Coaching Dialogue: Red Lights On Your Dashboard
Here is a coaching dialogue excerpt that happened this week. P called and we started our conversation. It went like this:
Me: How are you?
P: Not so good today. I feel I am trying too hard to help too many people. I don’t feel too well. I am actually quite exhausted.
M: On a scale of one to ten, where ten is feeling absolutely amazing and one is feeling as if you are dying, where would you say you are?
P: Oh, probably 5.3
M: Well, that’s not good… 9 is being “in the zone”… 8 is a very good functional order… 7 is okay but not your best… 6 is right on the red line below which a bunch of red lights start blinking on your dashboard… So you are clearly at that point of red lights blinking…
P: Yes, that is correct.
M: Well, step one is to notice it. Step two is to be diagnostic. Would you like to do that?
P: Sure, what do you mean by diagnostic?
M: Well, I can run a list of plausible reasons that could be impacting you and contributing to the way you feel. As I go through each of them, you can say “No” or you can say “Yes”. You can be even more specific and calibrate the responses in terms of how important that area is for you. You might say that’s a big factor or that’s a medium or a small factor. You will then be in a position to decide which one of them you deal with first and take on a remedial or corrective action.
P: Sounds good. I am ready.
M: Great. Here we go. You work too hard and try to help too many people because…?
1. You feel you are not good enough. You feel you need to prove something.
2. You take other people’s problems as your own.
3. You spend too much time thinking what other people think about you.
4. You carry a sense of guilt which you try to alleviate by what you do.
5. You are not ready to forgive yourself.
6. You are too distant from yourself, from your own voice as you are pulled in different directions.
7. You don’t know how to ask for help.
8. You don’t know how to receive help when it’s offered.
9. You feel tired and low in energy because of imbalanced nutrition.
10. You don’t know how to stop, relax and rest.
11. You mix with people that are not good for you.
12. You worry and obsess about things that are outside your control.
13. You’ve been disconnected from what you love to do for too long.
14. You have something urgent you actually have to do before anything else and you are not doing it.
P responded live, at the point as I listed each of these possible causes. In the end she had five relevant items that contributed to the way she felt – one big, two medium sized, and two small ones. We talked through the issues and we then moved on to step three – planning specific actions.
M: Great. As we do this let’s capture the steps so you can apply them to anything you need.
Step one: Notice – become aware of what is going on.
Step two: Diagnose – frame plausible reasons/causes, discern the relevant ones and grade them by weighted influence.
Step three: Plan – identify the action you are now ready to take. (There are many strategies in this step).
The coaching conversation continued into forwarding the action.
Since it all happened live and P enjoyed the discovery, she gave me permission to post this excerpt here.
© Aviv Shahar