Book: Coach the Person, Not the Problem

I really got a lot out of Coach the Person, Not the Problem [Amazon]. Whilst the content was covered in the courses I took, it approached it in a different way – deconstruction versus experiential – and that was really helpful for solidifying my learning.

At it’s core, it’s about switching your focus to the person, because the temptation to focus on the problem is what leads to advice, solutionizing etc. By focusing on the person, you make them bigger than the problem and support them through the process of deciding themselves what they want to do.

Reflective enquiry is about making people feel really heard. By reflecting back to them you allow them to see themselves more clearly, define steps forward. Sometimes people have the impression that coaching is passively asking open ended questions. Reflective enquiry is crucial for more effective coaching. It helps the person step back and see their actions / themselves from another perspective.

In terms of the writing, one thing I really appreciated about this book was that it took the time to really explore the topic without feeling excessive. As such, it took me a while to read it, but I felt the time was worthwhile. Definitely recommend if you want to better understand coaching.