On the Horns of a Dilemma

The first issue is finding a little clarity.

The deeper issue is finding courage to act, after the light comes on.

Sometimes one question flips the switch.

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Getting off horns:

People don’t call when the answer is easy. Dilemmas are made of good options.

When there’s one option, it’s a choice. When there’s multiple options, it’s a dilemma.

Decisions are tough when multiple options are viable possibilities. Here’s a question to help you find clarity regarding personal decisions.

In five years, what will you regret not doing?

The last time I asked this question, the person answered quickly and easily. Now it’s a matter of courage.

Not advice:

You might expect advice from your coach, but that isn’t coaching. Don’t get me wrong. Coaches may give advice, but when they do, they aren’t coaching, they’re advising.

Not mentoring:

You might expect your coach to be a white haired sage, but when you do, you’re looking for a mentor with relevant experience. By the way, your mentor might actually be younger than you.

The center:

Coaching centers on two things. Asking forward-facing questions and giving candid feedback.

Coaches don’t give answers. They create space for coachees to find their own path forward.


Ignorance is an asset to forming forward-facing questions. I coach leaders in industries where I have zero experience. In those cases, it’s easy to ask questions.


Successful coaches learn that powerful answers come from inside coachees. Everyone wants to look like they know, but the issue for coaches isn’t what you know, it’s what you ask.


Courage comes while taking action.

Coaches ask coachees to design behavior-based action plans. For example,

With your decision in mind, what would you like to do this week?

How might you help your team members get off the horns of a dilemma?

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