Coaching versus Helping
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Human beings learn by two driving forces: inspiration or desperation.
Most people favour their comfort zone and rarely are inspired to leave this cosy place. But only little – if at all – growth is happening there. Life has a purpose for us in mind, whether we like it or not. That purpose is: learning. But not the learning in the head, the mere act of memorizing stuff, rather real learning that expands our being and bears wisdom!
For that to happen we need to leave our comfort zone. Great inspiration can motivate us doing this. Yet in the absence of inspiration, desperation is the only way life gets us to leave our comfort zones. So, for most people, desperation it is!
Great coaching, great teaching has the power to inspire. Inspiration makes us go beyond ourselves. The value lies in us doing it. When we receive help, its noble but often it prevents growth.
If you meet a starving man you help by giving food. But then you inspire him to grow his own rice. This is the credo of a great coach.
Premature helping leaves others incapacitated to discover their power to help themselves.
One of the reasons why I love real coaching so much lies in its ethics that we coaches refrain from helping except it is absolutely necessary. Yes we would get early lorries for good helping, but what’s the point of making others dependent of us bringing the rice?
People ask for help, because it is convenient. There’s a problem, give me the answer if you know it! No, as a real coach, you wouldn’t! You would ask questions that provoke looking and discovery in the other, until they see something they haven’t seen before!
That’s the AHA- moment, that’s when the light gets switched on, that’s when the penny drops.
A coach needs to learn to have their ego on a very short leash. Too tempting it often is to bestow pearls of wisdom unto our fellow human beings. The ego loves to be adored and derives greatest pleasure and self-importance from it.
It takes humility and patience to not help others, but support them in discovering their own solutions.
The wise seek no help. They seek teachers and coaches who stimulate asking better questions. As Albert Einstein said: “If I had only 1 hour to solve a most vital problem, I’d spend the first 55 minutes on finding the right question; once I got the right question, I can solve any problem in 5 minutes.”
Do you desire to make a real difference for other people? Do you want to bring light and growth to people? Then keep your help on stand-by for emergencies and learn to interact with others by listening, presence and asking better questions.
Ok, I know it can be risky! We all know that Socrates was forced to drink lethal poison because the authorities didn’t want him to make people strong by his way of asking questions. Socrates was the world’s first coach!
with ❤, Marc
P.S.: My most influential teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti ‘tormented’ his audience by repeatedly and endlessly asking deeper and deeper questions that had the enlightening effect to remove pollution from the mind, propel one’s being to higher levels and liberate the heart form fear. I am forever grateful to have met Krishnamurti 3 years prior his passing on. My coaching academy and way of teaching is an ode to him and all other great teachers who don’t help, but make us discover how to fly.