One of the most liberating early lessons for novice coaches is that you don't need the answers, only good questions. You don't need to come up with the solutions to be a good coach. In fact, if you do, they're unlikely to add much value. Unlike so many areas of life and work, coaching is one field where arriving as the expert trouble-shooter produces the worst results.
As a coach, you need to haul yourself up when you find you're asking leading questions such as: ‘Don't you think you should try this?’ Instead, shift your vocabulary to messages such as ‘What ideas have you thought of?’ Doing so sets the tone for your clients' creative exploration and ownership of the agenda. See Chapter 6 for more on phrasing effective questions. Chapter 20 features some of the most powerful coaching questions.
Coach and client are collaborators in the client's success. By coming from that place where you as coach know nothing, you create the conditions for the client's self-confidence and self-directed change.