Coaches--What are you afraid of (in your coaching)?


June 16, 2011

Leaders don't often lead without overcoming some level of fear.  Virtually every person of impact can describe a time when they had to put their fear behind them (there's a great scene in LOST where Jack talks about his about it here or watch a clip here).  We are all challenged to manage fear as we move toward our goals.

But what about fear in a coaching relationship?  Is there a space for coaches to feel afraid?  If healthy coaching relationships are all about supporting a leader to move toward their goals, at the core fear doesn't really touch the coach.   But that's not to say there won't be moments where fear is the very center of the coaching conversation.  What strategies can you use when you're coaching to manage fear?  Here are three suggestions.

  • Get the leader talking.  Help the leader you're working with to describe what they're actually afraid of.  Looking for the root cause of the fear is a great way to leverage a coaching conversation.  Use every question (and your listening skills) to unpack the root of the fear.  This only happens in conversation.
  • Ask what is unknown in the situation.  The most common cause of fear is a lack of information or understanding.  Simply focusing your conversation on what the leader might need to know can be tremendously helpful.
  • Pray.  Whether or not you're in an overtly Christian coaching relationship, you, the coach, can pray for the people you coach.  Rely on the fact that we're told 66 times in the Scripture to not be afraid.

What strategies do you use to help the people you coach manage fear?


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