Coaching through Blurred Lines: Where Personal and Professional Lives Meet

Monique Betty


By Monique Betty, Betty

It is Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. and I have just started a coaching session with my client, Paula, who is a product manager at a large telecom company.

For 6 months now the focus of her coaching is to improve team productivity and support the development of the associate product manager who is an extreme people pleaser and has a difficult time saying ‘no’ to colleagues who pile work on her.

As our virtual coaching session begins, I immediately detect a shift in Paula’s presence. The usual high-energy, engaged, ‘let’s make every minute count’ attitude is now acting distant and unengaged.

When I say to her “I’m noticing a shift in your presence.’ she shares this short story with me.

Yesterday I was rushing into a 2:00 pm meeting with the team when I received a text from Terry (her significant other) that said, ‘we need to talk.’

I just thought “now what!” and I pushed the message aside as I was preparing to give an update on the product launch. 

When I got home last night, he told me that he is calling it quits on our relationship and wants to break-up.

I am devastated as I did not see this coming.

Timing could not be worse because we are days away from the biggest product launch of my career. 

As an executive coach, I instantly had two thoughts: 1) based on her current state of mind I wonder what the level of her focus and attention will be for today’s session where the plan is to discuss on the progress of the team productivity initiatives she has been working on, 2) am I expected to support her on this personal matter?

What decision will you make if you are the coach in this situation?

[Note: Be certain to see part 2 of this Blurred Lines blog series]

Monique Betty, MBA, PCC is an executive coach, coach trainer, speaker and podcast host who specializes in coaching high-achieving professionals in maximizing their leadership performance. She is a Certified Coach Trainer with the Center for Coaching Certification, a sought-after workshop facilitator and speaker as a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, and host of the new Tuesdays with Coach Mo podcast.

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