Coaching: Stories can lead to solutions

A coaching client came to me to discuss a challenge they had at work.

This client works in an executive role at a large professional services company.

A team member was coming to the executive’s office on a regular basis with seemingly long-winded, rambling and meandering background information about various situations they found themselves in.

The exec was frustrated at how much superfluous stuff they had to wade through, and how the only things of meaning they could pick out were problems, not solutions.

Dealing with this on a near-daily basis was taking a toll.

We sat with the broad topic of working with this team member as a colleague. 

What was my client’s current view of them? 

What other views could they take of who this person was, and what made them tick?

After taking a walk around a few different viewpoints, one suddenly seemed to click.

This team member was a talented storyteller. They used their verbal storytelling ability not just to convey feelings and ideas, but to work through problems.

Recognising that people have different strengths and different learning & communication styles suddenly put a new angle on the situation.

We worked up a simple but compelling question this executive could ask their team member the next time they were looking at how to deal with a challenge.

Tell me a few ways you think this story could end?

The story can lead to the solution.

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