Let them just BE…

I bumped into a YouTube video demonstrating a coaching conversation between David Rock and an executive.

Quite an insightful conversation, despite that it was staged and taped. Loved the way both David and the executive carried themselves (by just being themselves!). I quite liked the use of metaphors and powerful questions to reaffirm the main objective of the discussion.

That’s what great coaches do. They don’t dominate the conversation or hand-in a solution, they position you to think for yourself.

After watching the video, I accidentally scrolled down the page. A boy, it was quite an experience! Some of the comments (alright — almost 90% of them) were negative and pointed how badly did David suck. Check some of them out below:

Mouth noises? He has a whole energy vibe that is weird and uncomfortable… He appears uneasy within himself and unsure of how to work out what the client’s real concern is… So very general and empty it is almost… scratch that it is painful to watch… For all the wrong reasons Great video!!!

I really think this is one of the worst coaching session I ‘ve ever seen. This coach doesn’t give the client time to breath or reflect. Pausing is important. He makes a strange noise after saying “ok” tons of times. Bad rapport.
You have to stop doing that bad habit of making weird sound whenever thinks on what to say. It appears to be choosing randomly a new question. That´s irritating and do not convey confidence. 
Wow this David guy is full of Sh*t! I can’t believe anyone would pay for such an empty and pointless “service”. Why does he keeps making that lip sound at the end of every sentence?
Do you see what happened? These wannabe coaches (some of them probably are practicing coaches) think they know better or are convinced “their way” (the one they were trained on) is the better way. They passionately focused on the aspects that hold absolutely no relevance to the actual impact of the conversation. The whole reason why that conversation was uploaded!
I understand the essence of all coaching conversations is about letting the client do the talking. However, that doesn’t mean the coach has to shut himself up or just ask a few questions and get done with the session. THAT basically serves no one! And that line of thinking basically means that we don’t want coaches to be themselves.
Here’s the most important question — how exactly would focusing on petty things help anyone learn anything at all? Isn’t that majoring in the minor things?
I think the number 1 challenge with any profession (particularly speaking, training, coaching, consulting, legal, and even medicine!) is that the practitioners refuse to learn from their peers. They’re either following some guru or a methodology they’re sold on and think that is THE way to go.
These well-intentioned folks miss out on how David was able to help the other person using powerful coaching tools to help her realign to her big picture. That’s creating an impact in someone’s life.
The comments above are useless. They don’t add value to the actual conversation. Instead, they exposed a lot of insecurities. And that’s not a great vibe. Something that I picked up and decided to share my thoughts on today.
I think we struggle to accept people the way they are. We want them to follow what we think is THE right thing to do? And that’s contradicting one of the fundamentals of coaching, which is to not get attached to your opinions.
Listen, there are no absolutes. Because we’re human beings. We aren’t clones of each other. And each of us is unique and can’t help but bring in our own flavor to whatever we do. The best professionals out there understand this and play to their strengths.
Most importantly, there’s no right or wrong way to communicate, because the way we communicate is unique to us.
And yeah, some of us are clumsy. So what? Why can’t we just let people BE?

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