The other day I accidentally deleted an entire morning of work.
I realized fighting it wouldn't do a darn thing to undelete my work.
Yet, I didn't want to let it go. I needed the work to get done.
So, I chose to fix it and move on!
This very simple categorization is a great coaching tool!
Have a client that is fighting, or pushing, against a situation? This very simple categorization is a great coaching tool!
However, no matter how wonderful, powerful or simple a tool is, if we skip over the human element and jump into action too soon, the results can fall flat.
Coaching teaches us: The most effective time to invite a client into action (the "fix it" or "forget it" part), we must first invite them into a shift, or new perspective, that leaves them feeling empowered.
So, before you get your handy-dandy notebook ready to do this:
Let's first get to the heart of what makes this situation a "fight" for them.
In order to move forward and choose whether or not to "fix-it" or "forget-it", what does the client's heart need first? Do they need to grieve the loss of success? Do they need to be heard and/or understood? Do they need to vent? Do they need to explore what they learned?
Once the heart is addressed, and invited to join the conversation, then the shift is usually not too far behind. Once we hear that shift in tone, openness or excitement, then moving forward with this tool can feel very empowering. Once they've shifted, they have moved into "action ready" mode. When they are action-ready, then they get to choose what needs to go out the window and what needs to get placed on the delegation list.
When I realized I lost all of my hard work by my own human error, my face flushed, I felt hot, I felt angry at myself and I felt complete disbelief.
I wanted to fight it, stamp my feet and have all my work return!
What did I do instead? I chose to use my coaching skills.
I took a deep breath. I sunk into the reality I was faced with. I allowed myself to grieve. I stayed present with myself (one benefit of being a coach right!?).
The emotion passed. I was freed up to decide I needed to fix this. It was then I felt calm enough to begin again. Had I tried to fix it in my upset, I could have created more mistakes or errors from not being present and connected.
This is a small scale example. What about bigger losses, conflicts and inner-fights within ourselves?
Same principle. Once we allow ourselves to address our inner-needs and reconnect with our heart, allowing the emotion to move through, then we return to presence, choice and intention. Then the action becomes much easier to move into and more effective because we feel better.
Application: When you notice your client is stuck in "fight", help them first identify what they are needing at a heart level. Then, when they are ready, help them choose their next action with a heart at peace.
Laurel Inman, PCC
IICT Founder / Senior Faculty