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Hey Coaches, please don’t over complicate coaching!


Coaching is a wonderful way of supporting others. It’s meant to be an impactful and rewarding experience.

I’ve seen many articles, chapters and papers giving their own specific descriptions of what coaching is. There often seems to be a tendency to over explain or over complicate, especially on process and method rather than impact. I wonder how this serves those who would be coached?

So many who could be beneficiaries of coaching are either unaware or unclear as to what coaching is, yet alone what coaching could create for them. I think coaching is far better than that. I think we should be working to make coaching more accessible in both language and deed.

Yes, we work with all sorts of language and practice relating to…

…goals, contracting, the contract, coach, coachee, client, confidentiality, non-direction, challenge, feedback, noticing, reframing, sensing, open questions, models, coaching hat, models, tools, philosophies, experience, accountability, unconditional positive regard, trust, place and space, the beginning, middle and ending, supervision. We can say what coaching is not, in relation to mentoring, counselling, therapy and even consulting. And more besides…

As coaches we do need to understand and develop these facets within our practice. Coaching has complexity and diversity.

But there’s a time and a place to share.

Our job as coaches is to help others see through complexity; to serve the people we coach and their agenda.

This is how we truly are when we are coaching isn’t it? Isn’t coaching so often simply…

“working with someone who helps you to think and speak well so that you can take better actions”

Let’s be ourselves.

Let’s assure the depth of our practice.

Let’s make coaching more accessible in both language and deed.

Coaching is a wonderful way of supporting others. It’s meant to be an impactful and rewarding experience.

Let’s make sure that is the expectation that we create.

Just please don’t over complicate it!

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One thought on “Hey Coaches, please don’t over complicate coaching!

  1. Your post resonates with me David. Explaining the mechanics of how we coach matters so much less than the impact that it has on the person, once you get beyond the fear a person might have about not knowing what to expect.

    I don’t think it’s possible to distill down to a simple formula or method the elegant simplicity of what can happen in the coaching conversation. We draw from a wealth of knowledge and experience and when we’re connected properly, in the moment, to the client, that’s when we can be inspired to draw on all that we know and serve the client well, naturally and responsively.

    Individual clients seem less concerned with ‘how’ than the corporate clients, who sometimes ask you to name the models you might use. In my experience outstanding coaching is subtle and nuanced and it’s quality isn’t measured by how well you use a model, framework, theory or whatever, It’s a human activity that requires a depth of connection for it to succeed.

    Have i just fallen foul of the very thing you’re cautioning against in your post????

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by The Clear Thinking Partnership | May 15, 2017, 3:19 PM


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