This week I spent an amazing couple of days supporting an organisation in developing their line managers into executive coaches. As part of the discussions held one key question, that typically always arises when training coaches, kept us busy for a whole afternoon.
"If I do not understand my client's issue how can I support them in reaching a resolution and improving themselves?"
Understanding the rationale behind not wanting to get the client into detail exploring an issue is important for coaches and line managers and is particularly key for people who want to progress from being good coaches to great ones. Here are four reasons why:
So what can we do as coaches and line managers?
The key thing to do is to let go of the feeling that in order to be a great coach you need to fully understand the issue that the client is facing. Instead, develop your ability to centre your questions mainly about the future. For example, instead of asking "Tell me about the [issue]" try using a question like "So, what needs to be different here?" You will notice that the client will engage more with you this way and ultimately develop themselves even further.
Joseph Grech, Chartered FCIPD and ICF-accredited coach is the founder of Smarter Learning Ltd. and an experienced L&D professional.