Posted by: wellness training services | January 10, 2013

Real clients. Real questions.

One of our new coaches asked some wonderful questions which are worth sharing with others. She said:


She asked: As I get started, I wanted to get feedback on how the first coaching appointment could be structured.  I made my first attempt with my husband to go over feedback from the assessments, but felt woefully inadequate compared to the 2 or more days we spent in class on these assessments! I’m sure some of this is just awkwardness at doing something new and for the first time, but would love to hear what
others are doing.


I replied:  This is exactly how you will feel once you start to work with some of the forms/processes.  So, you are right on track.  You will see that you will start with some forms, along the way experiment with other forms, find that for each person, a form, a process, or a structure will change with that person’s needs and with whatever shows up in each case.  The awkwardness for any of us as move from being a novice at a certain activity to be
more experienced, will diminish over time. That is why the 120 hour of case studies and the 48 hours of peer coaching. This will build your confidence and ensure that you gain flexibility in your approaches with each individual case and will diminish the awkwardness around being a coach to others. This takes practice and patience and perseverance.

She continued: Danielle, I’m guessing many people start out similar by looking at these assessments.  Do you have any structure around this?  It was a little different trying to do this one on one using my experience in class where it was group activities and discussion.  How do you approach this differently in a one on one setting?
I replied: The structure is as follows: COACHING OVERVIEW PROCESS

Process Summary – I

1. We start by asking our client where they are and what are they working on presently?

2. We help our client see themselves as a whole system composed of a mental, social, and physical sides. Each part affects the whole. Using various assessments such as YOU, MBTI, or/and Wholistic Framework, we facilitate pinpointing what needs attention at this point in their lives.

3. We work with them to identify their personality preferences which often influences how they see life and how they interact with others. The Conflict Management Style can often pinpoint what is in their way.

4. We help them flush out and define 1 or 2 goals that will help them move forward.


Process Summary – II

1. When the client is ready, we facilitate going deeper. We can use some of the other tools such as the Duncker Diagram, The Critic’s Voice, etc.

2. We assist them in using various tools to flush out the problem by using the Post-It Notes method if appropriate to continue to make distinctions in identifying Present State versus the Desired State.

3. Once we have a list of Obstacles, we assist them in turning them into Stepping Stones and looking for resources or supporting people to help them close the gap.


Process Summary – III

1. Along the way, we check on the progress/process and challenge them where and when it is appropriate for them by revising the goal and getting a bigger picture (use forms to help guide you as needed).

2. Once the goal is achieved, we wrap it up and inquire where the client wants to go next. Either take a break or work on another goal.

3. In any stage of the process be sure to use your communication tools – Open-ended questions, POP, Constructive Feedback, etc.


She continued with: Coaches, have any of you ventured forward and have experiences to share?
Thanks in advance for everyones feedback! Also, I wanted to comment on goals.  While we did exercises in our class, at the beginning of the year, it is my custom to brainstorm everything I want for the coming year.  This is pretty random – kind of like the sticky exercise we did – just whatever thought pops into my head, I add it to the list.  I have learned that this changes yearly as I experience life and form new opinions, likes/dislikes from
the previous year.  I then try to categorize, refine, add details to the things that come up – then prioritize everything.  And like in class – pick the top one or 2 to work on.  I personally try to revisit these quarterly to see where I’m at.  it is amazing what happens when you just give things your attention!!!!!
I replied: The key word here is ‘attention’  —  here is a quote from Alfred Adler in his book: Understanding Human Nature.  

He says:  “If attention calls forth a particular tension in any part of the soul or in our motor organism, then other tensions are at the same time excluded. Thus as soon as we wish to be attentive to any one thing we desire to exclude all other disturbances.  Attention, so far as the soul is concerned, means an attitude of willingness to make a special bridge between ourselves and a definite fact, a preparation for offense, which grows out of our necessity, or out of an unusual situation which demands that our whole power be directed toward a particular purpose.”

I continued: TENSION AND ATTENTION — Tension and At-tention draws us toward finding a solution in order to remove the tension from within. But the tension as a service to us is forcing us to pay ‘attention’ and it is in this very act of attending that helps us move towards something. In life, we are always distracted by the variables of living life itself and taking the time to focus our attention on those things that are creating tension within us is not always easy so we continue on living life in a distracted manner. Any category we want to attend to such as our weight, some negative lifestyle habits, poor finances, bad relationships, lack of a satisfying career/work, too much stress – any category, once we stop from our busy lives and focus and tend to it with our focused attention, for sure has to change.

OUR CHOICES: Our choice is to change or not to change.  But to choose not to change will keep us at our current reality.  If we don’t change, we are also now more aware of the consequences to us if we don’t change.  If we move toward change, we begin to get enamored with the satisfaction of change once we start the process.  Here is where a good coach can keep us motivated.  However, the change/no change choice is always ours but if we start to take baby steps towards a focused outcome, nature in terms of our own energies, begins to close the gap between our current reality and our future goal or vision we are seeking.  It is just impossible for it to be any other way.  When we don’t do what we intend (attend) to do, then we know from our baseline observation (our first goal statement for example) that we are moving away from our desired outcome.

WHAT IS OUR OBSTACLE: Now, we have to ask ourselves – what is creating the obstacle to achieving this vision or goal?  Perhaps we don’t really want that goal/vision anyway?  Perhaps it is too ambitious for us right now? Perhaps our 20% of our habits are not easy to break and we have resistance to giving up the ‘old way of doing things around here’ – the difference now is that we are very conscious of the impact of that 20% on our overall life.  Sometimes the best approach to dealing with that resistance is to just keep chipping away at it – slowly, gradually, persistently focusing on solving that problem until the ego-attachment to that 20% just gets worn down.

TEMPERAMENTS AND NATURAL TENDENCIES: Because we know that each temperament deals more or less with their natural tendencies. These natural tendencies, though wonderful, don’t always serve us when striving to self-actualize. The challenge of change has 3 steps:

Step 1: is always self-awareness.
Step 2: a conscious decision to change and an increase in the willingness to change.
Step 3: a commitment toward changing over time.
and so forth…. it is a journey, a process.

And, sometimes in the process we move away and then toward and then away and then toward and as long as the overall average is towards a goal, that can be OK too.  The other thing about a goal/outcome/vision is that sometimes, as you move toward it, you redefine and it and it turns out that this not the goal you really want and the journey toward discovery helps you get clearer about who you are and what you want at this age/stage/phase of your life.  Isn’t life grand and wonderful — it is as we said in the course:  tension creates attention and then we set a focus and begin the journey and we cannot not learn about ourselves along the way. How good is that?

Hugs, Danielle


Danielle Gault  905-844-2495
Corporate & Wellness Training Services



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