Ask More Than You Tell

The best coaches and managers ask more than they tell.

The start of my new role as a development coach was a dive into unknown territory. I went from building things to coaching others to build things to the best of their abilities.

At first, I thought: “OK, here we go. Let’s transfer my knowledge, tips and tricks I gathered throughout the years to the people I coach.” That would be the best way to go, right? Because if those things worked for me, they would be working for others as well.

Things turned out a little different.

A lightbulb moment

It turned out that things that worked for me, might not work for others. Things that worked for me, worked because of my circumstances. They worked because I arranged my life in a certain way. Other people’s circumstances turned out to be quite different. So, the things that worked for me didn’t always work for others.

But if you cannot tell other people what they could do, then what is the role of a development coach or a manager?

It all comes down to this quote:

The best coaches and managers ask more than they tell.

They know what questions to ask, letting other people find the answers themselves. A good coach has another pair of eyes and ears that look and listen to a situation and ask questions. They can judge a situation from a helicopter’s view. They know how to trigger people to approach situations in another, better way.

A development coach turns out to be more of a questioner than a provider of answers. A person who asks more than he tells.

Read more about the 25 micro-habits of high-impact managers.

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