Coaches – Don’t Get Caught in These Coaching Pitfalls

Being a coach is a big responsibility. You are dealing with people’s lives and the decisions that they make about their lives. That is a basic thing to remember. It is not your life, it is your client’s life. You have no say in how they decide to live their lives. You can only ask questions so that they can make those decisions in an informed manner. Unfortunately many coaches forget this or worse, do not get or understand this very basic principle of coaching. All novice coaches go through a struggle learning not to take on their client’s life, not to tell them what to do and not to direct the conversation.

Coaching takes practice and good coaches never stop practicing. They also constantly continue to work on their coaching skills either through courses or with a mentor coach or both. Below are some of the coaching pitfalls that they work to avoid and overcome.

  1. Asking leading questions.
  2. Asking closed ended questions.
  3. Getting caught in the client’s story.
  4. Giving advice and telling the client what the coach would do.
  5. Following the coach’s agenda rather than the client’s agenda.
  6. Making judgments about what the client should or should not do.
  7. Letting the client ramble.
  8. Not interrupting when necessary to refocus the client on his agenda.
  9. Thinking about what to say to or ask the client next.
  10. Setting goals and action steps for the client.
  11. Not getting to beliefs and dealing with them.
  12. Staying on surface issues.
  13. Not giving the client time and space to think.
  14. Dealing with the presenting problem rather than the issue.
  15. Not taking enough time to identify the real issue.
  16. Dealing with more than one issue at a time.
  17. Thinking the client is a friend and treating them as such.
  18. Breaking confidentiality.
  19. Worrying about their own needs instead of the needs of the client.
  20. Not getting to the goal setting stage.
  21. Not understanding how to use assessments properly.
  22. Using poorly validated and unreliable assessments.
  23. Having a limited array of techniques and methods of coaching.
  24. Not listening well thus not following the client.
  25. Not using the client’s own words to direct the next question.
  26. Not challenging the client’s assumptions.
  27. Not unearthing the client’s self-limiting beliefs.
  28. Not helping the client replace their self-limiting beliefs with empowering beliefs.
  29. Not checking for take – always from the session.
  30. Not having the client recap the session.

This is just a start on the pitfalls coaches can get trapped in. There are many, many more. You can see how easy it is to get tripped up on some of these. If you need a good mentor coach or coaching school I would be happy to help you find the ones that will meet your needs.