Coach Approach Blog
How big are emotions?
Many people talk about "managing" or "controlling" their emotions. However, emotions are meant to be felt! Once they’re fully felt, a person is in a better position to choose their behaviors and manage their thoughts.
Rather than focusing on controlling emotions, stuffing them, or ignoring them, it’s healthier to focus on acceptance, curiosity, and empathy.
However, many of us are living with the mistaken belief that emotions are HUGE and overwhelming. We think, "If I let myself cry, I might n…
What kinds of questions actually help?
Imagine you are coaching someone who is wracked with self-doubt. What would happen if you could ask a question that would shift their awareness to what they can trust in themselves?
What about a person who is blaming themselves for a mistake; what questions might help them move from blame toward responsibility?
Sometimes people will be struggling with regret, with consequences of the past, and with a nagging wondering about “why”. Others get caught up in their fears, or they make assumptions t…
Have you ever seen a double signal?
Have you ever felt that part of you wanted something really badly, and another part of you wanted the opposite? To the extent that your whole being was sending double signals to your conversation partners, and the whole system was in tension?
That can be really confusing and painful, especially if you think that you should always know just what you want and go for it wholeheartedly. Sometimes things aren't that simple. There's a hierarchy of values. There are systems in play.
Just this morni…
When high praise isn't so high
How do you feel when someone acknowledges you?
How often does someone let you know that they see you, that you are getting the results that you want, and notice what it must have taken you to achieve it? If you're like many people, it can feel that you hear more from others when you make mistakes.
In an ancient parable, the owner of a field tells the servants not to uproot the weeds, ”because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.”
Plenty of people will criticize an…
You're allowed to be messy, my friend!
"Do I have to be perfect to be a coach?"
A fear I’ve noticed in many people who are thinking about joining a helping profession is that they will have to be better, know more, have their lives together, and be a role model to those they serve.
While there’s a grain of truth in that - coaches are certainly always learning and growing and doing our best to practice what we preach - there’s a real danger in holding ourselves to unrealistic standards.
I remember the day I decided to take my firs…
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 …
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…
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…
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…
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…