The FUEL coaching model was developed by John Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett and is detailed in their book “The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow.”
FUEL stands for;
With many other coaching models, the coach directs and asks leading questions to guide the individual to what the coach believes to be the best solution. This often results in the individual not being fully vested in the solution and not committing to the plan for resolution.
The FUEL coaching model has the coach asking open-ended, non-leading questions to guide the conversation instead of from telling, directing, instructing, and giving advice. This approach allows the individual to assess the situation, determine their own solution, and take ownership and accountability for the outcome.
The four steps in the FUEL coaching model are:
Framing the conversation means setting the context and parameters of the conversation right at the beginning. You want to get agreement with the individual on;
In framing the conversation, the coach guides the process, but the individual owns and drives the content.
Suggestions for framing the conversation:
In this step, you want to understand how the individual views their current situation. You want to be able to see things from their point of view. Therefore, ask open-ended, non-leading questions to allow a greater insight and clarity into their perspective. This helps reveal any underlying beliefs that may drive the person’s behavior.
Suggestions for asking open-ended questions:
In this step, have the person describe their desired destination. This helps them see what success looks like. The more detailed the description, the more real it is for them. This step also provides you with a vision and understanding of what he or she considers to be their desired state. This vision is the beginning of what will ultimately be the framework for the action plan.
After they have their vision, explore and investigate alternative paths by which they might be able to reach their goal. After, have them prioritize the steps and methods to achieve their vision.
Suggestions for exploring the desired State:
In the last step of the FUEL coaching model, the individual needs to formulate a plan of action to achieve their goal. They need to create a detailed action plan with a timetable for accomplishing each of the steps. The plan should be detailed enough to clarify what exactly needs to happen at each step. There should be milestones along the way, and these milestones should have a set time for which they will be achieved. By the individual creating their own action plan, this holds them accountable for the outcome.
Suggestions for developing an action plan: