Skip to content

Coaches, Don’t Try Too Hard!

May 4, 2011

I recently engaged a life coach to help me with a decision that I was struggling to make. We parted company after two sessions because her approach to coaching was not what I was looking for.

What was she doing wrong? She was trying to get out ahead of me in the process. Let me explain with a metaphor.

The explorations that a coach and coach partner do are like the explorations they might do if they were spelunking in an unfamiliar cave. The coach might walk ahead and shine her flashlight on what she sees as interesting, pointing things out to her partner. Or, the coach might walk behind and respond to whatever her partner finds with his flashlight. Or, the coach and partner might walk side-by-side, with each using a flashlight to notice some things of interest and with each responding to what the other sees.

This latter approach is coaching at its best. A coach does not feel responsible for taking a strong lead, and a coach does not merely respond to whatever her partner attends to. Rather, a coach walks side-by-side with her partner, and both share responsibility for the work. True, the coach leads subtly by guiding the process and by asking good questions. However, a coach is not effective when she runs ahead and feels responsibile for determining what is important to look at.

As a coach, don’t try too hard. Trust the process, trustyourself, and trust your partner!

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: