Categories
Coaching

Watch out for Why

When we’re coaching, we should find that the majority of our questions are Open, designed to trigger more conversation and to give the coachee the balance of time to share their meaning.

That means that we will prefer to use questions starting with words like What, When or How as these will tend to be answered with more than just a simple Yes or No response.

Why is also an Open question, but it comes with a warning label. If used incorrectly, it can sound as if the coach is accusing the coachee of something, or suggesting that their answers are not ideal.

“Why did you chose that option?” can be taken as an attack on the coachee, with an implicit assumption that the coach disapproves, or feels another choice would have been better. If this happens, then it can close down the coachee, and the coaching outcomes will be less successful.

We can mitigate this impact with careful use of tone and rapport, softening our approach to show a desire to understand rather than to judge. We can also choose to rephrase our questions, flipping a Why to a less strong term “What was your process when selecting that option?”.

If we want to shock the coachee into greater awareness or to cause some deeper reflection, then we can use a strong form of a Why question to trigger this thinking, but this should be approached with care.

So, with all this said, Why is a powerful tool in the toolbox of a coach. We shouldn’t be afraid to use it, but we should be considerate of the risks it may bring to the conversation and how it can alter the flow of a relationship with a coachee.

Categories
Coaching

Coaching – Reading List

Five books about coaching, ready to get you going with a running start in the New Year. Organised roughly in order of weight, from easy reading to comprehensive textbooks, there’s something for everyone, wherever you are on your coaching journey.

When your done with these, check out my Reading List, or go deep into my full set of reviews.

The Coaching Habit – This is a great short form book, which is really useful in a management coaching context. It gives you a simple structure to follow and some thoughts on how to flex the style. The seven core questions are easy to commit to memory, and it’s something you can use as another tool in your coaching toolbox.

Effective Modern Coaching – This book has some great approaches to introduce coaching in a business performance environment. It’s simple and easy to read, and includes some really good thoughts around the potential that everyone has to excel.

Manager As Coach – This introduces the OSCAR model, which expands on the GROW model by building back in the results of the actions the coachee has attempted. It also covers lots of great techniques on how to do coaching in the management relationship.

The Coaching Manual – Talks about contracting, structuring more formal coaching engagements and deep dives into the skills, tools and techniques. Excellent to develop and grow your coaching to the next level.

Coaching For Performance – The original in-depth approach to coaching in a business context, including the origin of the GROW model. Similar in idea and depth to the Coaching Manual, so again it’s suited to enhancing and improving your coaching practice.