to become more skillful or

competent. More honest, sincere, genuine or congruent.

More compassionate, accepting, forgiving or grateful. More

creative or expressive. More courageous. More generous,

loving or happy. More responsible.

No matter how you feel about yourself right now, you can

make a decision to become more of who you really are. The

power to choose lies within your mind and how you think

about yourself. You will become what you think about, most

of the time.

Your thinking process determines how you feel, the choices

you make and the results you create.

If you seek to attract new experiences in your life or you

want to make certain changes, you need to begin the process

in your mind. Focus on continuous personal development;

with books, CD’s, seminars, personal coaching, studying,

listening, practicing, and nourishing your mind.

Become the mental architect of your own personal



Change your mind and change your life!

Question #7: What Am I Tolerating?

What are some of the things you have been putting up with

in your life? What have you been tolerating at work, at home

or in your social environment in the past year? What are the

things you wish would resolve themselves somehow?

Sometimes tolerations show up as minor inconveniences

such as a messy desk, a squeaking door or a friend who

always shows up late for appointments. Other tolerations

are more serious, such as mental or physical abuse or a

controlling or disrespectful boss.

Sometimes it is easier to ignore your 'tolerations' rather

than to take the necessary action to clean them up. Allowing

'tolerations' to hang around in your life will drain your

energy, try your patience and show up under the form of

stress and anxiety. They can chip away at your self-esteem,

confidence and enthusiasm.

Here are a few life coaching tips to help with the process:

 Make a list of 10 things that you are putting up with. Ask

yourself what each is costing you in terms of energy,

confidence and enthusiasm?

 Resolve to take action. The decision to act on 'tolerations'

is very liberating and will improve the quality of your life.

 Set target dates and make time in your schedule to

overcome your 'tolerations'.

 Seek the support from friends, family or a personal coach

to keep you focused and stay on track.

Living a life you want not only means choosing the things

you want, but also eliminating the things that are hanging

around in your life that you no longer want.


Now is the perfect time to do some personal housecleaning,

and remove some of the clutter around your house, at work

or in your relationships.

When you resolve to stop putting up, you will find a renewed

sense of freedom and balance in your life.

Question # 6: Where Do I Focus My Attention?

Your life becomes what you focus on. Your thought patterns

create the texture of your everyday life. You are always

focusing on something. The experiences you create in this

very moment, and the next, are based on where your focus


What you see depends on what you look for. What you hear

depends on what you listen for and what you feel depends

on the experiences you seek. Your expectations, based on

what you focus on, blossom into self-fulfilling prophecies.

The results you create are a result of your focus. If you're not

getting the results you are looking for, it is time to re-

examine what you focus on. If you keep focusing on the same

things and keep doing what you’ve always done, sure

enough, you’ll keep getting the same results.

Your mind cannot tell the difference between something you

think about or focus on that you do want, and the stuff you

think about that you don’t want. Your mind is a very

effective goal seeking mechanism and seeks to create

precisely what you focus on. The key is to direct your focus

on the goals and experiences that you do want in your life.

Think of your focus as a sticky boomerang. What you focus

on comes back to you, with more strength that it has

gathered along the way. If you send out anger, fear,

negativity or jealousy, you will invite the same thoughts



What you focus on expands.

Focus on what is going well in your life right now and what

is good for you moving forward. Focus on your innate talents

and capabilities. Focus on what you believe is possible and

you will see opportunities rather than constraints.

Question #5: How Am I Using My Talents?

When you talk with people who have achieved a high level of

success in their lives, you’ll find that they have found ways to

incorporate their passions and talents into their daily

activities. They also experience more fulfillment and balance

because they intentionally played to their talents and

strengths by developing the know-how and experience

through continued focus and practice.

Your talents influence how you think and the way you

respond to the situations in your life. Once you fully

understand and acknowledge your natural abilities, you will

develop a higher self awareness, which will lead to increased

self confidence, a healthier self esteem, more success and

personal satisfaction.

Talents by themselves are not that special, it is what you

decide to do with them that make them special. All too often

we deny our own talents, because to acknowledge them

would mean we have to use them.

Why is it sometimes difficult to identify our own talents?

First, it’s a question we don’t really ask ourselves. Second,

our talents feel so natural to us that we tend to take them for

granted. Third, we live in a culture where we tend to focus

on improving our weaknesses rather than developing our

talents into strengths.

Do you know what your talents are? How do you go about

discovering some of your talents or natural abilities?


Answer the following questions and start to identify some of

the common themes within your answers.

 What are some activities or special interests you enjoyed

growing up? What did you enjoy most about those

moments and why?

 What are some of the skills or abilities you developed

over the years? What skills were easy for you to learn or


 What are some of your favorite activities or projects that

give you the most satisfaction? At home? At work? What

are some activities that whenever you’re doing them,

everything just flows because it just feels right. It comes

natural to you and you tend to lose track of time. What

are some activities that you genuinely look forward to

doing again?

 What would you enjoy doing even when you’re not

getting paid for it?

 What do other people regularly ask you to do?

 What are some of the qualities that other people think

you have?

Once you get a better understanding of your dominant

innate talents and abilities, start looking for ways to

incorporate them into your daily life. None of us have been

dealt the perfect hand, but it is your responsibility and

greatest joy to become the best you can with the cards you

have been dealt.

Question #4: Who Do I spend My Time With?

The people you spend most of your time with have a strong

influence on you. When you are surrounded by negative or

angry people, you will absorb some of their negativity or



When you spend time with people who inspire you, support

you and believe in you, their positive energy will boost your

motivation, self-confidence and inner strength. Do not

underestimate the power of influence of the people you

surround yourself with.

Make a mental note of the people in your personal and

professional life with whom you most often associate and

think of how they are influencing you, both positively and


Perhaps you've heard the story of the little bird. He had his

wing over his eye and he was crying. The owl said to the

bird, "You are crying." "Yes," said the little bird, and he

pulled his wing away from his eye. "Oh, I see," said the owl.

"You're crying because the big bird pecked out your eye."

And the little bird said, "No, I'm not crying because the big

bird pecked out my eye. I'm crying because I let him."

I believe that the quality of your life is greatly influenced by

the quality of your associations and relationships. Be

cautious of the people you allow yourself to associate with in

your personal life and business.

Choose to surround yourself with people who will move you

forward on your journey and let go of the negative

influences that impede your progress.

Question # 3: How Do I Honor My Core Values?

Your core values express the essence of who you are.

Although you may share similar values with others, you have

a unique set of values. Many of the important decisions that

you make, and the actions you take, are based on the values

that you hold. Your values, together with the beliefs that

support them, are an energetic driving force and provide

meaning and direction in your life.


If you commit time and energy to something that violates or

neglects one of your core values, you will most likely feel

resentful and frustrated.

If your values are not respected at your job or in your

relationships, you will feel that something is missing.

While it is enormously helpful to know your core values, it is

not always easy to identify them.

Often these things are so much a part of who you are, that

they become invisible to you.

Take a moment and write down the unique qualities that

define you?

What are the qualities that are at the core of who you are?

Create a list for yourself by thinking about the ideas and

questions below. Don’t worry about getting it right and

capturing all of your values. Your list will be a work in

progress. Also, your values don’t have to be a single word;

they could be a string of words or sentences or themes. Find

the words that work best for you.

Think about the following questions:

 What is important to you?

 What do you really care about?

 What do you really want in your life?

 When do you feel happiest?

 Select a time from your life when you felt particular

fulfilled. There may have been challenges,but you were

still on a roll. It may have been a few minutes, or hours or

days. What was important about that experience? What

values were you honoring?


 What do you react negatively to? What makes you angry

or frustrated?

 What value is being violated? What kinds of situations

cause you to feel incongruent? When are you not being

true to yourself?

For each of us, there are usually values that are so much a

part of us that we don’t even think to put them on a list.

These are often our most dearly held values. A teacher

might fail to include learning; an artist might forget to

write down creativity, a business owner might overlook

financial success.

Question # 2: What Do I want?

The quality of your life's experiences amounts to the sum of

all the decisions you have ever made.

The power to make decisions is what gives you freedom. The

more freedom you have, the more options you can entertain.

The more options you have available, the more

opportunities you can create for yourself and others.

Have you ever been told what to believe? Have you ever had

someone tell you what you should do, how you should feel or

behave? Why would you have someone else decide for you in

your life? What is the cost of living that way? Life is short,

and time is your most valuable resource. Letting anyone else

decide for you is a waste of time! No one else knows you as

well as you do. You are the expert of your own life.

Think of yourself as the majority shareholder in your life.

What are some of the strategic decisions that will help you

grow and flourish in the New Year? What will you vote "yes"

for in your life? What will you vote "no" for? Recognizing

that you have a choice does not mean that there will never

be any uncomfortable consequences. But not making a


decision is also a decision which could have consequences

that are just as negative.

Peter Drucker once said that whenever you see a successful

business, someone once made a courageous decision! In

what department of your life's organization - relationships,

money, health, fun, recreation, personal growth - do you

currently experience the most challenge? Where do you feel


Whatever you believe is missing, it is yours, waiting to be

claimed. The first step is to make a conscious decision about

the things you would like to have more of and the things you

will need to let go off.

Some people get trapped in inaction. They have a hard time

saying yes, because that would mean that they have to close

off other possibilities. In economics, this is referred to as the

'opportunity cost'. The same principle is true in life. Saying

yes to one thing often means saying no to many other


Don't just dwell in possibility. Dwell in reality! Choose,

decide and take action.

Question #1: How Am I Committed?

Why is it that we tell ourselves we want certain things but

we don’t take action? We might have the best of intentions to

make certain changes in our lives, yet we do not follow

through on our resolutions?

Does that mean we are lazy or undisciplined?

Are we afraid of failure? Are we holding on to limiting beliefs

about ourselves?

We get frustrated when we think and say we are committed

to wanting something for ourselves, but no action follows

that voice of commitment.


When you fully commit to something, action always follows

thought. There is no question, no debate, no doubt or

struggle. You don’t wonder whether or not you will take

action or not. Commitment goes beyond making a choice. I

have never met a mother who had to think about and decide

whether or not to feed her baby. People gain a mysterious

strength and resolve when they make a commitment.

Commitment is a unique personal experience. As a personal

coach I can offer you many possible commitment strategies,

yet the best personal style of commitment comes from a

deep emotional awareness within yourself. Often our

commitments are invisible to us and we don’t think about

them as commitments, it is what we do naturally. And that’s

the whole point.

Recall a time in your life when you were committed to

something. You were so deeply committed that there was no

doubt in your mind, and taking action was almost automatic

and effortless. Take some time to answer the following

questions to discover the underlying structure of your own

personal commitment strategy.

 When and where were you committed? Was it a

commitment you made to yourself or others? Were there

any external influences?

 What were some of the actions you took?

 How did you go about taking action? What was your

strategy for taking action? Did you write down your goal

or commitment? Did you visualize your achievements? Did

you call a friend or work with a personal life coach? What

skills or capabilities did you use?

 What were some of the emotional reasons why you were

committed? Reflect on the values and beliefs that



motivated you to take action and follow through on your


 How did you benefit from taking action? What was the

cost of not taking action at all?

 How did you think and feel about yourself as a person?

Maybe you felt like a successful individual or a

compassionate person.

 How did your commitment impact others?

Understanding and modeling your personal commitment

strategy will help you create resolve to follow through and

achieve your goals.




John Heron (1986) defines six major styles of intervention

that we can use to increase the effectiveness of our

communication skills in coaching relationships.

In the list below, the interventions are described according

to their intention rather than content. Pay attention to

which of these styles of intervention you use most and least

in your own communication. Notice whether you use some

more than others.


1 Prescriptive: A prescriptive intervention seeks to direct

the behaviour of the patient/colleague, usually behaviour

that is outside of the coach / coachee relationship.

For example – ”I would like you to discuss this issue with

your senior colleagues”

2 Informative: An informative intervention seeks to

impart knowledge, information and meaning to the other


For example – “Grants are often made available

for this type of work”

3 Confronting: A confronting intervention seeks to raise

the awareness of the coachee about some limiting

attitude or behaviour of which he/she is relatively


For example – “I notice this is the third time we have

talked about this – and you have still not been able to act

– I wonder what is going on?”



4 Cathartic: A cathartic intervention seeks to enable the

other person to discharge and express painful emotion,

usually grief, anger or fear (Heron believed that

unexpressed emotion could block development and


For example – “I notice that whenever you speak about

your research you look rather anxious”.

5 Catalytic: A catalytic intervention seeks to elicit self

discovery, self directed learning, and problem solving

For example – “Tell me about a previous time when you

had to work with a colleague who you found particularly

challenging … How did you deal with that?”

6 Supportive: A supportive intervention seeks to affirm

the worth and value of the other person, and their

qualities, attitudes and actions

For example – “It sounds like you handled that in a very

mature and confident way”.

In developing effective coaching relationships, it is usual for

the coach to rely more on facilitative interventions rather

than on authoritative ones – to enable the coachee to

develop their own solutions and autonomy.

(Developed from John Heron ‘Helping the Coachee’ (1990) London




Responsiveness is defined as: “Readily reacting to

suggestions, influences, appeals, or efforts”

Being responsive means acting quickly, reacting to requests,

suggestions, influences, appeals, or efforts. It means being

able to adjust quickly to a change in situation, environment,

or direction. Though not a perfect antonym, I would say that

the antithesis of responsiveness is procrastination, which is

the downfall of many businesses, careers, and lives. (Jeff


Responsive life coaches will gradually develop an approach

and an orientation that is most relevant and useful to both

them and their coachees. (

Responsive questions enable the coach to gather more

information and to help the coachee discover their gifts and

talents - and finds ways to bring those out. A life coach

needs to be intuitive and responsive when guiding a coachee

to see the value in their own unique gifts. (Patti Stafford)

Some examples of responsive questions are:

1. If it were possible to satisfy and alleviate your specific

concerns, would you be interested in discussing this in

more detail?

2. (I can certainly appreciate how you feel.) May I ask why

you feel that way?

3. What are the top three benefits you would want to

realize if you were to …?

4. What do you need to see in order to feel confident that

you've made the best decision?



5. Is it possible that there is another approach/solution


6. What else do you think may be possible?

7. I'm not sure what you mean by that. Can you say more?

8. That's interesting. Will you share with me why you see it

that way?

9. What solution would motivate you enough to explore in

which way you should work to realize it?

10. If a coachee says, "I’m not ready for this now. “ respond

with: "May I ask, what might be changing in the near

furture that would then make it a better time to try this

solution?" This question enables you to smoke out the

real objection, just in case "we're not ready now" is not it.

Moreover, you may uncover some additional information

you can use that will allow you to adjust your approach.

From The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cold Calling

© 2004 Keith Rosen - CPW-014-009062

Visit Keith Rosen's Website:



Feedback is the term used for giving people information

about their performance.

Sometimes as a coach you have information or a suggested

course of action that you believe can help the coachee—you

have a suggestion or an opinion. The motivation of

suggestion and feedback is to reinforce or change a pattern

of behavior, to assist the coachee in solving a problem, or to

support a coachee’s development.

We often offer our suggestions and feedback early in the

conversation, before we have fully explored a situation with

a coachee. The guidelines that follow assume that you have

been in enough questioning to significantly understand the

situation being presented to you.

Advocacy or suggestion is used only after sufficient


Key Concepts:

● To truly achieve peak performance, people must see the

relationship between their behaviors, thoughts, feelings,

underlying beliefs, and the result of ALL of these (intended

or unintended) in their lives.

● The spirit of coaching is to offer and let go.

● For optimal success, the coach maintains an open and

curious state about the coachee’s situation. If for some

reason, this is not possible (ex: coach is highly invested in

one alternative or action), another coach may be helpful.

● Coaching assumes that each of us knows our own needs,

situation, and goals best.



Issues with Feedback

Although supervisors may know about feedback, they do not

always have skills to give effective feedback. It takes

practice as well as knowledge. Staff and volunteers often are

not receptive when feedback is offered. They may get

defensive, trying to justify what they did rather than

listening and considering the help they are receiving. Both

supervisors and their staff or volunteers should prepare for

feedback sessions, and know some ground rules. Feedback

should be a regular occurrence, a part of the overall strategy

to improve performance. As opportunities arise for the

supervisor to observe, read, or discuss work, positive and

corrective feedback should be a part of the interaction.


Guidelines for Giving Feedback

Giving feedback is a delicate communication, because there

is always the risk of people interpreting feedback as a

personal critic directed against whom and how they are,

instead of taking it as useful information on something they


The best way to give feedback is to avoid “you-statements”

and use “I-statements” instead:

1. Give a specific description of the concrete behavior

2. Tell how it made you feel

3. Explain why (because…)

4. Describe the desired consequence

1. Be specific and support general statements with

specific examples.

The receiver of feedback for both positive and negative

behavior will be better able to act on statements that are

precise and concise. Example: “During this month you have

improved a lot.” This may be satisfying for both parties but

it’s not as effective as saying, “Your reports were on time and

better proofread.”

2. Describe the facts and do not judge.

Describing the facts helps the receiver to understand the

meaning and the importance of the feedback. It tends to

focus the discussion on behavior and not on personal

characteristics. Example: “Did you prepare for your meeting

with the grantee? For me it looked like you did not. It was

not organized.” This type of statement can bring anger,

return accusations, or passive–aggressive behavior in the


listener. A better sequence of statements would be: “I got

confused in your presentation to the grantee. I was not clear

what the presentation was meant to accomplish. A

statement about that at the beginning would have helped us

all focus on the information you presented.”

3. Be direct, clear, and to the point.

In many cultures, it is considered more polite and educated

to not be direct. But in the case of feedback, since the

objective is to communicate clearly and specifically, and not

leave someone guessing, we encourage people to be direct

but in polite way.

4. Direct feedback toward controllable behavior.

Inquire before critiquing. If an employee is continually late

to work, perhaps s/he has a childcare situation that causes

this. Discussing the cause and the alternatives to meet

everyone’s expectations and needs would be a more

constructive approach than simply criticizing the employee’s

behavior. Avoid criticizing a participant’s physical

characteristics. To say, “You are too short to be seen in the

back of the room,” without giving or exploring with him/her

some suggestions (about room arrangement, for example), is

not very helpful.

5. Feedback should be solicited, rather than imposed.

If a collaborative work environment is present with

employees or volunteers, feedback should be expected and

welcomed. It should include positive feedback on good

performance to reinforce what is being done correctly or

better. Feedback that helps improve performance is critical


to the learning environment and be desired by employees

and volunteers.

6. Consider the timing of feedback.

Do not wait too long to discuss observations with staff or

volunteers. Given in useable amounts and in a timely

manner, it is much more effective than allowing things to

build up. A person may even feel you that you were holding

things over him/her, if you withhold information about

behavior that you feel needs to be changed.

7. Make sure feedback takes into account the needs of

both the receiver and the giver.

Feedback can be destructive when it serves only one’s own

needs and fails to consider the needs of the person on the

receiving end. If an employee or volunteer is struggling, and

there are many points that could be discussed, select some

positive points and one or two behaviors to work on first.

Then, as performance improves, give feedback on other

areas to improve.

8. Plan your feedback.

Plan what to say, and in what order. Think before you

talk. As you give feedback on a regular basis it will become

easier to balance your comments, and provide feedback that

can be acted upon.

9. Own your feedback.

Use “I” statements, so that the receiver understands that it is

your opinion. Example: “Your posture of standing with your

hands on your hips was very authoritarian as you talked


with the group” is different than saying, “I found your hands

on your hips distracting. That posture is sometimes seen as

aggressive and authoritarian. Were you aware you were

standing like that? What were you thinking as you stood

that way?”

Guidelines for Receiving Feedback

1. Solicit feedback in clear and specific areas.

It’s always easier to give feedback if one is asked. It’s even

easier when a specific question is asked. Example: “I often

find it difficult to conclude a presentation. Will you pay

particular attention to the conclusion today?”

2. Ask for clarification and make a point to understand

the feedback.

Listen carefully and ask for clarification, if the feedback is

not clear. Example: “Are you saying that if I had given an

introduction stating what I was going to talk about, that the

rest of the presentation was clear?”

3. Help the giver use the criteria for giving useful


Example: If the feedback is too general, ask: “Could you give

me specific examples of what you mean?”

4. Avoid making it more difficult for the giver of the

feedback than it already is.

Strive to avoid being defensive, angry or argumentative.


5. Don’t ask for explanations.

Clarification and examples are different than asking why

someone did not like something. Requesting explanations

beyond the facts can seem defensive and often end up in an

argument. As a result the giver backs off and is discouraged

from giving feedback in the future. However, the giver is not

discouraged from seeing negative behavior or assessing your

performance; the person simply becomes unwilling to

provide the feedback. Focus on understanding the behavior

and its impact.

6. Assume the sender wants to help.

Related to the point above, assume that the person giving the

feedback is helping you improve. It should not be seen as a

way to be more powerful than you or to make you feel bad.

Everyone can improve; it is a benefit to have someone reflect

how your behavior appears to him/her.

7. Be appreciative and thank the observer.

Express your gratitude in a sincere way, such as “Thanks. I

am sure I will be clearer if I pay attention to your points.”

8. Share your improvement plan.

Tell the giver what you intend to do in the future. Example:

“I think I will try your idea of putting talking points on the

flip chart in pencil. That should help me get rid of the notes

that are distracting to me.”



Remember that feedback is based on one person’s

perception of another person’s behavior, not universal

truth. You are receiving one person’s perceptions. Having

this in mind should make you less defensive. If you do not

agree with the feedback, you might check out the

perceptions with others. For example, you might ask

someone else to watch you for the specific behaviors you

received feedback on.



Everyone sees things differently — knowledge often lies in

the eye of the beholder. To reframe means to change the

conceptual and/or emotional setting or viewpoint in relation

to which a situation is experienced and to place it in another

frame which fits the ”facts” of the same concrete situation

equally well or even better, and thereby changes its entire

meaning. (Watzlawick et al.)

The reframing matrix enables different perspectives to be

generated and used in coaching and management processes.

It expands the number of options for solving a problem.

“Wise people,” wrote M. Scott Peck, “learn not to dread but

actually to welcome problems.” You know why that’s wise?

Because you’re going to get problems. If you welcome them

and embrace the challenge, you will be better at solving

them. And you will be less upset or depressed by problems

when they come along (which they will).

We can learn to welcome problems by getting in the habit of

framing problems as "opportunities in disguise." We can

learn to welcome problems by deliberately trying to see

what’s good about the problem — by deciding right up front,

“This is good,” and then working to make it so.


Perspective is a mental view, an ingrained way of perceiving

the world. Different people have different experiences and

see in different ways: understanding how they do expands

the range of solutions that one might devise to address a

question or problem.



The reframing matrix is a simple technique that helps

examine problems from distinct viewpoints. In other words,

individuals or groups place themselves in the mindsets of

different people and imagine what solutions the latter might

come up with. The reframing matrix was devised by Michael



Initial frame

Every tunnel has an

I am in a tunnel and I

entrance and exit.

can’t see a way out.

You need to be anxious

I am too anxious to

enough to concentrate.


Being confident starts

I know I will never be

with having insights


about our limits.

People cover up their

When he/she looks at

hurt by putting a scowl

me like that he/she

on their faces.

hates me.

No one deliberately

Beggars are criminals

wants to fall on hard

and might kill me.


He/she is out at night

Private time away can

and that means that

help you to appreciate

he/she does not love

each other much more.

me any more.

Thoughtful people put

He/she is so boring,

others first and are a

stays in all the time and

great port in a storm

does not have a mind of

a great source of

his/her own.






The reframing matrix lays a question (or problem) in the middle of a

four-box grid. It is then examined from four typical business


• Program Perspective: Are there issues with the program (or product

or service) we are delivering?

• Planning Perspective: Is the business (or communications plan)


• Potential Perspective: Is the program replicable? Can it be scaled up?

• People Perspective: What do the people involved think?

The figure below offers one example of the so-called Four Ps Approach,

with illustrative questions aimed at a new program that is not raising

funds effectively.

Then again, the four-box grid can be used to consider a question (or

problem) from the perspectives of different groups of stakeholders, e.g.,

staff, coachees, suppliers, and partners, or specialists, e.g., engineers,

lawyers, economists, or information technology specialists. The table




below shows how one might figure out the potential perspectives of

internal and external stakeholders in the context of a development


Even so, the problématique of independent evaluation is still more

complex.2 At the request of shareholders tasked with reporting to

political leadership, taxpayers, and citizens, feedback from evaluation

studies has often tended to support accountability (and hence provide

for control), not serve as an important foundation block of a learning

organization. Some now argue for a reinterpretation of the notion of




accountability. Others cite lack of utility; the perverse, unintended

consequences of evaluation for accountability, such as diversion of

resources; emphasis on justification rather than improvement;

distortion of program activities; incentive to lie, cheat, and distort; and

misplaced accent on control.3 Table 3 suggests that the two basic

objectives of evaluations—accountability and learning—are generally


This is not to say that evaluation units face an either-or situation. Both

accountability and learning are important goals for evaluation

feedback. One challenge is to make accountability accountable. In



essence, evaluation units are placing increased emphasis on results

orientation while maintaining traditional checks on use of inputs and

compliance with procedures. Lack of clarity on why evaluations for

accountability are carried out, and what purpose they are expected to

serve, contributes to their frequent lack of utility.

Moreover, if evaluations for accountability add only limited value,

resources devoted to documenting accountability can have a negative

effect, perversely enough. However, evaluation for learning is the area

where observers find the greatest need today and tomorrow, and

evaluation units should be retooled to meet it. Table 5 suggests how

work programs for evaluation might be reinterpreted to emphasize

organizational learning.

Evaluation capacity development promises much to the learning

organization, and should be an activity in which centralized evaluation

units have a comparative advantage. Capacity is the ability of people,

organizations, and society as a whole to manage their affairs

successfully; and capacity to undertake effective monitoring and

evaluation is a determining factor of aid effectiveness. Evaluation

capacity development is the process of reinforcing or establishing the

skills, resources, structures, and commitment to conduct and use

monitoring and evaluation over time. Many key decisions must be made

when starting to develop evaluation capacity internally in a strategic

way.4 Among the most important are:

Architecture. Locating and structuring evaluation functions and

their coordination.


Strengthening evaluation demand. Ensuring that there is an

effective and well-managed demand for evaluations.

Strengthening evaluation supply. Making certain that the skills and

competencies are in place with appropriate organizational support.

Institutionalizing evaluations. Building evaluation into policy-

making systems.

Why development agencies should want to develop in-house, self-

evaluation capacity is patently clear.

Stronger evaluation capacity will help them