The biggest obstacle that gets in the way of your “coaching” greatness is — believe it or not — your expertise! Yup. Your expertise does-not-matter. It disrupts your thought process, focus, and influences your line of questioning.
You also run the risk of ruining the coaching experience for your client. They never signed up for your advice in the first place. And even if they expected you to dish out an easy solution you’re doing them a disservice by providing them with one. Why? Because your biggest responsibility is to make them think for themselves instead of doing the thinking for them. AKA — handing out a solution. Even if they ask you!
You need to push back and remind them of the enormous value in finding solutions that are the best for them. (And that you freaking won’t ever be able to suggest one that’s the best for them… but that’s a different discussion for some other day I guess.)
Trust me, it’s easier said than done. I’ve learned it the hard way. And at times, you will be tempted to unleash that expert in you and help that poor soul in front of you. If you’re tempted, ever, remember these golden words: SHUT UP!
Resist the temptation.
Teach them to fish. Don’t feed them.