Coach: Get Out of the Way!

Matt Driver
October 20, 2021

We’ve helped thousands of people develop as coaches and hundreds to achieve professional qualifications. One of the things we've noticed in the past few months is how coaches sometimes inject too much of themselves into coaching sessions and therefore reduce the thinking space available for their clients.

Sometimes coaches believe they have to add sympathetic statements like 'I know exactly what you mean' or 'I think many people feel that way right now.' These are well intended, but in fact they are taking up space which should be reserved for the client’s thinking.

It's also quite common to hear, towards the end of a session, a coach becoming over-involved in determining some kind of successful next step for the client, even when there has been no new insight developed. One example might be where a coachee has shown clearly that they are stuck in some aspect of their thinking or their behaviour, but the coach nonetheless rushes onwards to ask 'what options do you have?' Or for example 'so what would be a next step?'

Best advice here is to avoid this kind of intrusion. Instead, show empathy and concern through your presence, your face, and by matching their posture and energy.

So, our top tip is: Coach: get out of the way!

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