Coach Approach Blog

How often are you where your body is?

I found myself throwing a clean, empty glass jar of pasta sauce into the recycling bin in the garage, and I thought, “How did this jar become empty and how did I get to the garage?”

I had no recollection of pouring the sauce into the pan on the stove, running a little water into the jar and creating a swirl, pouring the last drops out with a little shake, and rinsing the jar.

I had been so engrossed in my thoughts that several minutes passed on autopilot while I was elsewhere. It wasn’t until …

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The three big questions

It's good to see you again! I'd love to hear from you - what burning topic would you like me to write about? What's going on with you these days that you'd like some support with? 

So many questions! And in coaching, there are three main questions that can make all the difference in your life. I remember very well the first time I heard them spelled out clearly. 

A Canadian coach named Suzanne Stevens had come to Nairobi, Kenya where I was living. Even though I'm American, I had somehow gotten…

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How a bike ride changed me

Every second Saturday, I drive to the doctor and the pharmacy to pick up a couple of prescriptions. Last time, though, other family members needed the car, so I decided to bike. 

It was a windy, rainy morning. I'm already a bit of a klutz and not great at spatial awareness, and I was getting kind of nervous. I wondered how I would cross the highway. What would it be like to navigate busy roundabouts, making the hand signals? Where would I park my bike?

Until I got to the highway and realized t…

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What if people like me?

What is a belief?

My best friend since kindergarten told me, "I'm best friends with Karen now." At a time when learning to French-braid hair together in the bathroom at lunch was everything, I was devastated, and whispered, "But why?" I remembered the many sleepovers at her house when we made chocolate chip cookies together. She would place exactly four chocolate chips in each mound of dough. "Because Karen is cool, and because I don't get your jokes." 

That little conversation planted a painf…

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Learn how to be really bad at things

The harder a new habit is, the more motivation it takes to change. And motivation and determination don't work for long. Sorry. 

I got so fed up with myself at how much weight I had gained after my third child was born that I decided to lose 50 pounds. I knew my "why" and was super motivated. A friend of mine had had a heart attack, and I really wanted to live to see my great-grandchildren and be able to play with them. I bought the calorie-counting app, I bought exercise attire, I bought a bik…

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Silence as an active interpersonal experience

Silence is more than committing to keeping your mouth shut, or leaving time for the client to think and reflect. It’s a deliberate activation of a state of being that invokes the presence of spirit beyond the boundaries of words. 

Consider relaxing, slowing down the mind and inviting the divine to show you what is most important to be aware of or to do. Tune in to spiritual resources of love, joy, gratitude or other spiritual values that you find most helpful. Request guidance and be expectant …

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My shocking discovery that modal operators never lie…

<p>In coaching school, I learned that certain sneaky words (we call them modal operators) speak volumes about how you do what you do.&nbsp;</p>
<p>Words like &ldquo;I&rsquo;d love to, I want to, I choose to, I will, I can, I will, I won&rsquo;t&rdquo; all show that a person is doing something out of their own inner conviction.</p>
<p>Using those words generally leads to a strong, happy, energetic way of doing things.</p>
<p>As opposed to words like &ldquo;I have to, I should, I ought to, I&rsquo;d …

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When is it ok to tell your story?

Sadness alert: When my dad very suddenly died in 2017, I had terrible amounts of pain in my chest and in my throat, in my stomach, and legs. It was all I could do to show up for a few carefully-chosen clients, and I cut down my hours significantly for months because my own pain was so easily triggered. I started my "extreme self-tenderness" routine because it was all so raw. 

I was so thankful in that season for the training I had received with Brené Brown's organization to become a facilitator…

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How is your metaphor holding you back?

I once had a client whose overarching metaphor in the coaching was bike riding. She told me that she felt like she was trying to ride on the back of someone else’s bike--her boss’s bike, her mom’s bike, her sister’s bike. And they kept “falling over” and “getting their legs tangled”.

We developed this metaphor with a lot of laughter, and it became a focal point of our sessions in many areas of her work and personal life.

She used "riding my own bike" to find the part of herself that was capabl…

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What is your body saying that you're not?

Just a few days ago, a client made a hand gesture, like grabbing something with determination and raising her fist up. It was a very powerful move, and clearly held meaning for her.

How would you respond as an expert listener?

- I could have ignored the gesture completely, and focused on her words (one of the most common coaching responses early on)

- I could have asked her to describe what she is experiencing as she raises her fist (ooooh, smart move, coach!)

- Or, I could let go of my need…

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