As coaches we assist people to become the best version of themselves, not what others want them to be. So many people get distracted away from achieving their best.  How can we enable people to stop this from happening, to start carving out the best version of themselves, and transform their own response to the issues they bring to coaching?

We see this when coachees are slow to set goals, or we pick up the signals that they are not motivated to achieve the goals they do set. What may seem a low point in a session can become a transformational moment when our skill and presence is rewarded with insight and fresh motivation.

A coachee’s lack of motivation can be a sign of their own disbelief and cynicism directed at themselves! There can be an inner chatter, a corrupted voice that says things like: “What am I ever going to achieve?”  Our coachee may be harshly judging themselves, without the slightest shred of evidence. This jump to judgment lies at the heart of a failure to turn up for life in the glorious best of ourselves.

Here is what makes coaching such a wonderful profession.  We know and believe that the person in our session has an endless capacity to either love, run, sing, be generous, raise a  family, run a business, cook, invent, fight, be funny, be contemplative, juggle or any one of thousands of options.

Our coachee was once at the starting blocks in a better state. When he/she was born they possessed this awesome potential. Along the way they took on a lesser version of themselves.  If we get a sense that this is the case, we can create a magic space where a person can begin to see themselves for the jewel they really are, a place to reclaim their innermost precious dreams.

Sometimes as a coach I see myself as taking that young child inside the adult, that child with unbounded joy, hold him by the hand and chose to believe in his dreams and nurture them to life. One of the great joys of my practice as a coach is watching adults strip away the life limiting beliefs they accumulated over years and start to make new choices and do things that bring them great energy.

As a child I had an uncle, a farmer of a small west-of-Ireland farm, whose presence I loved being in.  No matter what I did he was always, within reason, encouraging. There was never judgment, just playful encouragement. As a coach I often chose to become  this encouraging uncle.

When your coachee reaches this low point perhaps, rather than struggling with choosing the next question, choose instead to become that special “aunt” or “uncle”.

Liam Scollan ACC is a certified coach with the International Coach Federation. He practices from Dublin and Sligo in Ireland and internationally by skype. Liam worked as CEO of an international airport and prior to that headed up a government development agency, organisations whose unprecedented success grew from his love of encouraging leadership in those around him. His career spans 30 years of enabling individuals, NGOs and others to realise their vision. His life as a parent, musician, health and wellbeing professional, writer and advocate has only served to widen his capacity to plumb the depths of true potential in those who come to him for coaching.   Liam can be contacted on Website

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