First you need to watch this video.
We always try to fix things. It’s in our nature. When you’re coaching you are listening to people and sometimes you wonder why people do not see things as clear as you do. The solution seems to be right in front of them and they seem not to get it. As a coach you could decide to take matters into your own hands, tell the coachee what the problem really is and propose the only obvious solution. When you do so, you are not coaching.
Coaching is about creating awareness, fostering a sense of responsibility and enabling action. But it’s the coachee that has to be aware, take responsibility and make decisions. Any intervention from the coach that reduces any of these outcomes, reduces the impact of coaching. Telling a coachee what to do, is reducing his or her responsibility.
So even when you know that it’s about the nail, it’s the coachee that should decide if it really is about the nail. And even if you think pulling out the nail is the only solution, it’s the coachee that will decide that this is the action to be taken.
This is hard. As a coach you might feel as if you are powerless. It does not seem to be very efficient. However, your role as coach is not about the content. It’s about the process. You are fully responsible to do whatever it takes to enable awaress, responsibility and action. And your tools are listening, asking questions and confronting. Nothing more, nothing less.
It’s not about the nail. It’s about the coachee.