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How Coaching Helps Handle Challenges at Work and With Others in Your Life

One of the reasons people come to a coach is because they lose perspective.

As they’re attempting to move forward, particularly into a new realm – new career, new relationship, new living arrangement, they feel challenged, stressed and often forget what worked for them in the past. Or, they think they have to do something new.

Here’s a little story from a supervision session I had with one of my coach clients. She works with her clients to help them with diet and exercise and makes health recommendations about wellness and supplements.

As were talking – it was a phone session – I heard her sniffing and clearing her throat. I interrupted the discussion we were having on the use of paradoxical interventions. [Will explain that in another tip, you’ll love it.]

Sharon: How are you feeling?

Amy: OK.  Just have a bad cold. [I hear her sigh] Annoying

Sharon: That’s crummy.  What are you doing for it?

Amy: Not much

Sharon: Not much?  You’re not taking anything?

Amy: I just got involved in other things and have been so tired.

Sharon: But isn’t that what you do with your clients, make recommendations for things they could use?

Amy: Well, yeah . .

Sharon: So, what might you recommend to one of your clients who had similar symptoms

She’s silent for a minute:

Amy: Well . . . There are a number of things. (She seems to be thinking and then I hear what sounds like opening a cabinet door.)

Amy: Lysine – 4-5000 mg; Vitamin C 2000 mg a few times a day for the first couple of days and then back to 1-2,000 for the duration of the cold; they can also use Olive Leaf; zinc; garlic . . . . drink lots of water.  And of course get plenty of rest.

Sharon: But you’re not doing the same for yourself?

Amy:  Uh . . . I have been drinking tea with lemon and honey…. [She hesitates]  It’s what my mother used to give me. I miss her.  When I was little, I’d get into her bed, she’d bring up a tray with a pretty cup of tea and some toast.  She’d tell me stories, cuddle me . . . She’s so far away now.

Sharon: Hmmmm.  So what have you done in the past as an adult when you’ve gotten a cold
that works for you?

Amy: [Laughing ]. I do really well with Lysine and Zinc and a garlic extract called Allicin.

Sharon: Do you have any?

Amy: Mmm hmmm.

Sharon: So . . .

Amy: Right?  OK.  I’ll get on my routine.  Thanks.

The next time we spoke and she reported she was feeling a lot better, I asked her a little more about how she reacted to her cold challenge. I wanted to know what tripped her up in following her own advice.

What she said was interesting

Amy: I hate getting sick.  When I do I feel like I let down my clients by being a bad role model. It’s actually kind of depressing. I’m not supposed to get sick.  Made me feel down and then I didn’t feel motivated to do anything.  It’s good we talked and you reminded me of what I know.  When I’m disappointed in myself, I tend not to take the best care of myself, even though I tell my clients how important it is to treat themselves well when they don’t feel well.

Sharon: How might you intervene with yourself when that happens.

Amy:I guess the first thing is be aware that I’m feeling blue.  Then I have a choice. Take better care of myself or just feel bad. I can remind myself of my favorite remedies, and make sure I have some on hand and prescribe caring to myself as if I were my own client.

Sharon: Good!  And maybe call Mom and get some virtual Tea, honey and Lemon over the phone?

Amy: [giggles] Yes.  That would be great.  I hate to tell her I don’t feel well, because she worries. But it would really help to get some special Mom TLC.

There’s considerable research on how challenges create stress and stress impairs our ability to know what we know.

Under stress, our brains and body are hard wired to react to the emotional aspects of the situation.  It’s part of the fight or flight instinct.  We can’t as readily consider the facts.

That’s why it’s important to remind ourselves that we do have internal resources that have worked in the past; to open our mental cabinet, see the choices we’ve previously used well, and consider which of those to call into action.

In addition, what worked with one challenge might have relevance for another. Think about the example above with Amy.  Another challenge she might have is in a relationship with a colleague at work.

There was a misunderstanding. Amy’s feelings are hurt.  She’s been thrown into an emotional field that makes it hard for her to remember how she and her colleague work well together.

She needs to stop, acknowledge to herself that she’s upset and stressed and then remind herself of what’s worked positively with with her coworker in the past. It would also be helpful to consider what created the uncomfortable communication.

What happened that led to the upset?

How might she avoid that in the future, creating a better work space for both of them?

Key takeaways:

  • Under challenge we experience stress which makes it hard to focus on the facts.
  • Take the time to remind yourself of what’s worked previously.
  • Which steps can you borrow from your previous successes and apply to this situation?
  • Assess the triggers that precipitated the challenge and consider how you might avoid them moving forward.

Make sense?

Next tip coming tomorrow

Thinking about getting certified as a Professional Coach? Want to talk about it? Or any questions you have about professional coaching? Let’s talk and see whether or not it makes sense for you to become a certified professional coach.

Click below

To Learn About Our Upcoming Fast Track Certification Workshop This March in New York City

The cost of $75 for the 30 minute consultation can be applied to the TLC Professional Coach Training program if you decide to join.Warmest regards,

Sharon 🙂

Dr. Sharon Livingston

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