Though coaching at its purest is very much about meeting your client where they are, a question also arises as to how a coach can appropriately educate and enlighten. Information and knowledge is a key to advancement and very often coaches possess this wisdom but are not quite sure how to share.
In truth the best coaches are also teachers. They are blessed with an uncanny ability of presenting knowledge in a very receptive way because they are doing it with a sense of purpose for their client. One underlying theme that goes with all of this surrounds coaches being of service and recognizing the “appropriateness” of what is trying to be achieved. This can be best illustrated by following these guidelines:
Share information that is beneficial to the other person and not something that makes you sound smart. This can be defined very simply as something that helps to positively advance the client and what they are working on.
Sometimes a client may not be ready for certain information or receptive to its implications. Choose your timing so that the recipient sees it as a potential to helping rather than a distraction or adding to any overwhelm is critical.
Sharing information so that it is not directing or imposes expectations is critical to the receptivity of information. Presenting as a suggestion via questioning or somebody else’s similar experience can be very effective. (For example, somebody I knew in a similar situation did x, how would you feel about that?)
Coaching and teaching can coexist very well and lead to a very positive and constructive learning environment. Those who can appropriately manage this blend end up being great coaches and of optimum service to their clients (and also great leaders).