SIDEBAR: Setting Up the Coach Approach

  • Contract — share that you will be approaching from a different perspective.
  • Ask permission to use a different approach.
  • Pray first, and be clear in your mind what you will do different.
  • Practice focused, undistracted listening.
  • Ask focused questions intended to move the person forward.
  • Stay out of problem solving.
  • Allow silences — think about what wait means. Ask yourself, Why am I talking?
  • Stop if you find yourself telling the person what to do and shift to asking questions or summarizing what you are hearing to deepen the learning.
  • Remember that the first few times you use a coach approach, you will feel unnatural. That is okay. Keep learning and practicing, and see what happens.