The traditional belief in the field of coaching is that the client has all the answers and that all you have to do as a coach is ask smart directive questions to help someone find their unique way.
This is something that often works in deep explorations.
It represents the essence of coaching because it is so empowering for those who discover how to channel their own truth.
The other perspective is this one:
Sometimes you don’t have time for guess work!
You might need answers and need them fast.
Sometimes you have just a 15 min window with a client and what they want is results!
In these cases, directive targeted advice might be the thing your client needs the most.
As a coach you are not only being paid to be smart at asking questions, validating, listening or challenging!
You are paid as well to be a freakin expert in your field!
If you are a business coach and a client asks you for advice on social marketing, your 10+ years of experience will give them shortcuts that will save them tons of time, money or trouble.
Someone might argue that this is consulting rather than coaching.
My answer is WHO CARES! Call it what you want! Once you start working with clients, coaching and consulting will often overlap.
We are not paid to create expert distinctions in our offering.
We are paid to help our clients get results! Fast!
At least that’s one of the core targets!
So my answer is:
Yes, sometimes taking the time to navigate a challenge with your client with curiosity without offering directive advice can be really helpful.
In other situations what your client might need sounds like:
“Here are 3 steps you can take right that I know will deliver you solid results!”
This is directive targeted advice and it is often the best way to offer value to your clients.
Of course, you can only do that if you are a real expert in your field!
Makes sense, right?