Basic Coaching Habit #9: Be Sensitive to Differences

9747370-coaching34 Leaders from 10 countries joined together for four days and developed these “Basic Coaching Habits for anyone asked to be a “coach”.  When coaching someone, we must:

#8)  Be Sensitive to Differences.  The two of us are not the same. We may look the same and be from the same place and even do the same thing, but we are not the same.  There are many ways that we are different.  Realize this and be aware of it.

There are many difference that are obvious.  There are many that are not.  Some we can see and some we cannot. Some we can discuss, others we can’t begin to explain.

When we are trying to coach someone, we can never assume that we think the same way about things, or that we value things the same way. We need to clarify and define, we need to discuss and listen, we need to spend time to understand where we are the same and how we are different.

For example, consider these three areas:

1.  Everyone has a set of values.  It is how we decide if something is important or not.  We each value different things in different ways.  Our values will drive us toward our goals and our goals will determine what we do with our life.  Our values are the main reason we are different.  Until we understand the values of the other person, we may never understand some of the thinking and decisions.

2. We all have different dreams and ambitions.  Sometimes it is very hard to explain them to another person.  Sometimes it is hard to explain them to ourselves. Those dreams and ambitions will drive our activities.  They will provide the priorities for our decisions.  They will determine whether we work on something or we don’t.  If we have no idea what dreams the other person has, we may find it very difficult helping them find motivation.

3.  Everyone has a different answer to the age-old question, “What is Truth?”  We may think we all agree, but when it comes to acting out our belief of what is true, we may be very different.  “Truth” will affect our friendships, convictions, conversations and actions.  It will affect how we feel about ourselves.  Until we know what the other person thinks about “truth”, we may always be guessing about what they think.

We cannot assume that just because we look-alike or like some of the same things, that we are alike in all things.


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