Build People, Don’t Solve ProblemsDec 7th, 2010 | By Tony Stoltzfus | Category: Transformational Coaching
Build People, Dont Solve Problems
As coaches, we can choose to focus on becoming or on doing: on preparing peoples character for eternity or on making sure things are done right today. In practical terms, we can build people or we can solve problems. Transformational coaching is about building people. This approach is a far more powerful method of producing leaders, and yields long-term results (in this life alone) that are orders of magnitude greater than merely solving problems. Heres an example.
Not long ago I coached a woman who was trying to decide whether to buy a new home as an investment. The more we talked, the more it seemed that shed done a fair amount of planningshe knew what she could afford and what kind of property she wanted. She had talked to a number of friends and advisors and had gotten their opinions. When I asked how she was going to make the decision, she replied that she planned to ask a brother she respected who was a realtor, and whatever he advised shed go with.
That last statement made me curious! Shed mentioned several times that she had sought council, but she never shared her own opinion about what to do. So I inquired, What would it take for you to feel confident enough to make this decision without asking anyone elses opinion?
After pondering a while, she answered, Id need to know that God had spoken to me.
So how would that look? I challenged. How do you know when God has spoken to you?
That question opened up a deeper discussion hearing Gods voice. She admitted she didnt have very much confidence in her ability to hear God, but she was hungry to learn.
So lets look at this situation in terms of doing or becoming. Which would be the most life-changing outcome: for this woman to make the right decision about an investment property, or for her to learn to confidently hear Gods voice? If she makes the right decision, Ive helped her today. But if she develops confidence in her ability to hear God, Ive impacted every decision she will make for the rest of her life.
If you want to help your clients in the short-term, focus on solving problems. If you want to see them radically transformed for life, concentrate on building people. Transformational coaching produces far-reaching change because it prioritizes who you are becoming over what you are doing. The question isnt , Are you succeeding? or Did you do the right thing? but What are you learning? and How is this changing you? In most situations, who you become is a much more significant outcome than what you do.