Our fifth document is one that was previously published in the Library of Professional Coaching—it was one of the inspirations for us to devote an entire issue of The Future of Coaching to vulnerability. This essay was written by our colleague, Marcia Reynolds. It concerns the way in which we work with our client’s vulnerability. It is about moving beyond asking questions and being truly present with our clients when they face challenging issues that require vulnerability. The essay is called (appropriately): “Coaching is about more than asking questions”).
We conclude this issue of Future of Coaching with one of our standard offerings from the Coaching Tool Box. This tool is the “Caffeine Checklist.” We know from both neuropsychological research and the accumulated wisdom of professional coaches (and clinical psychologists) that clients can’t easily become vulnerable and open to changes in their own life if they are easily triggered by challenging events and provocative questions. We are particularly inclined to be “trigger-happy” and become highly stressed if our body is already highly caffeinated.
Our colleague, John Preston (an internationally-known and respected author of books on psychotherapeutic practices and psychopharmacology) strongly recommends that professional practitioners direct their clients to reduce caffeine intake prior to beginning therapy or coaching if their current level of caffeine intake is above a certain level. The attached caffeine check list helps a client (and coach) determine current levels and manage their own consumption of caffeine-laced drinks in preparation for their therapy or coaching sessions. One of us [WB] has updated and expanded Preston’s list for use by professional coaches.
Welcome to this exploration of vulnerability. We hope you gain insights from these essays about the vulnerability of your coaching clients – and perhaps your own vulnerability—as well as find tools and advice in these essays regarding how to address the challenges of vulnerability.