Coaching: Perspective Not Advice 2 of 3

How does a coach give perspective when a client really has no ideas? A coach shares multiple examples, ideas, teaching points, or stories.

Imagine a coaching client is struggling with an unmotivated employee. The client has talked to the employee with sympathy, given written warnings, and even ignored little problems. Now the coaching client is at the point of either turning things around quickly or releasing the employee. The challenge is that the client has no ideas on how they could possibly turn the situation around.

The coach asks the clients about their goals for the employee. The client shares that the employee has been with the company for years and has been a very good employee. The client wants to keep the employee if possible.

The coach then provides examples (usually at least three.) The coach might share how one manager they worked with called the employee in to their office and asked the employee to create a plan for how they would achieve required performance levels. The coach discussed another situation in which the manager had the employee partner with a co-worker for on-the-job training. The coach shares a completely different example of how the employee was given a menu of options to choose from that included attending workshops, cross-training, a short leave of absence, resigning, transferring, or attending the training program for a group of new hires.

The client is given the opportunity to expand their thinking and choose a course of action. The coach is aware that the client might use some or none of the information in the examples; providing multiple examples is often a brainstorming technique.

The coach asks the client questions and the client develops their plan of action.

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