Coaching is an interesting process. Your role as a coach is to help provide the structure, clarify the issues, and ask a lot of questions. Occasionally, you also provide the accountability to hold people to deadlines or tasks. A coach must also resist the temptation of being the expert, especially if your “expertness” comes with pre-formed solutions.
Sometimes the coaching process feels like a meandering path. Other times, coaching resembles a highway with clear mile markers and ways to measure fast progress. Either way, as time passes there is movement. There are accomplishments. There are achievements.
When those accomplishment or achievements occur, those being coached are grateful. Some express their appreciation.
“I owe it to you.”
“You are the reason this happened.”
After a coaching session, I heard similar expressions. I needed to reply.
“Take credit for yourself as well. I am not the reason this is happening. You are doing the work, I am just here to help you find the path.”
This appreciation if left unaddressed can become the second temptation of coaching: Taking all the credit.
Coaching should diminish as both accomplishments and confidence rises. Those being coached begin to ask their own questions, set their own goals, and hold themselves accountable. Coaching may continue through the progress, but at a lessor degree and may eventually cease.
Properly balanced coaching can move people forward with their life, career, business, and/or personal goals. No matter which side of the coaching relationship you are in, keep these two things in mind:
If you are coaching others, remember to resist both temptations (expert and credit).
If you are being coached, remember to take credit for yourself as well.