The Dreaded “What do you think?” Question
Sometime in our coaching practice, invariably a client will turn to us and ask, “What do you think?” We know how to turn the question back to them to help them find the answer within themselves. On one occasion the client responded, “I hate it when you do that.” Another time, the client shot back, “I know what you’re doing. Why can’t you just give me your opinion?”
No matter our training, experience, or certification, when I have asked other coaches how they have handled this or similar situations, they admit they must dig deep and rely on their training because they are often tempted to reply to the question. One such coach told me she used the client’s questions to them to consider why they might want her opinion. Another coach, when asked what her opinion was, asked her client, “What do you hope my opinion is.”
Because every client and situation are unique, there is no right or wrong response. Whether the client is asking for validation or approval, out of curiosity or fear, it is important to remember it is their process and their growth and “not about us.”
We can do this best when we manage our response and stay focused on the client’s expectations and the outcome they wish to experience.
So, what do you think?