Hello and welcome to my latest blog from Elnor's Corner, the safe space to explore and develop your leadership potential. In my blogs I attempt to promote the use of professional coaching, to de-mystify some of the complexity and point people to some rich material around that might support them in their development and growth. Of course coaching with me might also be part of that :-).
This post is about Advice Monsters. Michael Bungay Stanier introduces these really eloquently in the video embedded at the bottom of this Blog, but before you go there let me explain a bit.
Honest answer please! How easy do you find it not to give someone advice? Even if they are asking you for it. If you answered easy, ha! I don't believe you. It's hard and it takes practice. Although, we all do it because it is natural to want to help people.
But is giving advice really helpful to people when it comes to the course of action they need to take? Maybe yes but maybe, just maybe not.
Why is this important? Well, especially for coaching, your role is to enable people to work things out for themselves with your help and support. I suggest that this does not involve giving advice.
Our advice monsters in the guise of "Tell it, Save it and Control it" are all to happy to help, but when they do they can undermine and decrease the power of the other person. In the coaching world, it is quite easy for people who are seeking answers to complicated questions to ask the big whammy "What do you think I should do?". This is a trap for the un-initiated and might best be answered simply "I'm not you." In the coaching space we ask our coachees to do the hard work of finding their own answers, taking responsibility for their actions without the advice of others. The best thing a coach can do is "stay curious longer" and encourage the coachee to seek their own truth.
I've heard about coaches who believe that if they speak for 75% of the session they are making sure the client is getting value for money. Hmmm....there's some food for thought.
If you are a coach or someone who aspires to be a coach or would like to be coached or just want to be a better listener in general, this video by Michael Bungay Stanier is for you. He is very entertaining and gets his point across really well.
Enjoy and please get in touch if you are interested in finding out more. firstname.lastname@example.org
As ever I'd love to hear your thoughts.