Claire writes: “Some people, I notice, get into full flow as soon as they start a conversation.  And when what they say is interesting, or when it feels like there is much to explore, it’s easy for the coach (or whoever is facilitating the conversation) to dive into the depths very early. For example in the first minute they say ‘I’m needing to be really brave about this piece of work.’  You ask ‘what does being brave look like for you?’ And now you are digging deep into bravery and courage. You led them into that.  They might have just wanted to tell you they were being brave!  And they might have decided that once they’d shared what was going on, the thing they were bringing to the conversation was something else – how they lead, for example.  When you dive in, they will follow you… and you’re taking up the conversation with what interested you!

Conversations aren’t linear.  And they will often dive in as they outline what’s going on.  Listen, notice, and try and avoid digging into that area… until you have both agreed together what you are doing today, how you’ll do it, and how they will know you have.

Sometimes they simply need to download and dip and dive.  Keep them company – listen and notice. You can work out what the work is when they are ready. Nothing in coaching says that you have to rightsize the conversation right at the beginning.  You just need to do it before you dive into the work.”

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