A coach’s mindset is like that of a good chess player’s mindset during a game.
A good chess player is solutions centric. Every game presents unique situations at every move… and it requires both players to dig deep in thought … there is no ‘canned problem and solution’. The game of Chess makes them think hard — and their understanding is both deep in depth and wide in breadth — towards a solution.
Coaching is a ‘game’ that makes the coach and the coachee think … towards a solution… given a unique context. This brings us to a certain commonality between Chess and Agile: when asked about a solution to a problem, the answer is … drumroll … ‘it depends’ … you read that right … it is because, again, of the unique context of everything.
However, there are core values, principles and practices that you can use to guide you towards the solution in conjunction with context, powerful questions, and conversations…
Chess is the same… has guiding principles… like ‘control the center of the board’, ‘do not leave your king at the center’, ‘develop your pieces’, ‘do not move your minor pieces twice — you will lose tempo’, etc. The game of the century illustrates these principles.
All these values, principles, and practices can be broken, improved, revised … with good reason. Remember Shuhari?
So… do not be dogmatic in your thinking … instead, be pragmatic… always be thinking of pathways towards the achievement of the desired solution/outcome/goal/objective.
Just like a Chess player, a Coach is solutions centric not problem centric.