Can you imagine talking about an idea to someone… and at the end of your talk they did not get what you were talking about?
Have you had a coaching moment like that with your coachee?
So, what to do? May I offer two things for your consideration:
1) Use the power of language: Build your idea piece by piece out of concepts that your coachee already understands using language that already exists in his/her mind… her/his language, not yours! Start where he/she is at. Use language to weave together the idea with the terms and concepts your coachee understands. Many coaches forget that the terms and concepts that they utter and live with are completely unfamiliar to their coachees.
2) Use a metaphor. Have you ever thought of using the power of a metaphor? And NOT just a metaphor… again, use pattern or shapes that the coachee already understands; you’ve got to coach where your coachee is at! The right metaphor plays a crucial role in showing how the pieces of an idea fit together.
Example: When Jennifer Khan wants to explain ‘Gene Editing’ using the new biotechnology called CRISPR… she said, “it is as if for the first time you had a word processor… to edit DNA…CRISPR allows you to cut and paste genetic information really easily!“.
A vivid explanation like that delivers a satisfying “aha!” moment … as the idea slips into place into your coachee’s mind.
There you have it… coach your coachee where he/she is at using his/her language – the terms and concepts he/she already knows… and follow it up with the right metaphor…a metaphor that he/she already understands and can relate to… enabling the coachee to get the idea with a resounding “aha!”.