“Give a man a fish and he will feed for a day. Teach him to fish and he will feed for a lifetime”. The wonderful Chinese proverb, albeit a little gender imbalanced, that underpins any coaching philosophy. If you provide the person you want to coach with the answers, they will never go through the journey. Without the journey, there is very little learning about themselves, the skill or the resilience to keep trying when adversity strikes.

Implementing this proverb into your leadership tool kit is not only supremely important to help your employees grow and learn but it also gives you back time. If an employee is continually asking for help with a process or a problem, without providing them tools to succeed in that process or problem both you and them with suffer the consequences. The person will not feel empowered, they won’t dig into their creativity and they won’t look to others to building connections and support. You will be constantly distracted by those seeking guidance and assistance from you.

Empower people in your workplace or in your life to learn and grow. Coach them to learn a new skill, coach them to build confidence and coach them to get feedback on how their learning will feed them for a lifetime. To coach or teach someone also means supporting their journey, listening, guiding them and asking their opinion because almost all they time, they have the answer.

When a person seeks out a coach, often they are seeking an answer. If the answer is given to them, there is so much a person is missing out on. There are risks it could be the wrong answer, the destination may change throughout the journey and with an answer, they will never learn the process of trying new things in the future. No one, not even a coach has the answers for another person and if they are to grow and live a full and healthy life, they are going to need to learn how to fish.

For a further conversation about coaching, please contact me: louise.bodlander@llbc.com.au or my contact page

May 2017

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