Coach the Person, Not the Problem: A Guide to Using Reflective Inquiry

Coach the Person, Not the Problem: A Guide to Using Reflective Inquiry

by Marcia Reynolds


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From a founding member of the coaching movement comes a detailed guide to mastering one of a coach's toughest skills: thoughtfully reflecting clients' words and expressions back to them so they see themselves and their world through new eyes.

"Coaches rely far too much on asking open-ended questions," says Marcia Reynolds. But questions only seek answers—inquiry provides insight. When, instead of just questions, clients hear their thoughts, opinions, and beliefs spoken by someone else, it prompts them to critically consider how their thinking affects their goals. Reynolds cites the latest brain science to show why reflective inquiry works and provides techniques, tips, and structures for creating breakthrough conversations.

This book will free coaches from the cult of asking the magical question by offering five essential practices of reflective inquiry: focus on the person, not the problem; summarize what is heard and expressed; identify underlying beliefs and assumptions; unwrap the desired outcome; and articulate insights and commitments. Using these practices, combined with a respectful and caring presence, helps create a space where clients feel safe, seen, and valued for who they are. Coaches become change agents who actively recharge the human spirit. And clients naturally dive deeper and develop personalized solutions that may surprise even the coach.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781523087839
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication date: 06/02/2020
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 149,855
Product dimensions: 6.06(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Marcia Reynolds, PsyD, Master Certified Coach, is president of Covisioning, a leadership training and coaching firm. She holds a doctoral degree in organizational psychology and master's degrees in education and communications. She is a former International Coaching Federation global president and has been hired by organizations to teach coaching skills across Southern Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Russia, China, and North America. She is the author of five books, including Outsmart Your Brain, Wander Woman, and The Discomfort Zone.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Asking Questions Is Not the Same as Inquiry 1

Part I What Is a Coaching Conversation? 9

1 What Makes Coaching the Person So Powerful? 19

2 Crazy Coaching Beliefs 35

Part II The Five Essential Practices 51

3 Focus: Coaching the Person, Not the Problem 55

4 Active Replay: Playing Back the Pivotal Pieces for Review 63

5 Brain Hacking: Finding the Treasures in the Box 89

6 Goaltending: Staying the Course 111

7 New and Next: Coaching Insights and Commitments 137

Part III The Three Mental Habits 149

8 Align Your Brain 155

9 Receive (Don't Just Listen) 167

10 Catch and Release Judgment 177

Wrap-Up: Beyond the Conversation: Coaching as a Lifestyle and a Culture 189

Notes 195

Acknowledgments 201

Index 203

About the Author 209

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