Learning points primarily to the insights clients have about who they are and what they are capable of achieving. From this perspective, a coach might ask a client, “What are you learning about yourself (in this moment, or in the current situation)?” Learning also involves the strategies and action steps required to achieve a goal. An example of a coaching question that includes learning would be: “What new skill is this challenge requiring you to develop?” When incorporated into Hope Theory, Learning most heavily lines up with agency and pathways.
Being, as a category of coaching questions, refers to the characteristics your client already has or wants to develop. Being also includes the energy a client brings to a project, assumptions about their abilities, as well as assumptions about what new achievements mean to their identity. A common coaching question might be: “What would this accomplishment mean to how you think of yourself and your character traits?” When meshed with Hope Theory, Being lines up with agency, goals, and obstacles.
Doing refers to the action steps taken toward the goal, and the systems a client puts in place to work toward it. Usually toward the end of a coaching session, a client will design an action step to implement before the next coaching session. The coach and the client then co-design how best to help the client stay accountable and incorporate the insights gained from the coaching session into their implementation of the action step(s). A typical questions would be: “Based on everything we covered in our session, what are a few action steps that come to mind that you want to take in the next two weeks?” When applied to Hope Theory, doing lines up with pathways, goals, and obstacles.
Hope Theory & Learn-Be-Do in Action
Let’s use the theoretical linkage between Hope Theory and Learn-Be-Do to see what this practically looks like when you apply it during a coaching session. We’ll quickly review the first 6 of the 7 Elements of a Coaching Session (the last element is to set the logistics for the next session), and we’ll look at how Hope Theory and Learn-Be-Do play a role in each element.
Connection is greeting your client in a way that resumes your rapport with them, while establishing a safe space for your coaching session. This part leads either to checking in on past actions (Accountability) or to setting an agenda for your current coaching session (Set the Agenda).
Accountability looks at what your client accomplished since the previous coaching session. It is the practice of reflecting on previous goals and pathways to create insights and learning that inform your client’s sense of agency and ideas of new pathways.
Set the Agenda
Agenda Setting is your client’s chance to take control of the coaching session. On a deep level, it empowers a client to articulate an immediate, tangible goal. In the Hope model, you are asking your client to clarify a goal that has an impact on your client’s agency.
Exploring Learning and Being Using Coaching Tools is usually the bulk of every coaching session. Your client has an opportunity to address ideas and emotions around agency, which include aspects of exercises such as Empowered Perspectives, Busting Limiting Beliefs, managing Inner Critics, or tapping into insights from the Future Self exercise. Learning and Being is woven into the tapestry of the interaction between thoughts and feelings about agency, goals, and possible pathways.
New Actions and Accountability
Using the insights from the previous exploration, it’s time to craft action steps. This element of a coaching session focuses on pathways and goals. Your client has the opportunity to craft action steps to complete between now and your next coaching session.
Agenda Check in
Checking in on Session Agenda and Logistics for Next Session completes the 7 Elements of a Coaching Session. This does not necessarily have a direct parallel in Hope Theory or in the Learn-Be-Do model, but both elements are an important part of completing a coaching session and clarifying when you will meet again.