“People don’t need to be fixed. The job of coaching is showing people they have a choice and helping them see they can bring forth different futures, different realities into existence.”
I’m surrounded by books about coaching and leadership from the library again…looking at my calendar and wondering why I do this to myself every so often. It’s as if I believe I need to know as much as possible about a subject before having an opinion of my own. Yet when it comes down to it, books never serve me when it comes to saying something in a conversation that makes a difference in someone’s life.
Case in point.
This week a friend was telling me about what’s happening in their life. The conversation quickly turned into a downward spiral of blaming others for what wasn’t working. After a while, the monologue came to a dead stop.
I invited them to engage in a coaching conversation, but they declined. Later that night, I realized they were probably thinking my offer implied there was something ‘wrong’ with them, that I wanted to ‘fix’ them or their life. From their perspective, people are ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and the future is going to be pretty much the same as the past. From my perspective, people are neither ‘right’ nor ‘wrong’. And the future each person is living into is their choice.
I feel like there was a mistake made here. I wish I could replay our conversation and tell them a bit more about coaching and who they are for me before I made the offer. Because I actually think this person is a wonderful human being—gifted, talented, kind and generous. I accept them and their life as it is. My offer came from my commitment to them being fulfilled and happy.
My big ‘aha’ in this is that it’s all a matter of choice.
I can let this all go: there really is nothing to fix in them or in me. And when an opportunity to share this with them shows up, I will.
This blog post by Shae Hadden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.