This is an excerpt from You Already Know How to Be Great, the New York Times bestseller by Alan Fine, founder of InsideOut Development. Learn more about the most common coaching mistakes here.
When you get down to it, [most coaching] mistakes are a result of the Faith or belief of the coach. As we said earlier in this book, belief drives behavior. So if you don't believe planning is important or you believe that it's a bother and takes too much time, you're going to go into difficult conversations with little or no planning.
If you believe that you really know what's best for someone and that his/her performance will best be improved by simply listening to you and doing what you say, then you're not going to listen to that person or do the things that really engage his/her Faith, Fire, and Focus.
If you believe that what's comfortable for you or what's worked for you in the past is good enough or that your ad-libs are likely better than the questions anyway, you're not going to exercise the discipline to go through the GROW process in a way that will bring the highest performance results.
If you believe coaching should always be a pleasant experience or that you can be comfortable and still get results, you're not going to have the Fire to engage in the difficult conversations that will really make a difference in the life of your performer.
Above all, in coaching, if you don't believe in the power of the learner inside the performer—that curious, confident, wonderfully exploratory, childlike individual that's just waiting to be released—it will be all too easy to keep on judging (good/bad/right/wrong), to keep on trying to change people instead of making it safe for them to explore what they are and what they can do.
When you engage in inside-out coaching, you realize that your satisfaction does not come in being seen as a fountain of great wisdom; it comes in seeing the Faith, Fire, and Focus of the person you are coaching unfold. You realize that this is not about you; it's about them. It's about seeing the learner in them begin to emerge, to peek out, to test the waters, and to say, "Hey, I can do this!"
"I can do it." (Responsibility)
"I can do it." (Possibility)
"I can do it." (Actionability)
That kind of Faith releases Fire, energy, and excitement to perform. That Faith also directs Focus toward the critical variables that create results. And that Focus, in turn, increases Faith and Fire, creating an upward spiral of increasingly improved performance.