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Life Shields: A Coaching Tool

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Step Five [Levels One, Two and Three]

Once the client has answered each of the questions (Level One) or finished her shield (Levels Two and Three], she should spend a few minutes reflecting with her coach on the implications of what she has produced. Some coaching clients will complete their shield in a short period of time and will want to devote most of their time to talking with their coach about what is revealed on the shield. Others will take a relatively long time to complete their shields and may be reluctant to reveal much about what they have produced. It is not essential for a coaching client to talk about all aspects of their shield. The very act of producing the shield and responding to some provocative questions offered by their coach is sufficient. In order to help clients gain maximum insights from this exercise, it is often useful to ask them several of the following questions while they are reflecting on and dis¬cussing their shields:

a. What do your answers (Level One)/does this shield (Levels Two and Three] tell you about the things in your life that you most value?

b. What do your answers (Level One)/does this shield (Levels Two and Three] tell you about what you need to learn or do in the near future?

c.What does this shield tell you about what you are or are not willing to reveal about yourself to other people?

d, What do your answers (Level One)/does this shield (Levels Two and Three] tell you about yourself as a person who learns and changes?

e. What is the one most important thing that you have learned about yourself from this exercise?

f. What is the most surprising thing about this exercise?


While this tool has been included in the Library of Professional Coaching since 2011, it is now included in the first issue of The Future of Coaching. We encourage  you to review the other essays contained in this issue of The Future of Coaching. Following are the links to each of these essays:

The Social and Cultural Characteristics of Generational Age Groups

Searching for Vitality: Coaching through the Lenses of Adult Development Theory and Research

A Developmental Perspective in Coaching

Coaching the Young Client

Gen Y Leaders, Boomer Coach

Senior Leadership in Community: Interview with Norman Westmore

The Book Shelf: George Vaillant, Triumphs of Experience

Coaching Across the Generations: Questions to Ponder Based on Research/Theory



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