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Shifting to a Coaching Mindset

Image of Shifting to a Coaching Mindset

When someone comes to us with a problem or an opportunity, most of us are all too willing to dive in with all of our experience, intelligence, and expertise to help the person out. We like to be helpful and share our expertise.

Great coaches take a different approach. They assume the other person will likely find a better solution if coached to explore fresh new thoughts and develop their personal capabilities in the process. These coaches see their roles as enhancing the thought processes of others rather than thinking for them or solving their problems.

Great coaches encourage others to think in radically different ways and confront issues that are being intentionally avoided. What have they never tried before? What’s their scariest idea? What’s the most exciting outcome they can imagine? What’s a completely new way of approaching their situation? Great coaches help others see through fresh eyes by challenging the status quo, confronting fears, exploring wild ideas, and developing new ways of thinking.

Great coaches have a distinctive mindset

  1. Great coaches have the perspective that those they lead, regardless of their current performance level, are talented, resourceful, and capable of learning and making their own decisions.
  2. Great coaches see their role as not merely a supervisor but a catalyst for significant change in others.
  3. Great coaches believe they serve their team members best when they hold each of them fully accountable for their own performance and that to do otherwise would dramatically undermine their coaching efforts.

Give yourself a goal. This week, seek to develop new thinking habits by intentionally entering meaningful conversations with three questions in mind:

  • How can I help this person expand their thinking by expanding my own?
  • What assumptions, fears, and beliefs might be limiting this person’s (and my) thinking?
  • How can I encourage this person to think the unthinkable?

Which of the above three questions will be most challenging? What barriers might get in the way? How can you reframe the barriers in a more positive light?

About The Author

Christina Beaulne

Christina is a Senior Instructional Designer for Bluepoint. She is responsible for creating curriculum to help leaders develop their coaching skills to not only achieve personal and organizational goals, but also to create extraordinary impact in the lives of employees and the community at large.

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