Both fixer and understander have their place, but in coaching the balance is heavily weighted toward being an understander. Here’s why:
- When we fix a problem for someone:
- They don’t get the opportunity to develop new knowledge and skills.
- They are confirmed as someone unable to solve problems.
- The individual becomes more and not less dependent on you for things going well.
- When we support someone to fix a problem for themselves:
- We build their confidence that they can make good decisions.
- We encourage people to become self-reliant and self-directing.
- We become less needed for future issues.
In essence, being fixer or understander is often about empowerment. Are we giving away our power to empower someone else, or are we making a role for ourselves and empowering ourselves by disempowering others?