Fix or Facilitate? Master the Engagement
As a coach or manager/coach, it is natural to want to help others out. It’s in our DNA. The thing to think about is how we choose to help out. Over the years, I’ve learned the value of playing the explorer in partnership with my clients.
When I am in the co-explorer mode, my client’s really start to light up. They might have specific problems or concerns that I have some experience dealing with. It’s tempting to engage in conversation about how that could be handled, discussed, or resolved. That’s fixing, offering my own insights.
The coach or manager/coach who takes a step back from resolving and fixing is in for an amazing experience. When a solution is presented, it is a solution from the culminated life experience, knowledge, logic, and skills of the person presenting the solution. If the solution is presented by the coach or manager/coach it is their solution. If the solution comes from the client or employee, it is a solution that is designed from the individual’s own strengths, insights and wisdom.
When the client experiences this, so many things start to shift in a positive way for them. Self-awareness, confidence and self-empowerment grows, and they see themselves differently. They see their own greatness.
From the coach or manager/coach perspective a greater understanding of the individual’s map of their own world expands. The coach or manager/coach begins to see the many different and varied ways people challenge themselves, create solutions and motivate themselves. It is fascinating to watch this unfold.
Facilitating exploration and creating awareness is part of the masterful coach’s toolset. I like to imagine myself an explorer traveling to different lands – the land of the client. I use the word ‘explore’ with my client. You may want to take a few minutes to consider what questions and methods you use to engage with others as an explorer.
In a recent Signal Coaching program I was co-facilitating we had a chance to hear a variety of different ‘explorer mode’ responses to a given scenario. Coaches and manager/coaches from different backgrounds and experiences all provided insightful contributions. We all learned so much in the group interaction.
It was even more exciting to receive post-meeting feedback that this concept of fixing vs. facilitating was something that was a true ah-ha moment. There was learning, and more importantly was the desire and passion to step up to exploring and step down from fixing.
How do you facilitate exploration and create awareness when talking with your clients or employees?