How can the creative use of coaching structures help you develop the professional and personal changes you really want?
Life coaching is fundamentally a dynamic conversational structure— a co-creation between the coach and client to bring forth the new ideas, images, and perspectives that will best serve the client in creating transformative career and life changes. From the beginning, I as the coach set up a special structure for effective change-making by creating a safe "container" between myself and my clients to help them go farther and deeper in exploring new possibilities and directions.
This "container" is the invisible structure that holds the energy and flow of the coaching conversation—while the coaching conversation itself is the structure that's heard and felt, and moves the client forward. As I build safety and trust into the coaching "container," clients feel more grounded and more able to participate fully in the coaching exploration about what they really want to achieve.
Using powerful, stimulating questions and imagery, I expand the conversation to help clients develop the big picture of what they really want, which can sometimes feel scary as well as exciting. When they are clear about their new choices and direction, the coach can then re-shape the structure of the conversation to help them focus on choosing actions and timelines to manifest their dreams and goals.
Brian, a retired teacher, was struggling to complete the book he was writing based on The Remembrances of Times Past by Marcel Proust. Brian had recently had a birthday and commented that he felt old, but that this next year for him was supposed to be one of "energy and change." Sensing that he was feeling discouraged about how his life was going because of the lack of progress with his book, I re-phrased this as "a year of energy and transformation." Then I asked him, "What's in the cocoon that wants to come out?"
"Good question!" exclaimed Brian, and his face brightened. Then he described the image that came to him of a chick pecking its way out of an egg shell, emerging cautiously but gaining energy by moving. "The egg is transformed into a chicken with its own distinctive internal structure," he said. "By its own efforts, it's hatched from the limited external structure of the egg shell. It's free to move and make sounds!" With his energy opened by a resonant image, Brian felt ready to re-focus and create a plan for moving on and completing his book.
In this case, the structure of the 20-minute coaching conversation expanded with a powerful question that both acknowledged Brian's feeling stuck with his book and his life— and offered "cocoon" as an image of potentiality for transformative change. As Brian connected with this image, he was able to take it further and create a new opening to go forward with his book. The structure of our conversation then shifted to a more straightforward planning mode with action steps, a timetable, and a method of accountability.
What I've found is that using creative structuring with coaching conversations supports people in getting out of stuckness and into successful outcomes. This can help you—
Transform unsatisfying ways of working into heart-centered livelihood that feels successful and purposeful to you
Create more time and energy (life balance) for living with fulfillment and purpose
Shift gears into retirement in ways that feel deeply satisfying to you
Create more effortless, personalized, and authentic marketing outreach for solopreneurs
Learn how to have more effective coaching conversations with clients (mentor coaching)
What is the conversation you're longing to have?