Coaching is not about giving advice. Instead it about asking the right questions that elicit from someone what their true intention is.
One of the main reasons I’m not a big proponent of giving advice is that it usually is unsolicited. One of the struggles I face as a coach is that I actually am solicited for advice all the time from clients. On might think this odd but in face it’s fairly common to ask someone what they think. And when they answer, that is their advice. So I am constantly on the look out for ways to avoid allowing my own rational to enter into the coaching arrangement. This isn’t to say that I’m not involved or aware of what I might say to someone. It just means I choose to challenge them to find their own answers rather than taking the easy way out and giving them advice.
I remember when I didn’t know how to spell a word I would ask someone how to spell it. As a child the most common response was look it up in the dictionary. Today’s youth have the internet so few dictionaries are common in households. However getting some to try to sound out a word and engage their brain to visualize the spelling as they are sounding it out is indeed similar to coaching. Getting someone to struggle with how they visualize their goals so that they know it’s their goal and not my own is at the core of coaching for me.
A client was telling me how he was not feeling good about himself, he wasn’t going to the gym, he was eating everything in sight.
“Don’t go to the gym because you don’t like yourself now, go because you already know how good you’ll feel about yourself if you do.”
Individuals will move/shift/change when they are ready, my goal is to be the catalyst in helping people get prepared to make that move/shift/change. And also be there to support them during the transition.
My intention was to help the client shift from a place of shame and negativity to a place of ownership and stakeholder. How do you want to be a stakeholder in your life? What will it allow you to accomplish if you are?