Actually, there are lots more than these three but let’s start here. Let’s pull back the curtain and take any mystery away. Oh, and don’t get hung up on the “creativity” part. It doesn’t mean you need to be working on something in the arts. It means you will tap into your creativity – yes, you are a creative soul – and use creative thinking and creative tools to get where you want to go. The creativity part is not as much about your goal in coaching as it is about how you will get there.
And, we will do all this in a rich space that is confidential, safe and accepting.
So, where do we start?
First, I ask a lot of questions. Especially in the beginning.
I ask you what brings you to coaching. People hire a coach to help them reach a goal. That goal can be a myriad of things. For my clients, it usually focuses on figuring out who you’ll be in the second half of life; wanting more joy in life; wanting to find “you 2.0”; looking to get back some of who you used to be and yes, it could be that there’s a book inside you screaming to get out or you’re not getting to your ______ (you fill in the blank).
I ask you what gets in the way. Often, it’s those old gremlins of procrastination, fear, self-sabotage, feeling overwhelmed or not enough time. Sometimes it may just be that you need the catalyst of coaching: the accountability, the appointment, the saying it out loud to someone else. Getting your dreams out of your head and into the world can be a gigantic jump start!
Second, you talk, I listen.
My ears are scrunched. I listen very hard to hear what you’re saying and what might be between the lines. I tell you what I’m hearing and let you tell me more. I want you to feel heard and witnessed because sometimes a coaching session is the only place this will happen for you. Listening might prompt some more questions and I will continue to listen. All of this gives you an opportunity to claim a dream, to begin to articulate your ideas and, thereby, see them become more tangible.
I don’t tell you what to do. The best solutions come from you. Those are the solutions that are the most resonant and make the most sense for you. In that way, they become much more do-able. I’m the one holding the light so you can see them.
Third, I get you to your next small step.
Part of my role as your coach is to familiarize you with the philosophy of Kaizen. We will work with small steps, small questions, small thoughts and small rewards. We do this to build sustainable momentum while engaging the thinking part of the brain as opposed to expecting big steps that engage the fight or flight response and get us nowhere. We don’t stop at a small step; the small step gives us a success moment that makes us feel like continuing. Which we do. One small step at a time.
A small step could look like asking yourself a small question over the next few days and seeing what comes to mind. It could be five minutes (or even 1 minute) of doing something you’ve been wanting to do. If, after five minutes, you want to continue, great! If not, you’ve kept your commitment, done what you said you would do and that’s success.
Having said all that, a really important part of my coaching is that if you don’t get to your small step, I still want you to show up next time. The step may not have been small enough. It may not have been the best step. Come back and we’ll explore it and tweak it. Or you may have made a creative detour which is normal and very okay. Or you may have done many other things for which you need to give yourself credit. We’ll do that, too.
(All first-time clients who sign up for the minimum of 4 coaching sessions receive a gift of the book One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way by Dr. Robert Maurer, Ph.D.)
As we move forward, I will continue to listen intently and ask you more questions. You will sense the next best step for you. And, step by step, you’ll move toward your goal with joy and wonder and ease.