Center for Coaching Certification

Telling is a Fail – Asking is a Win

Think about parenting a teenager.  As much as parents want their children to listen to what they are told, sometimes teens just have to make their own mistakes. When they make their own mistakes, they learn and then they move forward.   Telling is a Fail – Asking is a Win

It’s a very similar concept with coaching clients. Whether or not the coach thinks the client came up with the right idea doesn’t matter. It is what the client thinks is the right idea. If it works great; if it doesn’t work, they’re going to learn from it and do something different next time.

During coach training we learn that telling someone is not coaching.  It’s unethical for a coach to be telling. Telling interferes with the client’s growth.  The coach’s job is to be a partner who sees the client as fully capable. An ethical coach stays true to the role as a coach.  This means asking the client questions and supporting them thinking it through to discover their own answer.

When a coach partners with a client to create their own plan, there is a return on the investment for coaching.  The client develops and grows as an individual and as a professional. They will develop confidence in themselves and in their ability to figure it out. Best of all, the client will own the answer they come up with which increases follow-through and success.

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