Coaching insights #10 When making sense doesn’t make sense

There is a moment in coaching when everything makes sense. Not always for the client, but for you as the coach.

As you follow the twists and turns of a coaching conversation, drawing out the known and unknown, suddenly a new picture reveals itself to you.  You breathe, and prepare to share your insight with your client, after all helping people make sense of situations, relationships and life is what you do.

But what if there are times when it doesn’t make sense for you to offer your insights to your clients?

Many years ago a client said to me, “you give me information before I am ready to receive it.”  At that time I was already an intuitive and insightful coach, but I hadn’t yet refined how best to place the sense I made back into the conversation.  There was a part of me that was keen to show how good I was at making sense. My ego thrived on making connections, joining dots and sharing these insights back to my clients.  In hindsight, this was more about me than it was in service of them.

Over the years I have learned to slow this down, although I still do it and at times I think it is still relevant.  As my view of myself, coaching, and the way the word works has expanded over the past decade, and I’ve come to understand that we cannot be ahead of where we are. If I were to share much of the making sense I have in coaching conversation now, I can see it would be damaging rather than serving.

This isn’t to say that you can’t share your insights, however there is a consciousness required.  A moment where you take a breath and ask yourself, “who is this for?”  If you truly believe it is in service of your client and not your ego then go ahead, but proceed lightly.  Be ready that it may be too soon for your client to receive this information or that you have got it wrong!  If they reject your insight, don’t force it.  It’s likely that it’s simply not time, and as I said before, you cannot be ahead of where you are.

If you realise it’s not time to share the insight, the simplest thing you can do is come back to your breath, let go and ask a question.  Your client will find their way when the time is best for them.

With love,

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