There Can Be A Lot Of Power In Just One Conversation

A conversation can be a powerful tool. It can be used to build trust, to resolve conflict, and to find clarity. In a coaching conversation, the Coach listens closely to the client (also known as cochee) and asks questions that help them to clarify their challenges and goals.

The power of a coaching conversation lies in its ability to help you to see yourself and your situation in a new light. By challenging assumptions and opening up new possibilities, a coaching conversation helps you make significant progress in your life.

Client: “I have hit my career ceiling and now I am stuck in this job I don’t even like anymore.”

Me: “Tell me more”

Client: “I have worked in the same company for 19 years now. I started from the bottom, and I worked my way up. I have been in a very senior position for the last seven years and I’ve realised that my career trajectory has come to a stop.”

Me: “What do you exactly mean by career trajectory?”

Client: “I had one job for a few years straight after university. I then applied for my current company, and I’ve been there ever since. My current organisation was the Holy Grail in my industry back then, and I’m still very grateful that I got to spend all these years doing what I do. But my current role is as high as I can go. I have known this for a couple of years now and I’ve started to feel demotivated. My morale is becoming lower every day, and because I’m disengaged, I’m struggling to cope with the stress that my job brings.”

Me: “I am sorry to hear that *Ben. What else is going on outside work?”

Client: “Well I’m now also miserable at home. I think my constant complaining about not knowing what to do next is having an impact on my marriage. My wife said she is fed up watching me always moping around and moaning.”

Me: “What have you tried so far in order to solve this?”

Client: “I’m not sure what you mean? I have been thinking about it a lot. I have been thinking about different options. I have been thinking about maybe doing a course that may allow me to sidestep. The problem is that I don’t know what to do.”

Me: “What else have you been doing?”

Client: [Silence] Nothing… I’ve just been thinking.”

Me: “And how has that helped you so far?”

Client: [silence]

Client: “I see…. thinking has not helped at all.”

Client: [silence]

Client: “Oh gosh, I can see it. Yes, I have just been thinking a lot and done absolutely nothing! But I do not know what to do next!”

Me: “I get it. Tell me, is it really true that you do not know what to do next?”

Client: “I don’t.”


Client: “I suppose it is not entirely true. I know that I should start researching and doing something.”

Me: “And what do you mean by researching?

Client: “I could start by looking at what jobs are available in my industry that are similar to my current one. I must confess I do not even know what the job market is like.”

Me: “Great start. What else could you do?”

Client: “I could also update my CV if I must be honest! It has not seen the light of day for 7 years! And now that I think of it, maybe I should start networking on Linkedin. Have a look at other companies in my field and see whether they are hiring.”

Me: “They all sound like great ideas. How do you think all of this will help you?”

Client: “Well first if I do my CV, I will be ready to apply if a great opportunity comes up. Plus researching what other jobs are out there might inspire me to consider a different role.”

Me: “Good. How do you feel about this now?”

Client: “I am feeling a bit silly because it is all rather obvious.”

Me: “What does that tell you?”

Client: “That I’m just freaked out after 19 years in one company. Maybe that’s why I had not started exploring anything else.”

Me: “Maybe?”

Client: “Ok not maybe, I was scared.”

Me: “And now?”

Client: “Now I am still scared but there is a part of me that is feeling quite excited too!”

Me: “Excited is good! How can we get more of that?”

Client: “I’m going to get started with my CV straight away while I am feeling like this. I will start working on it tonight. It will be finished by the time we speak again next week! I’m going to make myself accountable for this! Could I send it to you for feedback? Might also help me to stay committed.”

Me: “Of course you can, very happy to have a look.”

Client: “Thank you. I still have no idea what job I could do, but enough is enough. I’ve been miserable for too long. I have to start moving forwards.”

Sometimes the space of one conversation is all we need.

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