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Vernon Richards | Quality Coach

Vernon Richards | Quality Coach

January 26, 2022

What Is Egan's 3-Stage Model And How Can It Help You Lead Without Making Your Team Dependant On You.

Coaching isn't telling people what to do all the time.

You want people to become self-sufficient and develop the ability to help themselves. Coaching provides lots of tools, techniques and practices to achieve this. Egan's 3-Stage Model was the first coaching tool I was introduced to during my training. I go back to it a lot because of its simplicity.

Here's how it works.

Stage 1: Explore the situation.

This stage is all about what is going on for the coachee.

It consists of 3 steps.

  1. The story. By asking open questions, the coach helps the coachee to understand the problem or situation with much more clarity. That clarity enables the coachee to decide what to do next.

  2. Blind spots. Using active listening, reflecting and challenging appropriately, the coach helps the coachee detect potential blind spots to gain a new perspective.

  3. Problem selection. The exploration is likely to reveal different problems to overcome or opportunities to exploit. The coach helps the coachee select which one they want to address to impact the most.

Now we know where we are, but where are we going?

Stage 2: Defining the situation.

This stage helps the coachee flesh out what they'd like to be different.

This stage also has 3 steps:

  1. Possibilities for a better future. This is where the coachee starts to articulate what "good" looks like for them.

  2. The change agenda. Coachees decide what realistic goals they're going to pursue.

  3. Commitment. This is where the coach helps the coachee find incentives or mechanisms that will help them achieve the goals they've identified in the earlier steps.

Now we know where we're going, but how do we get there?

Stage 3: Managing the situation.

This is the stage where the coachee decides what actions they will take to affect their desired change.

How many steps here? You guessed it! It's 3 again! Here they are:

  1. Possible actions. Instead of creating a plan for the first thing that pops into their head, help the coachee devise more than one way of achieving their desired goals.

  2. Choosing best-fit strategies. What is the best approach based on the coachees' context (skills, style, temperament, timetable, etc.)? Help the coachee avoid picking a process that doesn't fit their MO.

  3. Crafting a plan. Exactly what it says, the coach helps the coachee devise a plan that isn't self-defeating.

And that's Egan's 3-Stage Model!

Things to remember!

  • The goal is to lead by having people solve their own problems, without you coming in to save the day all the time!

  • Don't be fooled by the "stages" and "steps"! It's always a linear process, so let things flow, overlap and loop back around.

  • Open questions and active listening are vital in helping the coachee get the most out of each stage.

  • It's simpler than it looks, truly! All you need to remember are the 3 stages:

    • Explore the situation

    • Define the situation

    • Manage the situation