Life Coaches Introduction – Change Coaching

Change Coaching


What to Talk About When You Talk to Your Coach

By Cameron Powell
Head Coach
Feroce Coaching


Change coaching starts with what you say.  Coaches and clients talk, and coaches and clients listen.  Of course.  But about what?  Easy: dreams, wins, problems, bad days out, insights, breakthroughs, dilemmas, shifts, complaints, commitments, emotions, feelings, new ideas, coaching’s value, progress reports, advice and feedback, decisions made.

A Dream.  What do you want? Where do you want to be or go?  Who do you want to be?  Who or what should be around you?  You and your coach need to explore the answers to these questions so that you can direct your daily, weekly, and monthly activities.


A Problem. This is much of what coaches expect to do: listen to clients’ problems.  And then move the clients forward anyway. Share your problems and you divide them, share your joys (or your wins), and you multiply them.  And there will always be a solution to the problems. But only if you bring them out.

A Bad Day Out.  Sometimes things have just gone really badly between sessions.  Just as observing your own upset feelings will tend to diminish them, sharing them with a trained observer can have almost magical effects.  Coaches are trained to listen, to sortFree Coaching Consultation through what happened, give you honest feedback, and help you to design a plan of action to get through the event, reduce the pain of it, remedy what you can, and make a recurrence less likely.

An Insight. You will often have these during the coaching session itself.  Insights are a key currency of coaching.  And you will also have insights into your life, behavior, patterns, or others on your own.  An insight can lead to changes in behavior, real-world results – even a breakthrough.  Insights can become the stuff of action plans too.  Share an insight and multiply its power.  You might even get another insight in return.

A Breakthrough.  Share it.  It’s a win.  It might have come from an insight. But share it so that you can be sure to build on it, rather than take a step back.  As coaching legend Thomas Leonard once put it, “a breakthrough without follow-through is a temporary high and can be addictive.  So, share the breakthrough, but be ready to validate it with action or an accomplishment.”

A Win.  Wins are a major purpose of coaching.  When you reach a goal or complete a task, do a good deed or have something really exciting happen to you, you can often more fully feel the excitement once it’s made real – by sharing it.  As in all coaching, this aspect of what might be called “witnessing” is extremely powerful.  It solidifies the experience, and it can make the next win all the more likely.  And your coach would like to know.  Think about our job satisfaction!

A Dilemma. Do you remember The Clash song? “Should I stay or should I go?”  “If I stay it will be trouble, if I go it will be double.”  A coach can help you sort through the alternatives and their implications.  Weigh them all against your values.  Brainstorm elegant solutions you may not have thought of yet.  And finally make a decision that’s usually better, and almost always one that feels better and more secure because you have simply explored all the options and feel less anxious about having missed something.  This alone is a priceless benefit in the course of change.

A Shift.  Think of a shift as a prolonged breakthrough.  A breakthrough that’s likely to take root.  You are growing constantly, and much of the time an outsider like a coach can see subtle changes better than you, but sometimes even you can notice a change simply because it’s so large.  The world just looks different.  What drove you before might be replaced by something that makes more sense.  Maybe you realize you’ll tolerate less.  (A friend of mine once returned from a vacation shocked to find herself much less willing to take “crap” from people.)  You might change whom you spend time with.

A shift will usually feel good, but yet another reason to share such change is that change can also bring with it some pain: others being upset over your growth, your own sadness over what’s been let go, or anger and resentment, directed at yourself and others, that you put up with something for so long.

The Complaint.  Got a real gripe?  Go for it.  You’ll have a few minutes just to unload. Once you can articulate your complaint in the form of a request, you can expect the change coaching to begin.

A Commitment. After you dissect a problem, break down action steps, finish a complaint, or just have a good idea, it may be time to make a commitment. What will you now do?  What can you commit to doing?  Your coach will ask for this even if you don’t offer, but it’s good to get in the habit for those times when the coach isn’t around. If your commitment is fuzzy in any way, your coach may question you about it further. You may even be challenged to increase your commitment.

Your Emotions. Not to be confused with feelings (which are important bodily sensations), your emotions are the stuff of your values, your alignment with them, what you really fear and really want.  Fear is at the bottom of every negative emotion, but if you don’t feel the fear, go ahead and talk about the anger or resentment.  Don’t expect a pep talk; that’s for people who are uncomfortable with emotions.  Or you can talk about states of joy.  Just expect a safe place and an open space.  You can then be coached on whatever there is to coach you on.

Your Feelings.  The way your body reacts to events between sessions, as well as to the content of the coaching session, is priceless information in your search.  Your feelings do not lie.  Never.  Articulate them and grow better at noticing this important evidence of who you are.

A New Idea.  Two heads are better than one.  Get some unbiased feedback from someone who doesn’t have an investment in your ideas (either for or against). Vet it, refine it, or spot and, if possible, patch the holes in it.  Better now than when the stakes are higher, or after you’ve already spent a great deal of time or money (or someone else’s) on it.  If your idea is so new that you fear puncturing its fragility with feedback, tell your coach: he or she will just listen and help you to develop the idea and your thoughts about it.

The Value of Coaching.  Now and then you may be asked to summarize the value you’ve gotten from coaching. Sometimes the value is there, but it may take a conversation to help you both appreciate it.  Or if the coach has said or asked something useful, just now or months ago, say so.  Coaches are human too.  Besides, feedback is good training for them.

Project Progress Report. You may be working on a new career, business plan, housecleaning project, screenplay, or relationship.  How are they coming along?  During your coaching call you are encouraged to a brief status report of your current projects.

Ask for Advice and Feedback. To get the best of your coach’s thinking, ask for it. We don’t always give every piece of “advice” on our minds; it could be intrusive.  To be sure you’re ready, your coach may sometimes wait for you to ask. (Sometimes your coach will ask you if it would be okay to offer advice or feedback).

A Decision Made.  If you make a significant change or decision between sessions, keep your coach informed.  Change coaching requires feedback!


The best, top Change Coaches online serve clients in Los Angeles, San Francisco
and the Bay Area, Miami, Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, Minneapolis, St. Louis,
New York City, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio,
Madison, Milwaukee, NYC, Washington D.C., San Diego, Denver, Calgary,
Edmonton, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Honolulu, Baltimore, Boston, Montreal,
Kansas City, Omaha, Las Vegas, Newark, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus,
Dayton, Portland, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Fort Worth, Salt Lake City,
Seattle, Vancouver, San Jose, Phoenix, Tucson, Tampa, Olympia, Spokane,
Tacoma, Palo Alto, Pasadena, Sacramento, Santa Monica, Greenwich, Hartford,
New Haven, Albuquerque, Austin, Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, Eugene,
Salem, and many more!

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