(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


A request or question comes up and you respond. If you respond quickly, you are said to be responsive. An attractive trait. If you’re in a business and have a reputation for being responsive, that’s a positive attribute.

Responsive is best when there is no emotional ‘charge’ to your delivery. You are being the conduit, servicer, deliverer. What you’re responding to is not about you. It’s about the item or service or question which has been requested.

But sometimes, in being responsive, we may inject our (unasked-for) opinion. If we sense it’s not wanted or expected, we may then push our view a little more. We may be trying to be right.

This distinction may be of particular use to coaches (maybe only coaches!) because of our unique and intimate relationships with our clients. Occasionally the coach may push a point of view beyond what is in the best interest of the client because, well, dad-burn-it, we’re right!

No, we’re not. Our job is to evoke the client’s truth, not supply it. Coaching is evoking. There is no room for trying to be ‘right.’


Coaching Point: Does that sound about right to you?


Copyright 2018 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.