On coaching

A couple of points that come up less often than  they should when discussing how we should coach teams in ways of working:

The idea that we are smarter and more knowledgeable than our clients (whether colleagues or customers) is patronising. Everybody is smarter than us in some way, and more knowledgeable.  The coaching sector needs a big dose of humility.  It’s the position from which we teach that matters here. We bring some ideas that may or may not work in this context, and our skills to add the mix are those of facilitator and guide. So many coaches and consultants – including me – when they talk about clients in the third person, talk like parents of children. ”They” will grow up soon, will get it, need to …. They’re not ours to shape, and they’re adults.

And secondly, complexity theory tells us we can’t possibly know what the solution is, right here, right now, for this situation. So if we do offer solutions, we’re pulling it out of our arse, and only time and experiment will tell.