Coaching leads with questions. It seeks understanding. It seeks to know what’s important to the other person. It seeks buy-in. It seeks broadening perspectives. It seeks conscious decisions. And, in doing so, opens up the conversation to allow two parties to find solutions and opportunities that align their interests (usually coming out way ahead, collectively, rather than just one party winning more than the other).
Telling is about your agenda. It seeks to direct. It uses your experience and perspective and says, “this is the way I want things done.” It’s not open for discussion. It’s good to use for relaying information that people are seeking, but it’s very limited in leading others.
Selling is also about your agenda. It’s open for discussion, because that discussion will allow you to persuade the other person to buy into your viewpoint. Okay, so I guess it’s not really open for discussion. It’s a discussion that’s meant to guide people. It’s great for debates, but it turns out that it’s becoming less and less effective, even in the field of sales. Selling can be inauthentic in an era in which people are very tuned into authenticity (and in-authenticity).
Yelling is just the frustrated cousin of telling. It seeks to use volume (external or internal) to make its point. It uses force, not power.
Coaching opens conversations up; telling, selling, and yelling close them down.
Consider how much time you spend on each of these, and which one is getting you the results you’re after.
Live on Fire!
D. Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)