What is your intent?

I REMEMBER COACHING A MANAGER  who was a bit frustrated that his boss didn’t promote him. I started off asking him the usual GROW questions, but soon realized that I was drifting when I heard myself saying:

“So what did your boss say when you told her that you deserved that promotion? What did she say when you gave her your rea- sons and arguments?”

He looked at me and said: “I haven’t told her that … do you think I should?”

“How else can she know how you feel?”

“Well, I guess she can’t. I’m gonna talk to her right after this session.”

We ended the session and I remembered leaving with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I had nudged him (or pushed) by simply assuming something that made him act. On the other hand, I had manipulated him to take the bull by the horn, just so that he would get results faster than sitting idle and complaining. But here’s the thing: It wasn’t up to me to decide his action. That’s not how pure coaching works.

SO, THE REAL QUESTION TO THIS STORY IS: WAS THAT ETHICAL?


Feel free to read the whole article I wrote as a guest columnist for GROW magazine where the theme was ETHICS.

 

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