When we tell people we’re life coaches, we’re often mistaken for counselors. People think we ‘give good advice,’ but that’s not what life coaching is all about. To get a better definition of coaching, read this. If that’s still confusing, here’s a few sample sessions to give you a sneak peek into coaching. These are all made up, but fairly on par with typical sessions.
Coach: Tell me what you’d like to talk about today?
Coaching Partner (CP): I’m stressed about everything. I can’t catch a break. I’m just overwhelmed.
Coach: That’s a tough feeling to have throughout your day. Let’s take a step back. What’s overwhelming you.
Coach: Be specific. List off the top five stressors on your mind right now.
CP: Okay, well, I have a ton of bills to pay and I know I can’t pay them all off. My kids’ schedules are all over the place and I’m the only chauffeur with my husband always working overnights.
Coach: Is that two or three so far? Is your husband’s schedule a separate stressor from the kids’ schedules?
CP: (thinking) Yeah, I guess it is. So, yes, that’s three.
Coach: Just two more top stressors then. These are great.
CP: Okay, well, I’m trying to work out moving my dad to rehab and my brother is out of town so he can’t help. So, that. The last one would probably be some deadlines approaching at work. Trying to do this from home is harder than I thought.
Coach: Those are all valid stressors to overwhelm you. Which is the heaviest right now?
CP: (thinking) Since I know I can pay a small amount on those bills for now, and I can’t change my husband’s schedule… Also, the kids’ schedules are only for this season so… It’s my dad. I don’t know if I can make all the decisions on my own and not mess up.
Coach: Sounds like you found the culprit. This fear of messing up has upset your equilibrium with everything else.
CP: It really has. I’ve been dealing with everything okay until the rehab transfer issue.
Coach: Tell me more about that.
Coach: So, last we talked, you committed to building that resume and speaking to your boss. How’d that go?
CP: Actually, I didn’t get around to it.
Coach: How come?
CP: (hesitating) Well, I was busy.
Coach: Is this still something you want to do?
Coach: You’re hesitating. What’s holding you back?
CP: I’m not sure there’s too much I can put on my resume. I don’t think I’m the most qualified.
Coach: You gave more value to moving up at work last session. What changed?
CP: Nothing, I still want to move up, but I don’t have what they’re looking for.
Coach: Are you short changing yourself?
CP: I don’t know. I don’t think what I do is impressive enough.
Coach: Last time, you said you could do that job with your eyes closed. Sounds like you’ve got cold feet. Can we play this out for a moment?
Coach: I’ll be your boss. I’ll even pretend you added to your resume like we talked about.
CP: Right… okay. I’ll go back and actually do that today. Okay, shoot.
Coach: So, your resume looks great. I can see you’ve grown since joining the company. What can you bring to the table in this higher position?
CP: <explains with confidence all the aspects of the job that can be done>
Coach: I don’t see any hesitation now.
CP: Okay, I get it. I’m just short-changing myself.
Coach: You said you’ll work on your resume today. Will you talk to your boss this week?
CP: Yes, and this time I promise.
Coach: Can’t wait to hear how it goes.
CP: (sighs) Yes, I can’t keep holding back.
Coach: You look more tired than usual. You okay?
CP: I’m not sleeping. These shifts are killing me.
Coach: Are you taking on extra again?
CP: I need the money. I can’t turn it down. We’re in debt.
Coach: Are you balancing work and your own health?
CP: I can’t put myself first. We need to get out of the hole.
Coach: True, but can you do your job if you make yourself worse?
CP: I know. I need to schedule sleep better.
Coach: Is that all you need?
CP: No. I need a break.
Coach: Let’s explore that. Tell me more.
CP: The calls are wearing on me. They’re mostly routine but sometimes they get me edgy. I’ve been snapping at coworkers and, yesterday, I snapped at a caller. Thankfully, I wasn’t reported. I can’t lose my job.
Coach: Keep going.
CP: There’s a couple times I remember that a word or a type of call reminds me of something else. I just… I don’t even sleep well when I am scheduled to sleep. I’m exhausted but I can’t fall asleep. I keep hearing her voice, even though it was years ago. I don’t know why I can’t make it stop. It was a long time ago.
Coach: This is bigger than a scheduling problem and worth more than a few extra shifts. I’m going to recommend you start back with your therapist. I’d like you to call him today. We’ll still meet, but you should work this out with him too. You need to take care of this before it hurts you more or anyone else. You’re worth the time it will take.
CP: I don’t want to let my family down. I can’t afford therapy again.
Coach: This is you taking care of your family. Does your wife know?
Coach: Does she deserve to know?
CP: She does. I’ll talk to her tonight. She should know why I’ve been like this. I don’t want her to think I’m weak.
Coach: You’ve told me how much she supports you. Do you think she’s the kind of person to take that back because you need time for yourself?
CP: Not at all. She’ll support me through anything.
Coach: Remember that as you talk to her. I want you to email me as soon as you reach out to your therapist and again when you hear back. Will you do that?
CP: Yes. I’ll talk to her today and call my therapist tomorrow.
Hopefully, these sample sessions give you a sneak peek at what life coaching can do for you. Coaching can work for a variety of people and for any level of need. No need is too big or small. Coaches value you and will refer when necessary to more help. Don’t shirk your own needs. See what you’re capable of!