Coaching the “Who” First

Something I heard in my Laser Focused Coaching course was:

“If you coach the who, the what follows naturally.”

Image from Flickr

Any actions that a client will take are a natural output of a shift they have.

If an exploration is more feeling based during a conversation, then use these inquiries to tease out a next step:

  • How can you use what we explored today?
  • What might you do with what you discovered today?

Actions can be:

  • An actual action item,
  • Sometimes it’s not an action, but taking something off the list,
  • An inquiry or questions they may ponder between sessions,
  • A thinking or observing action.

We as coaches often get trained solely to get a client to take the next action step. We make the mistake of driving a client to action too quickly and can deter or discourage a client from moving forward.

Coaching the person first shows we understand the client, builds rapport, and then unwinds the underlying barriers first before any action can be taken. Even then, an action may not be the action that we typically equate with the word action as described above.

In any case, if the barriers are unwound, then the right action appears naturally, regardless of what form it takes.