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The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow by Kathleen Stinnett, John Zenger

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Chapter 2Empty Cup, New Tea

Looking at Coaching in a New Way

A friend once made this profound statement, probably borrowed from a wise, ancient philosopher: “Empty cup, new tea.” The friend was trying to convince a group of change-seeking participants that if they truly wanted “new tea” in their lives, they needed to “empty their cups” to make room for the changes. This is a simple but profound concept. And yet, how many of us try to take on something new—whether it is a behavior change, a new goal, a new relationship, or a bigger version of something that we already have in our lives—without asking ourselves the critical question, “What do I need to let go of to make room for this?”

“Empty cup, new tea” aptly applies to the notion of coaching ...

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