Are you giving advice too soon?

When I was working on my doctorate, part of my schooling involved training new students just starting their Masters in Counseling.

There was one thing that EVERY new counseling student did (myself included) that caused their clients to shut down.

And that was to offer advice too soon.

Each week, I would sit in a small conference room with two masters level students and we would role play a counseling session. One student would be the client, the other would be the counselor.

The client would start sharing a challenge that she was facing and the counselor would start giving advice within a few minutes.

"What if you did ________________?"

"Have you thought of __________________?"

And on and on.

Basically, the counselor would find out a tiny bit of the client's situation and go into advice mode almost immediately.

And what happened was that the client didn’t feel heard.

And I could see her shut down.

She'd be nodding her head, but it was pretty obvious she stopped being engaged.

And I was pretty sure she'd heard that advice before.

See, by the time our clients come to us, there's a good chance they’ve already gotten a ton of advice from pretty much every friend and family member they’ve spoken to about their challenge.

I haven’t met a human on this planet who doesn’t love to give advice and offer their opinion, have you?

Now, I know as coaches, our job IS to offer advice a large part of the time, but we need to fully understand the person and their situation first.

That's what makes coaching so amazing. We get to personalize our coaching to our clients — their personality, strengths, and weaknesses.

But we can't do that unless we fully understand them and their situation.

If you have clients right now, maybe reflect on whether there is anything else you could learn about them that could help you help them.

And if you don't have any clients right now, just keep this idea in your back pocket until you're ready.

As always, I hope this serves you.

With love & joy,


P.S. Is there someone in your life who could benefit from reading this post? Why not share this with them?

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