Coaching My Way - Sabine Asgodom - ebook

25 Surprising Impulses Which Pave the Road to Success Sabine Asgodam is one of the most acclaimed management coaches in Germany. This book, which is finally available in English, offers practical insights and recommendations as to how to successfully coach: What problems need to be solved? How can you come up with new ideas? How can you define worthwhile goals? What strategies should you consider? How can conflicts with others be resolved? In "Coaching My Way" Sabine Asgodom describes her SOFTCo method (Solution Oriented Fast Tip Coaching). In this book you'll find 25 practical, individually adaptable coaching impulses which are effective in both private and professional surroundings. Each and every one of these are essential building blocks in Sabine Asgodoms method for coaching clients. Concrete examples are offered to show how you can quickly initiate step-by-step development. Valuable advice is given to prepare you for the ins and outs of both coaching others and self-coaching. A self-assessment test is included that allows you to see if you could be a good coach for friends, relatives and colleagues.

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Sabine Asgodom



Kreutzfeldt digital


Sabine Asgodom: Coaching My Way

© 2014 Kreutzfeldt digital, Hamburg (Germany)

All rights reserved.

Cover photograph by Constanze Wild

Translated from German by Marinda Seisenberger

ISBN 978-3-86623-520-5

For more information please visit:


Introduction: Coaching Impulses

SOFTCo – Solution Oriented Fast Tip Coaching in Practice

My Way to Coaching

How Does Coaching Actually Work?

The Inner Coach: Talk to Yourself and Make Progress

Think … and Take Action!

Change in Five Minutes?

Eight Principles of Coaching

Test: Are You a Good Coach?

Solutions With Methods

SOFTCo Strategy 1: Find Solutions – Your Own Solutions!

SOFTCo Strategy 2: Offer Orientation – Perspective Makes People Happy

SOFTCo Strategy 3: Keep It Short and Simple (KISS)

25 Coaching Impulses

1. The Alternative Wheel

2. The Camel Path Strategy

3. The Genie Generator

4. The Kitchen Table Overview

5. The Madonna Method

6. Anger Management

7. The Motivation Grid

8. The Yes-But-Technique

9. Shit Happens

10. Happy Hour

11. The 3-Million Dollar Game

12. The 7-A-Method

13. Who’s Leading Here?

14. Vivid Visions

15. Puzzle of Life

16. The Swarm Intelligence Kick

17. Strength Finder

18. The Wish List

19. Un-mess Your Mind

20. Someone Else’s Shoes

21. The Happiness Curve

22. The Triple Jump to Change

23. I’m Not a Fool

24. The Power of Acceptance

25. The Tiny Step Technique

Managers as Coaches: The Courage to be Human

From Critic to Coach

From “Push” to “Pull”

Would You Like to be a Coach?

Tips for Professional Coaches

Gratitude Makes People Happy

About the Author


Introduction: Coaching Impulses

Dear Reader,

COACHING MY WAY! This title obviously made you curious – and that was the whole idea!

This book offers you an all-embracing insight into my kind of coaching – into coaching MY WAY. I open the door to coaching sessions that is usually tightly shut, and invite you to take a look inside. Using my SOFTCo Method (Solution Oriented Fast Tip Coaching), I help my guests come up with good ideas within a few minutes.

“What therapy was for the 20th century, coaching will be for the 21st!” This statement by psychologist Siegfried Brockert reiterates the significance of coaching. It’s a modern approach that supports people in activating their own strengths in order to help themselves and come up with their very own solutions.

I take this one step further: this book will show you that coaching is not the privileged realm of a few experts, but that many people can be empowered to coach themselves and to help others on their way to finding solutions. Perhaps you’ve heard of the so-called “Guerrilla Gardeners”, who spruce up their environments through “wild, not always above-board gardening”: on green corridors, along garden pathways and even in front gardens. In similar fashion, I would like to support “Guerrilla Coaching”: help yourselves and others to solve problems and reach goals.

Not only do you get lots of information on coaching and ideas on how to improve your coaching abilities – I also introduce you to three strategies for speed coaching and give you 25 coaching impulses. Each of these is part of a jigsaw puzzle – on which I base COACHING MY WAY – that will support you to coach yourself and others. The many examples of speed coaching sessions, described in fine detail, contains helpful insights on living your life as you want to and achieving success in both your private and professional lives. Success, for me, means simply pursuing and reaching your own goals – in all walks of life. And this book leads the way:

1.You become aware of your situation and the things you wish to change.

2.You reflect on your situation.

3.You quickly find ideas for the things you wish to change.

4.You develop alternative solutions for your problems and wishes.

5.You learn to make decisions faster and with more confidence.

6.You develop strategies for reaching your goals.

7.You stimulate your “solution fantasy”.

8.You recognize implementation possibilities.

9.You identify the first small steps.

  10. You rearrange the puzzle parts of your life.

In addition to the above, the coaching impulses described here enable you to do something for others:

▪  You can be more than a listener, comforter and strengthener: you can actively support others to find ideas and accompany them along the route to their goals.

▪  You can bring beneficial coaching impulses to your family, your circle of friends, to your workplace, your neighborhood and local community.

This book gives you all this – just one thing it cannot give you: merely reading it, will not make you a coach. What sets professional coaches apart from the rest, is their special knowledge, ability and experience. You may well want to become such a coach, and for this eventuality, there is a special chapter in this book.

If you already work as a coach, this book will offer new insights. You will often find self-affirmation and sometimes you will be surprised. Perhaps, as you grapple with my SOFTCo method, you become an even better coach.

This is not a reference book, so I have avoided jargon and explain all methods in the language of the ‘man on the street’.

SOFTCo – Solution Oriented Fast Tip Coaching in Practice

Coaching My Way:

Angela H. is a sales manager in a small northern German town. She leads a team of six sales reps. Frustrated with her current job, she wants to talk to me about alternatives in her coaching session. She often laments about the quality of her staff – four men and two women. One’s too lazy to think, the other uncooperatively ambitious and the third is complicated – all too often she has to come down on them to improve their performance. I notice her loud, degrading voice as she speaks about her staff – that troubles me more and more.

In the middle of all this she starts talking with great fervor about her dogs. One of them, a pedigree, regularly wins prizes at dog shows. The other one she rescued from an animal shelter some years ago – and he’s really sweet, she goes on. I capture this picture and ask her if she despises the second dog, because he simply isn’t a splendid specimen and she could never win prizes with him.

“Of course not,” she scoffs. He’s got other qualities, he’s trusting, playful, loves a good cuddle and is simply funny. She smiles dreamily. I point Angela to the different ways of looking at things, on the part of her dogs and her staff. For the one lot, she despises the difference, for the other, she treasures it. What does this tell you?

“That I like animals more than people?” she asks hesitantly.

“Is that true?” I ask.

“Yes, it could be. At least you can rely on animals!”

This statement could tempt me to probe further. “Why, did people disappoint you?” “Is that why you live alone?” That way we’d quickly find ourselves on the psycho couch. I don’t go this way, though, because a very clear definition of task has been set for this 4-hour coaching session, and that is: “Career satisfaction“. That’s the reason that I want to go somewhere else. I’m giving us half an hour to find something in her love for dogs and her skepticism of people, and turn that into something that can lead to greater job satisfaction.

“If you compared your staff to dogs, how would you describe each of them? And what would you like about each of these dogs?”

She laughs – yes, this exercise is fun!

“Okay … MIKE is a mongrel. Not particularly attractive, but street-wise. Even though he’s a bit old now, he can fight his way through most situations. He’s seen a lot – survived a few fights. Nowadays he sometimes just doesn’t have that aggressive bite of the past.”

There is both admiration and criticism in her description. I focus on the admiration and ask her: “What do you like most about him?”

“I can send MIKE to my most difficult customers. With his experience and his composure, he comes across as very trustworthy. He’s been on the team for over 20 years.” Her voice is much gentler than before: “The others can gain a lot from his experience.”

“Okay, who’s next?”

“BETTY is a highly talented, but very highly strung bitch. She has two little boys that she’s always fussing about. This often distracts her. Every now and then we have to consider this in our dealings with her, especially when it comes to the younger one, the puppy. That’s often irritating.”

“What do you like about her?”

“Mmm, she often has great ideas – for promotions, for instance. And she’s very creative, but as her boss, she drives me crazy. She’s constantly got private appointments ...”

“What do you find good about her?” I repeat.

“Well yes, her creativity. She really brings life into the team. She does things in new ways, leaves well-trodden paths and is fairly successful doing just that. If only she wouldn’t ...”

“Stop!” I write down the positive assessment of BETTY next to that of MIKE.

“And next ...”

“LARA is still a young dog. Often a bit too playful. She still has a lot to learn, but has a lot of fun doing so. If I had more time, I would train her more. A dog school would be really good for her. She’s good dog material ... upgradable!”

“A future prize specimen?”

Angela laughs: “Yes, I can really imagine that! If only I had more time for training. I’ve got to free some time somehow ...”

“So, who’s next?”

“BALLY is a rather aggressive dog – a bit like a spoilt boxer! He chases other dogs away – lets no one near him. It is only at a second glance that his charm becomes apparent. He doesn’t get on very well with the other dogs in the team. A typical loner!”

“What do you like about him?”

“Phew, he doesn’t easily give up – he’s got staying power! He hangs in there – especially with important clients. He’s not easy to get rid of. He goes the proverbial ‘extra mile’. And he’s highly competent. He closes the most deals. To be quite honest, it doesn’t matter if the others don’t like him – they should learn from him!”

We need about half an hour to go through each employee in this way. As we go along, Angela becomes more and more relaxed, happier and even enthusiastic. She smiles, amused at her own formulations and is actually glowing! Somehow, during this exercise, she was able to shift her focus from negative to positive.

I ask her: “So, what are we going to do with all these different descriptions?”

She hesitates. And then grins: “I really feel like sharing with all the team members what you have just written down.”

“And what do you wish to achieve by doing that?”

“I think I have never given any of them such an honest, but respectful opinion.”

“Do your staff know about your passion for dogs?”

“Yes, sure! I’ve got all my trophies and certificates in the office.”


“Yes, everybody knows I’m crazy about dogs!”

“Okay, so under which circumstances can you imagine sharing your opinions with the others?”

Angela thinks for a while. “In six weeks’ time we’ve got our annual department outing. It’s a ritual already. In that relaxed atmosphere, I could possibly … and I could take my dogs along ...” She smiles again, nodding! “Nice idea!”

We use the rest of the time to develop a few career alternatives for Angela. I notice though, that her thoughts are more with her team. She seems to have developed a new liking for her “pack of hounds”.

(The coaching impulse I used with Angela, “Someone Else’s Shoes”, is described in more detail here.)

My Way to Coaching

When we last met, Dr Petra Bock, a respected colleague from Berlin and herself founder and owner of one of the best coaching academies in Germany, gave me a lovely example to illustrate that coaching is not just about qualifications. She said: “Think about it – people started skiing long before skiing schools were established.” And that’s how it is: People were coaching long before there was even a word for it. Yes, some people can do that, without training and without formal qualifications – because they have a feeling for how they can best help others. And because they are able to hold back and have learned not to judge something the moment they hear it.

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!