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Coaching the Person, Not the Problem

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What’s in This Book

In part I, I will clarify what practices are needed to have a conversation focused on coaching the person to better think through dilemmas. Since the word coaching has been applied to a range of activities, I want us to begin with a common understanding of the framework we will be exploring.

Chapter 1 explains why this method of coaching—reflective inquiry—is so powerful in changing minds and leading to long term behavioral change. I’ll describe how reflective inquiry maps to the brain science around insight formation, an important element in learning, and how coaching supports clients to explore their thinking in a way they can’t do themselves.

The first chapter also takes a look at the ideal moments to put on a coaching hat. Coaching isn’t intended to be used in all situations. You will annoy your employees, friends, and spouse if you’re always a coach. You need good reason and sometimes, permission. You’ll find a list of scenarios considered good opportunities for coaching.

Chapter 2 explores five beliefs that have thrown the intention of coaching off track. I will explain each one, why all of them are true only some of the time, and how they limit the effectiveness of coaching when interpreted as rigid rules. I will also offer an alternative opinion for each belief with examples showing how it works within the context of the coaching relationship.

Part II, the heart of this book, will give you an understanding of and ways to implement the five essential practices for breakthrough coaching:

  1. Focus—coaching the person, not the problem
  2. Active Replay—playing back the pivotal pieces for review
  3. Brain Hacking—finding the treasures in the box
  4. Goaltending—staying the course
  5. New and Next—coaxing insights and commitments
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