Coaching is not always about the big changes; sometimes it can be as simple as giving you time to think!
Giving yourself the time and space to process your thoughts can have a wonderful unforeseeable impact on your life. After 3 years of working together, Joana and I met one final time at the Welcome restaurant. We met there for the first time when I was just embarking on my life coaching journey.
Joana was what you would call a “practice client”. We had sporadic sessions sometimes once a month, sometimes nothing for a few months. So this final session was a way to say goodbye and to take stock of what she had gained through our work together.
I started the last session by trying out something new and Joana was up for it! What I did is actually not prepare for it and not looked at my notes but instead shared with her whatever came up to me in the here and now and gave her my summary of our work together. What I had noticed and so on… Joana decided she wanted to take some notes but then I thought she wouldn’t be fully present and suggested she would record my oral summary instead so that she could just listen.
Once I finished my part, she was like… yes it’s exactly how I feel. It showed me that we were on the same page. We had found a way to communicate clearly and me being her mirror, I was able to simply reflect what was the reality of her situation.
Then she spoke and gave me her learnings from our journey together. No, there were no big changes in her life. She didn’t quit her job… she didn’t move country but what the coaching did give her was the time to think. You might think… that’s it? Well how many of us actually take time to think?… I mean really openly… not just in your head but out loud sharing ideas and thoughts to someone completely neutral and with no agenda… someone who is carefully listening… really hearing you. What it gave Joana is something that she needed but didn’t realise it. This time to think made her become aware that every decision she was making was not considered in the past. She was saying yes without careful consideration. Taking time to think made her change her way of saying yes or no and now she still has to juggle and make decisions but she’s able to manage the juggling act differently.
She is more empowered and more responsible for her own action. She will think more carefully about her life. She’s more in control.
Small win you might think? But I would disagree and say that life doesn’t have to change drastically sometimes to have a big impact. What the coaching did to Joana is to make her realise how grateful she was for the life she has. Not wanting different things but more like… reassurance that she’s happy with how things are going and it’s still work in progress but at least now she’s allowing herself to reflect and think more before she acts.