Reflect back their outcome as many times as you need to! You both need to be crystal clear that this declaration is what they truly want and that you fully understand it. Rush through this part and you may wind up heading in the wrong direction. You’ve got to aim before you fire or, as Stephen Covey says, you may climb the ladder only to find out you are on the wrong wall!
I have learned that clients often come to insight as they set the session agreement! Why? They start to see beneath what they think they want to what they need, for who they need to be, what the challenge really is…not what they thought it was the first time they articulated it to the coach
You can think of setting the agreement for the session as helping them sift through thousands of words floating in their brain that represent what they are struggling with for who-knows-how-long into a sentence or two. This takes time and patience.
The moral of this story is to be present so that you can go slow and deep, not fast. Fast does not beget fast. As David Whyte says in Crossing the Unknown Sea, “Speed doesn’t come from speed. Speed itself has never been associated with good work by those who have achieved mastery in any given field. Speed is a result, an outcome, an ecology of combining factors on a person’s approach to work; deep attention, well laid and sharpened tools, care, patience, the imagination engaged to bring disparate parts together in one whole.”
Good coaching can only occur when you are supremely present and knowing there is no guarantee of a result in 60 minutes.
Coach with presence and the rest will take care of itself.
Speed is addictive; it undermines nearly everything in life that really matters: quality, compassion, depth, creativity, appreciation and real relationship” Tony Schwartz
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