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Well, I certainly hope the (not so) new year has taken off with a bang for you and that you now have new clients coming out of your ears! 😆

While we are in the arena of superlatives, this month I would like you to picture a scene. You’re drawing to the end of a perfect session – is there such a thing? – with your client. He or she has had wall-to-wall insights and aha! moments and you’re feeling pretty pleased with yourself.

Is that enough? Is it enough to raise your client’s awareness? Help them deepen or broaden their perspectives? After all, amicus curiae est (Awareness is curative!).

I say not! Much of the time, our client may go out into the world without implementing what they have learnt – and, of course, it doesn’t really help them if the new knowledge lazes around in the back of their heads for the next few years. Ah, you might say, but my client and I agree on actions they can put in place to obviate that.

(I know I am being somewhat pedantic today but) are actions the next step in the process? And are actions enough?

Fortunately, the ICF give us an almost formulaic set of markers in core competency 8 for us to build on. That core competency calls on the coach to facilitate client learning and growth and the markers lead us gently to the following or similar questions (although I would beseech you to bring your depth of curiosity into play with each of the answers your clients provide):

  • What have you learnt about yourself today? (The Who)
  • What have you learnt about the situation you brought to the table today? (The What)
  • How can you use what you have learnt about yourself and the situation going forward?

Ah! Actions at last! But are they enough? I think that more often than not the answer is no. More often than not, the insight our client has had is of a pattern of behaviour or habit that isn’t serving them well – hence the situation they brought! Every time a certain trigger occurs, they respond in the same non-serving way. We need to help them introduce a new habit, a new way of thinking or being that serves them better, and mere actions won’t do the trick. They have taken their whole lives to get stuck with the current bad habit, we need to co-design a practice that they can use every time the bad habit is triggered; we need to co-design a practice that they can put in place every day.

So, think about it: how would the practices you design (with or without your client) differ from your normal actions and practices?

I would love to hear your thoughts and, if you are interested, perhaps we could chat about those thoughts or any questions that arise for you. If you are up for this, click on link below and let’s have an informal virtual coffee chat.

Until then!

Best wishes









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