Do nothing – it works!
It happened once again last night. A coaching conversation was going nowhere.
Coaches are not magicians. They work in tandem with their coachees, in order to help make a difference. Sometimes, you come across a situation, where the coachee is just stuck. And so are you.
Not an easy situation, and not a palatable one either. Most of us like to be able to help, to make a difference. It is frustrating when we are unable to. We want to see progress. When given a problem, we all want to find our way out of it with a solution.
But sometimes, there isn’t an immediate way out that’s visible. In life in general, and as a coach.
No matter what I tried last night, whether it was asking perspective widening questions, or in challenging a belief or context, nothing seemed to work with my coachee.
So we decided to do something else, for the first time in the coaching assignment. We decided to do nothing.
It happens. And when it does, it is important for coach and coachee to realize that we are at an impasse, and the best option at such times, is to postpone, is to take a break.
So we decided mutually to “sleep on it”.
Sleep on it is a powerful coaching intervention. It calls for a pause between the coach and the coachee. It puts the issue on the hold – in the conscious domain – the sub-conscious continues to work.
Sleep on it also ensures that you back away from the emotional seething or dullness of the moment. The break helps calm down or re-energize.
So my suggestion…sometimes, as a coach, or a parent, or a manager…do nothing. Take a break. Sleep on it.
I was not surprised, when the next evening she called me to share that she had “got it”.
More often than not, the new day will bring new thoughts and breakthroughs. Try it.
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