As my new client and I shifted from her sharing the past achievements from the previous week, I asked her about her goals for this next week. One thing that I noticed was her use of generalizations. When she was describing her goals for organizing her file storage space at home, she said, “They always end up misplacing them and therefore cause me to always be overdue with my deadlines at work.”
To explore a different possibility, I replied, “Think about whether your important things really always get swept away and really never make it to your storage area.” She thought about it for a second. “Well, no, that’s not true.” Then she gave me several examples. After asking some open ended questions about the storage area, it was determined she felt pressured into organizing it because her husband wanted her to (an external source of motivation). I asked, “In addition to what your husband wants for the organization of the storage area, what will this mean to you?” This one she had to think about and then she said, “Well, I guess it gives me the chance to separate my work papers from my home papers.”
After we chatted about the process to achieve this goal, I asked her how she felt about it now. She said it was helpful in changing her motivation because she had wanted to organize the storage space in her home, and had felt less motivated because her husband kept reminding her to do it. It was during the coaching session that she realized that she wanted to organize this storage space even more than her husband wanted her to do it. Now she feels this will have significant affect on both her work and home offices.
By using the knowledge from the coaching class, I was able to put a tremendous amount of information to practice with my new client. I am very glad I was able to practice the challenge because I feel I was a more efficient coach, which helped build my confidence and benefitted my client.