When participating in a coach training program, what is the biggest challenge to learning how to coach effectively? The answer comes from 10 years of training coaches: the most common challenge is to transition from mentoring, consulting, or giving advice to accessing the expertise of the client them self and eliciting the goals, obstacles, solutions, and plan from them.
For example, a mental health professional has great transferable skills. The challenge for them is that they are trained to diagnose, work with past issues, provide information, and give advice. A coach does not do any of these things. So for a mental health professional the challenge is to switch gears and truly put the client in charge.
Consultants and mentors are accustomed to being the expert and giving advice. They do have many transferable skills. The key is to ask questions that are truly open to the client discovering whatever their answer is instead.
For people that have education and experience and really want to help, the challenge is the paradigm shift from helping by providing answers to helping by empowering the individual client to figure out their own answers.
Coach training is designed to develop the core competencies of a coach, which means that fully embracing the content of the training will move participants past the big challenge to really understanding the value of helping by empowering.