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Coaching isn’t sophisticated telling

May 24, 2018


You know the scenario. We are in a hurry and someone comes and asks you about a problem or situation that really should and could make a great coaching conversation. This is an opportunity for the other person to really think through their problem and learn from this conversation and come up with their own solutions. But instead, because we are busy and because we really think we know the answer, we don't have a coaching conversation….we just tell them what to do. We don't really listen through the issue or ask any clarifying questions or even check on their goal and we forget to ask questions that allow them to see another perspective.
We all do this, even the best leaders fall into the trap of telling when we could be coaching.
“But the worst conversation is when we blend telling and coaching and call it coaching and just end up telling people what to do in a slightly more sophisticated way"
There is nothing more frustrating that being on the receiving end of a conversation that isn’t coaching and is really just telling but is being called or delivered as coaching.
If you find yourself falling into this trap, try to catch yourself and ask yourself simply...is this a coaching conversation?

  • If the answer is yes, then the opportunity is all about facilitating solution focused thinking rather than delivering the solutions.

  • If the answer is no, then give the person direction but please don't label it as coaching because it becomes confusing for everyone, including you.

You would in fact be better off working out exactly what this conversation is for and what it is about. To be an effective leader is to be an effective coach and requires continuous practice and learning on the job.

The Third Generation of Leader as Coach programs show teams exactly how to have these coaching conversations with amazing results. The Third Generation Approach is all about simplicity, personalisation and effectiveness. It uses straightforward, practical language and models that are easily understood and applied. It allows for leaders to be themselves and to put principles into practice.

For more information on The Third Generation of Leader as Coach programs with Professor Anthony Grant, Dr Sean O’Connor and Margie Hartley, simply reply to this email.

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