Ask vs Tell Coaching | 6 Shocking Techniques

The ability to tell the difference between ask vs tell coaching is important if you plan to be or hire a great coach. With the advancement in every sphere of life, the need for certain developmental processes has increased in almost every institution of society. Take any field of work or academic discipline; we always require guidance in order to do what we do as best as possible.

This is where coaching comes in as a method through which people are taught and trained skills that help them give their best outcome at work, no matter what field they are a part of.

When we hear the word coaching, we usually think of sports and coaches who train sportsmen. However, that is not the case at all. In fact, coaching has become such a widespread process that today almost every field has its own type of coaching.

There are various styles that are commonly applied by coaches to maximize the abilities and skills of their clients. We shall talk about Ask vs Tell coaching to elaborate further.

Also, read this Article on Life Coaching Books

ask vs tell coaching

Ask vs Tell Coaching

In any professional setting, every person who is at the position of a leader at the workplace or an organization, it often becomes an arduous task to decide whether you should ask or tell her subordinates to do their job effectively. When you ask, you usually employ the following:


The tell approach includes advising your employees what to do in the light of your own experiences and knowledge. While advising somebody to do something certainly results in a positive outcome, it usually hinders their own capacity to think of a solution to the problem at hand.


Another approach that is known as consulting also comes under the broader category of ‘tell’ coaching. This refers to giving expert advice to the employees or clients, which again is a one-way process. Consulting might help the organization or the individual in getting their task done; however, the chances of growth remain dull.

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The approach of mentoring in tell coaching is similar to advising and consulting. There is no doubt that all these forms of coaching are applied in a good spirit; they do not really yield great outcomes when it comes to clients’ development and personal growth.

In contrast, to tell coaching, studies have come up with another form that we know as ‘ask coaching.’ Let’s now overview some of the elements of ‘ask’ coaching and see which one of the two seems more effective when it comes to maximizing the efficiency of clients.


In ask coaching, the coach asks rather than advising, mentoring, or consulting the client. When you ask, you pay the way for creativity to flow and ideas to develop. This brings a sense of autonomy to the client, and he feels that he has the capability to carry out a certain task himself.

Enhanced Cognitive Abilities

Ask coaching involves asking the client about their challenges, obstacles, and outcomes they wish to overcome. By engaging them in ask coaching, they find ways to explore their potential, which, as a result, enhances their cognitive abilities.

Creative Problem-Solving

A person who’s allowed to make his own choices is more likely to perform than the one who is just told what to do and how to do it. Ask coaching provides that opportunity and enriches the clients’ creative problem-solving abilities.

Also, read this Article on Life Coaching Books

leadership by asking

Final Word

Ask vs tell coaching styles are used differently in organizations by leaders and employers. Used to get their employees or subordinates to work, they do not get the same results. When we compare the two, we come to find that ask coaching yields better results than telling coaching. It gives the client a sense of being in control of his choices. Plus, the end product tends to be more enriched as compared to the telling approach.