Telling ~ Do You Know How To Not Tell?

8 part series on what not to do as a coach – Part 1

~By Shawn Dwyer and Dr Michael Hall ~

In coaching, we do not tell.

Telling is not coaching, we simply do not tell our clients what to think, feel, say, or do. We do not give advice and we do not intrude into their life assuming that we know what is best for them. Rather than telling, we use the coaching methodology to facilitate our clients discovering their own values and visions in life so that they can make their own choices and become fully self-determining. Our aim is to coach ourselves out of business!

But sometimes you have to tell.

Sometimes a client just does not know what he needs to know in order to make a decision or even carry on a conversation.Sometimes she is just mis-informed or deceived or just wrong. Then what? As a Meta-Coach you are not to tell, and “telling” is a level 1 skill, so it really takes away from effective coaching. Given that, now what?

Actually there’s lots of solutions to this. Firstly we recommend that you introduce and offer a menu list. In that way, you don’t have to tell. Instead, you are presenting a list of possibilities (a menu list should have at least three and ideally five to seven items). Typically a menu list “primes the pump” of creativity and mindfulness so that your client is off and running with her own solutions which is the whole purpose of menu lists.

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