Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Coaching: Coaching is about Discovery Part 9 - Coach's Assumptions


This is Part 9 of our Coaching is about Discovery Series.

In Part 8, we understood that one of the key causes of Blind-spots is the false assumptions of the coachee. However, the coach also has his/her own assumptions, which in turn causing blind-spots of the coach and becoming a major block to the discovery of the coachee.

The interesting part of assumptions is that we do NOT consider our assumptions, are assumptions. To their owners, assumptions are the Truths! They are exactly how the world is operating.

Our own assumptions influence how we think during the coaching process. It makes us think what really is, or is not the client's problem, how he can solve "it", what he should or shouldn't do, how much he needs to achieve, etc.. We have "something" in mind about how he should or shouldn't answer our questions.

Then, we start to lead, unconsciously, without our notice. We lead him/her to what we think are the right answers. Once we lead, we are no longer doing coaching!

How not to have assumptions? It's impossible to do so. Our assumptions guide us how to live our lives. Without them, we simply can't live. But we can reduce the effects of our assumptions during coaching by focusing only on the structures of clients' thinking. We do not need the information of the content of their thinking to coach. The content triggers our assumptions.

For example, when the client talks over and over about how great his life was before his marriage, the content is what he told you about his life. The content will trigger how you think about marriage, husband & wife relationship, family, etc.. These are your own assumptions. When we focus only on the structures, you then notice he was thinking only about his "past", for example.

As a coach, we don't really "care" about how was his past, we care about he is in his "past". We then ask questions to diverge his thinking also to the "present" and/or the "future".

When we do not touch on the content, we minimize the effects of our assumptions onto the clients.

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