Try Coaching, you can’t get it wrong

I have two (short) stories to share with you about how I reflect on and learn to be more coach-like with my friends and family.

Story 1: The one where I noticed I gave advice to my friend that they didn’t ask for

I’ve got a friend who was being criticised by a family member.

Outraged and hurt, they messaged me the whole interaction.

I responded with the very supportive “Whaat?!? Total cow. You are totally awesome!”

And then I proceeded to give some very solid advice, that they hadn’t asked for.

Later that day as I was thinking over our conversation, I noticed that I had done a lot of telling her what to do.

I had a moment of disappointment in myself because I should know that telling someone what to do makes them feel less than. It tells them you aren’t a safe place for them to express their feelings.

I decided next time I’d do more empathising and less telling.

Image Description : Two people, with their back to us, waking down a path in a park.
Image Credit : Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels 

Story 2: The one where I paused and did something different 

Fast forward to that evening and I was out walking with my husband. He started telling me about something he is stuck doing at work that he hates.

I noticed thoughts creep into my mind about telling him to talk to his manager, but remembering the conversation with my friend, I paused. Instead I said, “That sucks, why can’t people see how stupid that is?”

He agreed and kept talking to me about it.

Instead of telling him what to do I empathised and listened.

He didn’t want me to fix the problem he just wanted to talk about it.

When you’re experimenting with coaching sometimes you’ll look back and kick yourself that you did something wrong. You haven’t. You’ve just seen that there was more than the option you took.

In those moments decide what you’d like to do next time and then let it go.

You are awesomely human.

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