The Art of Being a Lazy Coach: Don’t Rush to Help
If you’re coaching – and as a manager and a leader, I hope you are – then I’m willing to bet that you’re working too hard.
Here’s why: You leap to action too fast.
You know the situation. Someone comes into your office and makes a request or asks a question … and the Helping Hounds are loose.
“I know what they want! I know what to do! I know what advice to give!” flashes through your brain.
Here’s the price you pay for this generosity of spirit: you’re spending time you might otherwise be working on Great Work providing solutions and fixing things for others.
Here’s the price they’re paying: not having the opportunity to figure things out themselves, and in doing so to literally and metaphorically increase their own capacity.
And here’s the price the system is paying: you’re most likely not even solving the real challenge that they need help with. (Not always, but more times than you might care to admit.)
Here are two powerful coaching questions you can ask someone at the start of any conversation .
How can I help?
What do you want from me?
Asking these questions does two things. First, it’s a self-management tool to stop you rushing in to save the day
And second, the questions encourage the person you are working with to make a clear request of what they want from you. Which then allows you to help them in the way that serves them best.
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