When considering a coach, do you ask yourself if you NEED coaching?
Or, do you WANT to be coached?
At first glance, these questions may seem the same, but they do illicit very different responses.
I recently asked one of my clients what she wanted to get out of the time together, to which she replied “I want to understand if I need coaching“.
How interesting that this person had framed coaching as a need, as if it were making up for some deficiency or solving a problem that had yet to be identified!
My curiosity got the better of me, as it often does, and I asked why she had answered in that way?
“Oh!” she replied, “I guess it stems from when my boss suggested I have coaching. I assumed he thought that I wasn’t at my best.”
All those assumptions in such a short response!
I asked her “what if you wanted to be coached?”
“Well…” she replied, with a puzzled look at first that soon changed to a beaming smile. “Well…then I guess I would welcome it, be open to what it could do for me and not feel as though I am entering into it for someone else.”
Having coached leaders in many organisations for the last eleven years, I know it is not unusual to have line managers or HR departments seek remedial coaching to sort out ‘under performers’. And, of course, there is a place for this type of coaching.
When the relationship is created between coach, coachee and sponsor, with clear outcomes agreed and confidentiality assured, this can be an extremely effective method of supporting a valued member of the team whose performance has slipped.
However, the real strength of coaching is generative in nature, recognising an individual’s potential and building on a solid performance to support personal growth. Entered into willingly, by someone that wants to be coached, the whole experience can be transformational and highly enjoyable!
So, how do you frame coaching?
Is it a need or a want?