Have you been in a session and felt stumped, like you were unsure where to go with your next question?
How about being in a session that seems to be going nowhere, or when a session appears to go in circles and we as the coach feel lost? I call this the circularity trap.
Circularity feels like we’ve become a dog chasing it’s tail. If feels as if the client is heading nowhere in particular. When circularity is happening, we are stuck looping with our client and not fully able to serve a higher outcome.
Here are three steps out of this tiring loop.
Step One: Recognize it.
Notice any of the following:
Steps Two: Reclaim the session.
Stop the client, at an appropriate time. Confirm the session agenda is still the agenda. If the agenda isn’t clear then now is a great time to firm up the agenda from here on out.
Coaching Key: When there is no clear start, there is no clear stop.
Step Three: Trust in the goal.
When we are newer at coaching, circularity can throw off our confidence. You may need to take a moment to remind yourself to trust in the coaching process and our training so that we can be fully present again. Remember, when we are sitting in self-doubt, we have actually left the client.
Keep in mind circularity in coaching is a very easy trap to fall into and typically results from not honing the agenda as clearly as we thought we had. Sometimes this is because the client unintentionally discovered a new agenda. Sometimes it is because we could have spent more time exploring the agenda and its relevance.
Regardless of the reason, when we observe the looping and reconnect to the desired outcome, we establish forward movement. When we have forward movement, we are in the wonderful flow that we cherish about coaching.
By Laurel Elders, PCC
IICT Founder / Senior Faculty