The shift from telling to asking requires new thinking
The most outstanding feature of the coach approach is that it relies on listening and asking skills to pull out decisions and solutions from the client vs the coach telling or providing solutions for the client. This shift from telling to asking requires new thinking on the part of the coach. Most of us have been raised in a culture of telling, advising, directing and commanding. It is the predominate mode of communication in our culture. Teachers lecture, preachers preach, bosses command and direct, athletic coaches direct and tell, parents lay the law down, and consultants give advice. Underneath the telling approach lies a basic belief system about people and how they learn and change. For sure, there are appropriate situations for telling and advising. But, overall, the telling approach is the least effective way of bringing about real learning and lasting change. Information alone does not produce transformation.
What new thinking is required?
So just what are those beliefs that underlie a coach approach? What new thinking is required to shift from a telling paradigm to a coaching paradigm in helping others? In their book, Faith Coaching, Chad Hall, Bill Cooper, and Kathryn McElveen, present a chart of 8 shifts in beliefs we need to make to effectively embrace a coach approach in helping others. I have listed them below. On the top are a set of basic beliefs that tend to fuel the telling/advising approach. Right underneath is a different belief which represent the coach approach. The shift from From to To is what is needed in someone’s belief system for embracing a coach approach. This list of beliefs is not exhaustive but certainly gives a good place from which to begin.
8 Shifts in Beliefs
I understand things better than the other person
I have some information and the other person has other information
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From time to time I have the opportunity of explaining what it is I do as a life coach. Though coaching, as a more formal discipline, has been around only for a few decades, the skills of listening and asking great questions to produce self-discovery have been used by people for thousands of years. Many of you, my readers, may be a bit unclear as to exactly what coaching is and what kind of service I offer others as a life coach.
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