How to use coaching to help someone do something better that they don’t know they need to do better!

To get you thinking about how to do this, list the pros and cons of two different approaches to a lockdown learning situation that happened to me a couple of weeks back.

In the same day I witnessed my 2 adult kids rinse out a smoothie bottle using about 3 gallons of water each! These were separate incidents and I used two different approaches to promote the idea that the environment could benefit from a different strategy…

Option 1 – “you’re wasting water! Just put a little bit in, put the lid back on, give it a good shake then pour the water away”

Option 2 – “if saving water was your goal, how else could you rinse that bottle?”

Pros and cons?

Option 1 – I gave them a strategy that worked but I think they’ll mostly remember I made them feel embarrassed at doing something wrong.

Option 2 – they came up with an effective solution, but I think they felt a bit patronised and that I was disappointed they hadn’t worked this out already.

Having used option 1 first, regretted it and then had the chance to make amends, it reminded me that including the goal they’re not aware of in a question is a useful coaching tool. The key is to avoid your question feeling patronising, but with practise this can be done – “this is great but if we wanted to retain some budget to road test this, how could you adapt your approach? or “as you move this forward I can see a role for other teams across the business, how can you start to get them involved from the outset?”.

As always, learning from experience is key and over the next few weeks you’ll hopefully have a chance to use your skills on more than just your family!!

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