Coaching is like jazz...or at least like music!

By Jonathan Reitz

August 1, 2014

Based on the feedback I got on my last post, I’ve decided to run with this idea a little bit. These posts are going to be a little bit about coaching, but more about a lifestyle–you know, a way of life.

Maybe it’s a lifestyle of coaching, but I’d like to think of it as a life influenced by coaching skills…changed and informed by coaching skills.

Starting with a question changes things. I dream about that difference. You’re forced to put yourself and your thoughts on the back burner and really pay attention to the other person. You open yourself to a relationship. That takes nerve as well as skill.

Saxman on the streetThink about it like music. Music requires a relationship.

Someone plays or sings. Someone listens. Two equal parts with different roles and different responsibilities.

Without one portion of the relationship, the music is incomplete. Without the musician, there is no music. Without the listener, what did the music really accomplish?

For music to achieve it’s ultimate aim–to make people feel something–both participants in the relationship feed off each other. The listener welcomes the musician onto the stage or into the spotlight, and invites them to offer something. The musician shares their giftedness…the listener responds. The listener claps…the musician is inspired. It cycles like this in some pretty incredible ways–check out John Coltrane, BB King, Yo Yo Ma, Vince Gill or Kanye’s work.

When you find an artist you like, you start to form a relationship with the artist. When it works, there’s nothing like it.

The relationship goes both ways. And without both parts, something is missing.

Starting with a question sets you up the same way. You invite the otherperson to offer something. When/if they do, you get to share your reaction, just like when you go listen to your favorite musician.

Coaching is much the same. The coach might welcome the person being coached with a question. The leader offers something. The coach responds. The relationship takes off.

That’s the lifestyle of coaching.

What do you think? What would happen if you offered something in your next conversation, even an invitation for the other person to respond? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments…


Get Every Blog Post Sent to Your Inbox

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

 This post appeared originally on   For more from Jonathan Reitz, please click here.

Jonathan ReitzJonathan Reitz has a number of impressive titles at CoachNet Global (Chairman/CEO/Guy with Coffee).  Jonathan has been coaching for over 10 years and has worked with over 500 clients in the church, the non-profit sector and the business world. 

  “Coaching plays a part in the kind of leadership the world needs,” says Jonathan Reitz.  “I want to be a part of that.”

For a daily coaching question from Jonathan Reitz, follow him on Twitter @jonathanreitz  Or, you can email him at or by phone at 440.550.4374.

Comments - Post a Comment

Post A Comment

Name: (*Required)
Email: (*Required)
- Not Displayed With Comment

Related Topics
« Back to Blog