Type of Coaching

Executive Coaching

Challenges Faced

A client was presented with a pretty unique opportunity. It intrigued her and would allow her to meet her revenue goals for the year three months earlier than she had planned.

The clients that offered her this opportunity were moving with a sense of urgency and wanted her decision quickly. But she noticed that she was experiencing resistance inside her body: her chest felt tight, and she wanted more time to explore it.

If she only looked at the decision in her head and the facts on the table, it was indeed a can’t-miss opportunity. She knew, though, that she wanted her head, heart, and gut (wisdom) to align with the decision.

Coaching Techniques Used

  1. We first stepped onto the balcony, meaning we had to extract the client from her emotional connection with the opportunity. We had to look at the opportunity from a broader perspective.
  2. We explored the costs associated with taking the opportunity (Heart). Not the financial costs, but the costs to the items she defined earlier in coaching that were most important to her right now: spending more time with her family (which she had not done in the past few years and actively wanted to change). It would pull her away from focusing on sustainably building her business. She had recently mapped out a new strategic plan with her partners, and this lucrative opportunity would shift her focus for several months away from this plan.
  3. We explored the opportunity through her values (Heart). She had also defined those earlier in coaching, and four of her most important values were justice, integrity, family, and challenge. This opportunity would meet her values to an extent but would also pull her away from having a more significant impact. The strategic plan she and her partners developed would meet these values more significantly.
  4. We explored what that feeling in her chest represented. It was a familiar sensation when she was experiencing anxiety. Typically, the pressure meant something that seemed like a slam dunk, but underneath there was something that was not in alignment. Often, she pushed the anxiety away and decided with her head that she could make it work. But it was showing up again just as she had committed with her partners to shift the way they were doing business and how she wanted to connect with her family and balance. 
  5. She took the time she needed to make the decision, reflected on what we discussed in coaching, and got quiet (Wisdom). She didn’t try to push through to make a decision simply because there was a sense of urgency. She recognized the familiar pull to decide based on money or challenge and quickly realized that taking this opportunity would be a short-term win with long-term costs. This was not a simple or easy process. She recognized that it was a test and could unhook from the initial response to think through the decision. Many times a pause is necessary.

High-Impact Solutions Gained

It’s easy to operate from our automatic behavior patterns, especially when a decision has a sense of urgency. They have served us at times in the past. However, they don’t always help us now. Taking the time to run through the decision from the head, heart, and wisdom (gut) perspective will give you a much broader perspective to make the decision.

Pay attention when your body is trying to tell you something.

Most of us can easily access the feelings in our bodies when we are under stress or out of alignment. For example, some people feel it in their stomach, others in their chest, others in their neck/shoulders, and others feel tingling in their fingers. The list goes on and on.

Our bodies tell the story. So pay attention to the feelings and be ready to explore what they may mean.