<<< Back Posted: November 2023

Coaching Tool: PAST – PRESENT – FUTURE

Whether or not you call yourself a coach, here is a swift and efficient way for you to get an overview of someone’s situation, and then quickly shift them to creating new solutions!

Once the person has shared their challenge with you, follow these three steps:

Step 1 - PAST

Now you have a collection of everything that’s been tried in one place.

Step 2 – PRESENT

Now you have a collection of everything that is currently being done in one place.

Step 3 – FUTURE

Now you have a collection of possible solutions in one place.

PAST – Some Context

Notice that asking what a person has already tried is much more effective (and comprehensive) than this very common (and dysfunctional) conversation cycle:

Notice also that you could find clues in what the person has already tried that may contribute to solutions moving forward. Perhaps portions of what they tried did have a positive impact.

PRESENT – Some Context

Much of what is mentioned above regarding PAST is also true here. The person’s answers will give you an overview of what is going on at the present time. And, there may be further clues regarding what could be used moving forward.

FUTURE – Some Context

While the relating of PAST and PRESENT actions taken is basically a transfer of information from one person to another, it can be extremely useful to have collected all actions taken, in one place, providing an up-to-date overview for all.

The FUTURE step of this tool really turns the corner from information transfer to innovating and creating new solutions, some of which may have been considered but not tried, and others which may be completely new ideas!

Most importantly, it is crucial – especially in this step – to ask: “What else have you not tried?” over and over again. What you will notice is that the silence after your question and before they answer will get longer and longer. This is because the ideas they are generating are newer and newer. As such, they need quality silent thinking time. You can help to make this silence comfortable for them by saying, for example: “Take your time, I’m going to make some notes.”

In my opinion, you will not have made the most of this tool until you reach the moment where you’ve asked the question, “What else have you not tried?”, and the person finally admits that they have no further answer to give.

PAST – PRESENT – FUTURE – Final Comments

In order to not sound like a broken record, of course, you may want to vary the way you ask: “What else?” For example:

Finally, you can adapt this tool, for the occasions when you and the person have more time together, by exploring some of the things that they’ve tried in the PAST and PRESENT. “How did that go?” “What worked, and what didn't?” Yet if you see this as a true brainstorm session, where you want to get every new idea possible on the table, be alert, and don't let yourself be pulled into a longer conversation about one or another answer that they are giving in any of the three areas: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE.


We are excited to invite you to JJC’s final webinar on Team Coaching for 2023: "Enduring Excellence: Fostering Team Accountability Beyond the Coach."

In today's dynamic and interconnected business world, team accountability is a critical component in achieving sustained excellence. This webinar is designed to help you understand why team accountability is essential and how it impacts long-term performance.

Webinar Highlights: Learn why and how team accountability is a critical component in the success of Team Coaching, and its impact on sustaining performance.

Our webinar aims to discuss why team accountability is crucial for achieving lasting excellence. We'll highlight the challenges and common misconceptions that often surround the concept of accountability in teams:

Webinar Details:
Date: November 22, 2023
Time: 12:00-13:00 CET
Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZckfu6grz0uHdC7ToynNrlaGP74HLtKRb2y

Speaker: Simone Reeves, Expert Team Coach and Facilitator

Simone has worked with senior executives and leadership teams, and has breadth and depth in all areas of HR and organizational change. Simone’s objective is to strengthen individual and team performance by building resilience, fostering trust, raising awareness, increasing discernment and choice, and promoting accountability so that they can respond to situations more intelligently as they arise. She has completed several advanced training programs including the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) Co-Active Coach Certification Program; the Team Coaching International™, Certified Team Performance Coach Program, and is a trained facilitator of the latter’s Team Diagnostic™ tools.
Join us for an insightful session that will transform the way you perceive and practice team accountability in Team Coaching. Your presence and participation can add immense value to our discussions.

To reserve your spot, please click on the registration link below:


If you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to having you join us for this insightful webinar and exploring the keys to lasting team excellence.

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