I was mentoring a woman this week who’s considering going into the Coaching profession. We were discussing what it means to practice “artful questioning”, how to know where to begin with a new client who’s overwhelmed and all the things a person wants to dig into when they’re thinking about transitioning to a new career.
As we were winding up the conversation, she asked if there were other things that I did as a Coach to support clients who were trying to make big change but feeling really stuck. “Aren’t there certain questions or homework you can offer that help more than others? How do you light a fire under a person so they’ll change?”
Well, first of all, Coaching is a “partnership” and only works when the client has decided they are ready to do everything it takes to use it wisely and take the necessary steps to begin creating something different in their lives. But as I was driving home that day, I was reminded of several powerful questions I’ve had clients put on Post It notes over the years and offer them to you, here. They are wonderful for getting right to the heart of the matter and can bust up habitual blocks that keep trying to sneak back in!
Grab yourself a Post It or index card, write these down and tailor them to what you are specifically working on. Put them where you’ll see them every day for this next month:
1. “If you changed your belief about this, what would be possible?
*We so quickly go right into our old stories and beliefs, defending our stance in our minds and justifying habitual actions. This question forces you to lay it down and consider something new.
2. “Are you willing to ask yourself what is in the best interest of the ‘relationship’ now?”
*I’ve had so many couples make a HUGE shift in releasing their challenging power struggles by embracing this mindset that I make sure I offer it to every single one of them now! By simply posting on the fridge “We agree to do what is in the best interest of the relationship!” and adhering to it, all the self-centered, reactive, hurtful behaviors begin dissolving and are replaced with intentional actions that serve the partnership.
3. “How do you sabotage yourself on a regular basis and are you willing to stop it now, so you can move forward with ease?”
*We can say we want change, but we also are scared to death to make it. Most of us have “go-to” ways of stopping our process and growth, but don’t force ourselves to acknowledge exactly what they are. Make a list of sabotaging acts, then what you will do instead, when you start to head down that path!
I’m big on using visual cues, along with the usual reading and journaling that most of us do to support the change we are making in our lives and relationships. So much can shift if we can just catch an old habit soon enough, implement a “pause” and make a new, healthier choice! Write it, post it and begin!