This is a phrase many people have heard (or used) in an effort to encourage a coachee to perform in a given manner; to follow a process or communicate in a certain way. The challenge with ‘Tell’ is that it’s a didactic, instructional method of development and educational research highlights how inefficient this is as a means of learning and subsequently turning knowledge into behaviour.
Tell is a one way street. Tell is trainer-driven, not learner-focused. Tell is as far away from getting inside the learner’s world as you can get. In Tell there is no ownership by the coachee, no personal responsibility, no inner search for solutions and choices, no referencing to explicitly described standards of performance, just a requirement to comply with rote learning. Tell is a personal development strategy built on assumption – an assumption that the coachee will comply with repeated instruction.
This is an ineffective method of creating personal ownership and responsibility for performance. In Continue & Begin Fast Coaching® we encourage the coachee to reflect on her behaviour, measured against a set of ‘published’ explicit standards. The explicit standards are the reference points, the benchmarks.
This is why in Continue & Begin Fast Coaching® we rarely, if ever, provide the answers. We may nudge, we may ask questions, we may refer to the explicit standards. We do not Tell.
Continue & Begin Fast Coaching® works so well because it encourages self-awareness and self-discovery, not Tell.