Sunday, August 28, 2016

Coach the Person, Not the Problem

Coaches are not problem-solvers; they are people developers.  Why do I say this?

When a person enters a coaching relationship, he or she is making an investment in their own development.  In the coaching process, the person being coached is learning skills in identifying and unpacking a growth possibility, clarifying a goal to address their need, . developing a plan to get there, and creating accountability structures to keep on track.  In a very real way, coaching is an  investment in one’s continuing education

Recently, coach Kim Avery posted this statement:  “Coach the person, not the problem.”  This fits quite well with the continuing education idea.  The goal of the coach is for the person being coached to be able to develop the skills that assure personal growth and achievement.  The coach is helping the client to learn how to handle  challenges and problems for themselves.

If I am addressing the problem rather than the person, I am serving as a consultant and not a coach.  As a consultant, I am sharing from my own expertise to unravel a difficult  situation and find a solution to it.  The next time the person needs a problem solved, they will be back for a session!

Since the coach is responsible for the process and not the content in a coaching conversation, he or she can model for the client a process that can be utilized for future challenges.  The problem changes; the process is consistent.

Some coaches will probably cringe when I say this, but coaches can work themselves out of a job.  This is not a bad thing.  If we can help a person develop problem-solving and execution skills, we have helped move  the client to the next level of ability.  This doesn’t mean that the person will not come back in the future for additional coaching but the coach’s goal is  not to create dependency but independence.

Looking for a coach to help you learn how to process your big challenges?  Let’s talk.

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