The people who come to me for coaching all want answers of some kind or another.
That’s not too surprising really.
After all, isn’t that what coaches are supposed to do … help people find solutions to the challenges they are facing?!?!.
Whether it’s finding a new career, building confidence or passing an exam, it’s pretty common that sooner or later I get asked how to solve the problem.
“So what career/degree/training should I do?”
“How do I get over this hurdle?”
“What are the strategies I need to feel confident?”
These are all good questions. Excellent questions… questions that demand answers.
Underlying these questions is the assumption that it is my role to deliver the answers to all questions asked and solve all problems. Kind of like a modern day fairy godmother.
I wish that I could do that for you. But I can’t…and even more than that… I won’t.
Firstly I can’t give you the answers because it would be pretty arrogant of me to even pretend I knew even a fraction of the questions put to me. I’m not a prophet and ‘No’…I don’t actually know which career pathway will fulfill you the most.
Secondly, even if by some mysterious chance I did know all the answers to all the questions, I wouldn’t tell you them anyway.
That’s because, in truth, the very BEST answers to all these types of questions come from YOU…not from me.
We humans value our autonomy very highly. As much as we yearn for quick easy answers and a resolution to tension, we don’t really like being told what to do…even if it is in our best interests.
So the very act of me telling you would automatically devalue the answer you’re looking for…and that is not very helpful or motivating. And it doesn’t help build your capacity for managing complex issues.
What is motivating is discovering your own answers to your challenges.
That can sound and feel frustrating.
“Can’t you just tell me what to do?”
So what’s my role then if I’m not going to give you the answers?
Well, my role as your coach is fundamentally to help you with the self discovery you need to find your own answers.
That could include learning new skills, engaging in solution focused self reflection and exploring different perspectives… a unique blend of tailored challenge and support.
If you have the courage to hold onto the tension and get beyond the frustration, this journey of discovery can be one of the most worthwhile and valuable learning experiences you may ever do.
Not only will you find a way forward for the immediate problem, but the self discovery brings so many other benefits…better communication skills, better leadership skills, better emotional regulation, better skills in managing complexity and uncertainty. These things do not come easily, but are worth working and sweating for.
And this, my friends, is what coaching is really all about. It’s not about giving you answers…rather it’s about helping you grow your own capacity to meet your unique challenges in your own unique way…now and into the future.
If you are curious about how coaching can help you, and have the courage to take your own growth into your own hands…then I invite you to get in touch today.