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Positive, Lasting Change
by Jane Murphy with Khatun Huber

Coaching is about positive, lasting change.

Coaching is about positive, lasting change. Increasingly, businesses are recognizing the value it brings to the workplace. Coaching isn't "touchy-feely" stuff, although it's based on trust and respect--words often found in corporate values statements!

The coach is a guide in collaborative process that uses listening and questioning to move an individual or group of individuals forward--in their thinking and in their performance. It's a humanistic way to deliver real rewards to those being coached and to the business.

Managers don't have all the answers, nor should they expect to. But they should expect to make the most of their people in order to develop and leverage the capabilities of those they manage.

"What could happen if you do nothing?" is an easy-access resource to help you add coaching skills to your management repertoire or expand the coaching skills you already have. The focus is on how to listen and how to question in order to help employees deepen their thinking and take action to meet challenges and maximize their own potential. It's powerful stuff that, for a manager, goes to the heart of being a leader.


Manager....."You really shifted into high gear just now. I hear conviction behind what you're saying."

Rachel....."You do? I guess this matters more to me than I thought."

Active listening can shine a light, offering new insight to the person doing the talking.


Dave....."Could you repeat that?'"

Manager....."I asked you, 'What could happen if you do nothing?'"

Dave....."Hmmm, I hadn't considered that. I suppose if I did nothing, he might take some initiative, which is exactly what he needs to do on this project."

The right question in the right context can trigger new thinking and more successful interactions.


Manager....."Have you ever considered hitting the pause button when that happens?"

Lori....."I do tend to jump right in. Wouldn't hurt to take a wait and see position


Suggesting a different tactic here offers an alternative to knee-jerk, emotionally charged response. It can set the stage for healthier interactions and faster resolutions. However, a coach's role is to steer the process, to lead her coachee to discovery and changed behavior.

That said, making a suggestion can sometimes prove fruitful, especially if the coach's repeated attempts have failed to elicit from the coachee new thinking, a reframed point of view, or proactive initiatives.

An excerpt from "What could happen if you do nothing?" A Managers Handbook For Coaching Conversations by Jane Murphy with Khatun Huber.

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