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BLOGCoaching 1-2-3

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Professional DevelopmentTagged as: ,

One of the biggest buzzwords in business now is “coaching” – but what does it really mean?  What might spring to mind is the athletic coach, who provides the technical skills and motivation to help the athlete reach their potential. On the other hand, we may think of the mentor, whose invisible hand and perspective helps guide the “mentee” to greater success.

While both of these frameworks are useful, a good coach does one additional thing: they clarify goals, and the path to achieve them.

There is no murky magic to being a traditional coach – in fact, you can easily coach any of your colleagues or contacts.  But recognize that qualified coaches spend years perfecting their skills, and likely are doing it full time.

Nevertheless, there is much that can be learned from the coaching profession.  The the next time a colleague, direct report, or a mentee asks for your guidance, instead of telling them “the answer”, consider asking them these three basic coaching questions:

  1. What do you want to do more of, or do less of? (or what is your next goal?)
  2. What is preventing you from doing so?
  3. What can you do during the next _______ (week, month, etc) to overcome this challenge?

After they answer, only then does your feedback add true value. You are able to amplify their direction with your experience and perspective.


While you can’t predict when someone will ask you for help, there’s no reason why you can’t use this same formula for yourself. What do you want to do more of or less of? What is preventing you from doing so? And what can you do in the next period of time to overcome this challenge?

Coaching insight: There is another, more powerful model for coaching. While a good coach facilitates your thinking, a great coach brings completely new knowledge and experience into the equation: they’ve been in your shoes, seen your challenges, and solved them before.  While you may know what you know, you don’t know what you don’t know.  This type of coach can fill in these blanks for you, and fast-forward the results you seek.  (Interested in my approach?  Read more on how I coach leaders on growing their businesses.)

Does this topic resonate? Reach out to Randall: he can present it to your group.  (More presentation topics)
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