Here are my favorite quotes from the book The Coaching Mindset: 8 Ways to Think Like a Coach by Chad W. Hall.
Rather than tell people what to do, I helped people tell themselves what to do.
Don't try to solve the problem for them, help them to get to the solution themselves.
When you think the highest value you bring to your coaching client is your intellect, your brilliance, your awesome problem-solving abilities, your creativity, or your whatever, you get in the way. That's because coaching is about bringing out the intellect, brilliance, awesome problem-solving ability and creativity of your client. Coaching is a chance for the client to shine, not for you to shine.
The coach's brain works not to solve, but to facilitate the client's solving. The coach's brain is not trying to think two, three, or four steps ahead, but to be with the client in the present moment as she thinks.
I am suggesting that you treat the coaching conversation like an adventure movie in which the client is the star, the hero, the main character, and the one moving the action forward.
The bigger the client's challenge, the more important it is to let the client be the hero.
After all that thinking you might finally ask, “What can you do to make this a priority?” The problem here is that your question is the result of too much processing. A far better question would be the first question you asked yourself: “What do you mean by stuck?”
Great coaches train themselves to notice their own thinking and to stop or back up the thinking process so they say simple, primitive stuff that invites the client to process.
Primitive questions are powerful invitations for the client to explore something. Like: What do you make of that? How should we get started? Where are we in this conversation? What about that is really important to you? What's a good way to unpack this? What's your decision-making process need to be?
Whatever your client says, just go with it. Go with positivity, curiosity and a spirit of “Yes.”
The enemy of curiosity is judgment. On the other hand, curiosity opens up the learning process.
Pretending to know or assuming you know is a bad thing.
This sounds like a really important issue for you. What's the best way for us to get started with it?
Don't re-live the things your clients share as if it happened to you.
Your ability to remain somewhat objective is one of the greatest gifts you can give your client because it becomes the bridge to greater insight. Your objectivity merely enables you to invite the client to get on the balcony where he can see himself and his situation more clearly.