The Coaching Spectrum
Socrates saw himself as 'midwife of understanding'. He believed that one could help people understand, but that one could not make people understand – just as midwife delivers, but does not give birth to the child.
Similarly, the coach is a 'midwife of skill building', not typically a highly preachy teacher. And the coach’s most important decision is whether to issue an instruction or to ask a question – or to use a style of interaction somewhere between these two extremes.
At work, many bosses rely on telling others – directly or indirectly – what to do, and sometimes, how to do it. But as a coach, it’s important to have a broader range of approaches in your repository.
Often, the pivotal question is more powerful than the instruction. So, going forward, try asking a few good questions where you might otherwise have issued an instruction or jumped into providing advice.