See Your Work Self

We often get asked how our coaches get people to change. It’s an interesting question. At Talentedly, we are practitioners of what we call ‘respectful directness’. Simply translated: our coaches are not going to tell a coachee want they want to hear, they are going to tell them the truth, with permission and respect.

Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives, by Laura Whitworth et al, is one of the primary texts in Stanford University’s Leadership Fellows Program and here at Talentedly. We have adapted core elements into our coaching model with measurable success.

Opinions and Advice

We emphasize that clients are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole and that they do have the answers or know how to find them. Still, at times it may seem pointless to withhold your knowledge or experience when it is clearly relevant and could spare clients time, money and effort. As long as you are conscientious about framing the conversation as your experience and encouraging clients to find their own best way while exploring a number of alternative pathways, your experience will be seen as one more potential course of action and not the "expert's" way. In short, don't make it a rule that you will never share an opinion or a bit of advice. Self-management is a context of discretion, always in the client's best interests.

Asking Permission

One of the most important techniques the coach uses to remind clients that they are in charge of the coaching direction is to ask permission: "May we work with this issue?" "Can I tell you what I see?" "Would you like some feedback on that?" When the coach asks permission, it demonstrates that clients have power in the relationship. It demonstrates, too, that the coach knows the limits of his or her power in the relationship. Asking permission is a sign of self-management on the coach's part and allows clients to take responsibility for managing their relationship and their work. Clients are honored when you ask permission; their boundaries are respected. This is especially important when the issue you'd like to work on is unusually intimate or may make clients uncomfortable: "May I tell you what I see about the way you've been handling this?"

Long-term sustainable, measurable, and meaningful change through coaching is not about fixing or telling; rather, it is on self-determination and motivation.