Last week I was coaching two very different clients with very different goals and problems.
But the solution for them was the same.
So I thought I’d share it with you.
A lady in her 30s based on the west coast of USA who came to me to help her work through her burnout and plan the next step. She’d quit her burnout-causing job and was taking a short sabbatical to recover.
A man in his 40s based in the UK who came to me to help him get clarity on the next step. He had a senior position at a company he’d been working at for 20 years but he’d lost confidence due to change in management and was wondering whether to stay or go.
You can see they’re quite different situations.
But the solution was the same:
Both had at one point stopped expressing their thoughts and needs to management.
Which resulted in boundaries being crossed.
Which resulted in burnout for one, and self-doubt for the other.
Both wanted to leave.
One did and then got coaching.
One decided to get coaching before he did anything.
With both I wasn’t just a coach.
I also stepped into my other favourite role – the detective.
I asked questions and looked for clues.
Why do I do that?
Because no client comes to me knowing exactly what chain of events and combination of internal and external factors led them to feel how they feel.
So I ask for examples, help them articulate their feelings, debrief situations, unpack their thoughts, and together we piece together the puzzle of what was.
But aren’t coaches meant to be future-focused?
But some clients never had their voice heard.
Managers were too busy.
Deadlines were too tight.
Clients were waiting.
Things had to be done. Yesterday.
So I give them that judgment free space to unpack and boy do they value that space.
A space in their week dedicated to themselves.
A time in their lives to discover themselves more deeply.
So we discovered it was because they didn’t speak up.
What we did next depended on their situation. I’ll talk through Client 2 with you.
We identified where, when and to whom, he needed to speak up and assert his boundaries.
We also practiced the how.
When you’ve been bottling something up for a while and you decide to let it out, it could look something like this.
And that is totally ok.
I gave him the space to get it out.
Then we spoke about all the different ways he could express himself.
We talked through strategies, he picked his favourite and off he went.
It worked a dream.
He was no longer desperate to leave.
He only wanted to leave before because he felt he had no other choice – that things wouldn’t change.
But as soon as he saw that he was able to change the situation, the urgency to leave dissipated, his confidence returned and he was happy at work again.
Over to you
Where are you not expressing yourself?
What is the domino effect of this?
Brainstorm different strategies for expressing your needs and opinions in this situation.
Then pick your fave and go for it.
Has this helped?
I hope this has also helped illuminate how coaching works.
I know coaching can be such an unknown so if you have any questions, leave a comment or DM me on Insta
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