Chapter 10 Stories that work for coaching

Coaching involves helping people improve, develop or reach certain goals. You may be a qualified coach or may find coaching your employees is part of your job. If you are a manager, you will no doubt play the role of a coach at some stage with your team members.

In any case, the key to coaching is motivating. What better way to do this than with a story?! Storytelling is a great method for getting your team member or group inspired, even excited, or thinking about something differently, with a new perspective, and as an opportunity. We are more likely to take individual responsibility and ownership for something if we’re motivated towards it than if someone simply tells us to do it.

Sometimes the people we are coaching do not agree with the message we’re giving them, or they’re not interested in our point of view. This is especially true in a performance management conversation. However, use a story and whomever you’re coaching is more likely to suspend their own judgement and challenge their thinking. This process is less about telling the person what is wrong and what they should do to correct it, and becomes more about allowing them to come to the realisation themself.

Sharing a story that demonstrates empathy and understanding for someone’s unique situation is also effective. This will involve you showing some vulnerability. For example, if you are coaching someone who lacks confidence, you could share a story about a time you lacked ...

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