Whether our clients say it or not, how they feel about what they bring to us for coaching plays an essential role in the coaching itself.
That said, it isn’t always straightforward as to how to coach our clients around their feelings. Some clients discount the importance of their feelings, some clients don’t have ready access to their feelings, and others simply don’t have a language for what they feel.
By request, we created this primer for you to facilitate coaching your clients around emotions. Share the context below and the downloadable emotions guide with your clients to help them understand the role emotions play in their lives, the importance of accessing them, and a language to use to identify and talk about them. (more…)
Do you use the EQ Profile with everyone you work with? I don’t. (Uh oh. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that). I do use the EQ Profile with every team I work with because I want to know what I’m getting myself into when I challenge them. (See an example of our new EQ Playbook for Teams here). And I don’t use the EQ Profile right out of the gate with every coaching client. I want to look for signs that the client is essentially asking for EQ Profile before I introduce them to it.
When I say asking for it, I mean that my clients expect me to help them see what they can’t see about themselves. And when a client’s blindspots become apparent to me (and not so much to them), I’ve found that is the ideal time to introduce the EQ Profile to them, to help them see themselves more fully.
Here are five signs or indications that a client is “asking” for the EQ Profile by how they are showing up in the coaching:
It’s a question that’s remained largely outside of my conscious awareness, lurking in the shadows of my shame, for years. What’s the question?
Am I enough?
Am I enough for my clients? Do I know enough? Am I smart enough? Do I have enough experience? Am I a good enough coach? Do I know what my client needs from me? Can I be that? Deliver that? Bring that?
These questions get triggered when I feel like I’m failing my client. When they are struggling and our sessions don’t seem to help. When I don’t know the questions to ask, the words to say, the feelings to express to help them feel better, move forward, see a new perspective, find their way.
Am I enough?
A number of years ago, I began to see a pattern in myself that I could no longer overlook. Whenever I coached an older female client, I experienced an internal dialogue that was critical of them. YIKES! That’s a big f-ing deal!
The foundation of my work as a coach is in seeing the hero in every client. My internal disparagements were infecting me and my client relationships and souring our results. Oh, I could always justify or explain away my criticism. “She’s being a victim.” “She’s just wanting attention.” But when I looked at my default patterns and the results they created, it was clear. I was the problem.
We all have patterns. Patterns of thinking, feeling, and wanting that reflect experiences from our past and how we’ve been shaped by them. Not metaphorically or figuratively shaped, but literally, neurobiologically shaped. Our brains, our minds and our bodies have been shaped by the events of our lives and the meaning we’ve made from them. And if we are not aware of it, we bring that pattern of being into our present moment experiences with our clients.
The perniciousness of these patterns is that they tend to be invisible to us. They are our “default settings.” They lie outside our conscious awareness. And because our patterns are largely hidden, we will tend to cling to, explain and defend them, even when they don’t serve us or our clients.
We will experience a given moment and believe that our internal reactions are reasonable and responsive to the unique situation at hand. And yet with help from reflection and self-examination, we can see that we’ve had many moments just like this one, with different people, in different circumstances, that yielded similar results. And we are the common denominator. (more…)