I remember speaking to a solicitor once about coaching, and he said “It sounds a bit…….Californian.” And I do not think he meant it in a good way.
Yet the solid application of reason forms a major part of coaching. Any problem needs to be analysed before is can be solved, or processes established to improve performance. Many coaching issues come down to solving a dilemma or making a decision. The simplest thing to do is to decide on priorities and make a list of pros and cons. Other decision-making tools can of course be used. Merely emoting a decision is not sensible.
Thus coaching lawyers on their first 90 days in a new job involves learning from the mistakes of others, and using a research based structure to analyse the situation that the individual faces. The data that they are able to collect feeds into that structure. And structure there is – when you have only 90 days to make your mark, there is no merit in thrashing round aimlessly.
Now, people are not wholly rational, so it would be wrong to ignore the role of emotion. Indeed this will be the subject of a future post. But unconstrained emotionalism means that you make poor decisions and makes you easier to manipulate.