Breaking Down the WallThis Gutsy Coaching Moment is from J. Christopher Collard, Houston, Texas.

Sometimes in the course of our coaching we find we are hitting a wall with our player. We don’t feel we are making any progress. At those times, we need to evaluate whether this relationship is good for the player as well as us. Sometimes, we have to do something uncomfortable.

I have known Joe for about 3 years. About 4 months ago, I approached Joe with the concept of working with him as his personal coach to help him enhance his status within his organization.

In our first meeting, we identified his main goal was to become a leader. We identified some of the steps he could take to make that happen. However I felt he was being too narrow in what he could do to become recognized as a leader. To complicate the situation, the steps he was going to take had to be placed on the back burner due to his other work related commitments.

As time went on, I suggested he should “Stand in the Outcome.” I wanted him to see what it felt like for him to be a leader. I suggested he take that perspective so he could look back and see what he had done to get there. We discussed the four forces of flight and how we could use it to identify what inspired him in becoming a leader, what gave him the thrust to move ahead and what held him back or stood in his way. I felt sure that by combining these techniques we could broaden the goals he needed to achieve to become an acknowledged leader in his firm.

During our next few sessions, we had good discussions concerning what was going on in his life and I introduced some new concepts to him. However he never did move out of that space. He would come into the meetings without having completed those items, which I felt, were necessary for us to be able to move forward.

It came time for me to evaluate this relationship. As you can guess it was hard, not only was I Joe’s coach, but I was also his friend. However, I had to do something, which could help him.

In our next session, I explained to Joe that without his completing the things we discussed earlier, we would have a hard time helping him reach his goal. I needed to know, what he wanted. I needed his input. Without that, this was a nice time spent together but if he didn’t bring something to the table we would not be going where he wanted to go. He agreed, and committed to me to have these exercises completed by the next time we met.

I knew when he left; that I would have to cut the coaching relationship off if he came in the next week ill prepared. This was a decision, at this point, although hard, I was prepared to make. The bottom line is, I wanted to help him but he needed to help himself.

I am glad to say, that when our next meeting occurred, Joe was prepared. He had given a lot of thought to those areas we had discussed earlier. Now, as we move forward we have a broader vision and a vision we can expand and more areas to work on to help him achieve his goal of becoming a recognized leader in his organization.

Chris Collard is a business coach and practices in Texas. He earned his coaching certification through CoachLab.

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