How Confusion Gives Way to Clarity
I often receive emails that include things like, “Do you have any suggestions or advice?” Occasionally, I ask if they’d like to talk.
These calls are part listening and advising, but mostly, they’re coaching.
Confusion gradually gives way to clarity.
Motivated callers end up designing their own path forward. It takes between thirty or sixty minutes. At the end, they think I’m smart. But, in reality, they had all the brains.
Coaching is less than counseling, consulting, advising, or acting as a sounding board.
I don’t need to know you, understand your business, or have more talent than you, to coach you. I need forward-facing curiosity.
Ignorance is a curious leaders opportunity.
5 marks of forward-facing curiosity:
Forward-facing curiosity creates clarity that’s followed by energy. Backward facing curiosity often escalates confusion and helplessness.
- Accept the current state.
- Forget disappointments with past performance.
- Refocus on a short-term objective that aligns with a long-term goal.
- Determine two or three behaviors that are likely to move the ball down the field. Concentrate on the next play, not winning the game.
- Follow the energy. Constant pushing drains people. Find the pull.
Coaching is a forward-facing conversation about behaviors that deliver results.
Coachees create their own solutions.
Coaches ask questions, clarify answers, and establish accountability that’s designed by the coachee.
10 questions to move the ball down the field:
- What do you want?
- What does success look like?
- What have you tried that didn’t work?
- What should you stop doing?
- What could you try?
- Which options generate energy?
- How would you describe the behavior?
- When will you try it?
- What will you not have done, if you fail?
- How will you assess progress?
Coaching-leaders use questions to identify and asses behaviors that move the ball down the field.
How might leaders maintain forward-facing curiosity while solving problems?