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Coaching Things Learned Lately

Friday August 18, 2017

Meeting with people for coaching sessions recently, some random generalizations:

Some people need, first and foremost, the ability to talk out their situation. There’s nothing wrong with that—it’s just how things are. So with those people I’m testing a coaching model which gives them more of the floor while remaining very directive and results-oriented. Today an ENTP told me he really enjoyed our session, and I was very happy with the outcome myself. He has new and effective methods with which to work, and he’s happier. So the model has grown a bit. For a while there I wasn’t sure I could effectively coach an ENTP, but the answers to problems came quickly this week as I questioned my previous processes and outcomes.

Some people really don’t like to hear themselves talk. (Example: ISFP; some, not all) They sign up for coaching because they know they should, and they were cajoled by someone. Once in the door, they talk more about how they should do this or that, and less about themselves and their motivations. I have a lot of work to do with people like this, but they’re rare in my practice.

Some people really just need an empathetic listener. (Example: ENFP; some, not all) I’m a good listener, so I can cover that base. Eventually they need to make commitments, but they really want to be the one to arrive at those. They want to make my commitments, not my coach’s commitments. That’s fine with me but I also try to gently point out areas for little adjustments here and there.

Generalizing about type is a good way to make trouble for yourself. People develop, they change, they are changed, and so on. As a coach, I build a personal model for the individual first, not the personality type. If I did the latter, I’d be screwed. If I just Googled somebody’s personality type every time I got a test result (wow that would be unethical), my clients would be onto that in a second. Why? Because they are already Googling things themselves! I love that fact. Google is a great first step. Research is a great first step. But the ENTP above wouldn’t have changed his methods that fast through research.

So far I really like this business, and in consultation with many other wise people I’m learning more and more what it means to contribute to the lives of others.

Not exactly an NT pursuit…or is it?

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