Claire writes: “One of the commonest questions I am asked by people doing one to ones at work is “what do I do when the person I am talking to says they have no idea how to move forward?”

That’s probably because there is a high risk of us telling them what to do.  But if we want to help people find their own solutions and take more responsibility, that’s not the only way.  In coaching, we often scope options – so you could do nothing, or you could do <extreme>. What else could you do?  What would so and so say?  It’s even fine to throw in some other possibilities, as long as you don’t press for your preferred option. Telling and selling our ideas takes up the other person’s valuable thinking time.

Senge’s Five Disciplines suggest the difference between tell and sell and tell and coach. ‘So you could do this or this or this,  what else? Now you know that, what do we need to do here to help you move forward?’ A coaching style means we don’t have the last word.”

© 2014 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to
Subscribe to 3D Juggling