By: Elizabeth Saigal, Ph.D. CLC
Coaching conversations incorporate process and action coaching. When client focus is on clarity and deepened understanding, process coaching is emphasized, and when the focus is on goal attainment, action coaching takes precedence. However, every coaching conversation should retain both to provide for greatest client impact and preserve awareness of both being and doing.
Process coaching is essential for clarity and motivation, a way to connect to the client passion and increase their self understanding. Action coaching is to make progress and be productive with what has been learned. Each client may feel more comfortable with one type over the other. Even so, take care to maintain both in the coaching conversation. This lack of ease with engaging internally or externally is in itself an important insight that will bring a profound leap forward when they are ready.
For clients that are interested in or more comfortable with getting to who they are at their core, the coaching session may be primarily process orientated. The client will benefit from releasing those ways of being that limit their options. An action plan may emerge naturally, but more often than not it entails a new way of interacting with the world and showing up in general. Process coaching allows exploration of the questions ‘Who am I?’, and ‘How do I want to show up in the world?’ It promotes inner connection and informs on how they can best nurture themselves, where to yield and where to stand firm. This internal inquiry brings the client greater appreciation of their gifts and allows them to be more sensitive and attuned to their own personal flow and the vibrations of their spirit. Decisions and connections with others will become easier because they come from a deeper knowing of what is true for them. Over time, the client will become more present and genuine in their interactions and life choices.
Clients that resist action coaching may do so out of fear of taking steps in areas that hold profound meaning for them. There is the feeling of risking it all, but not doing so means that they limit their potential for growth and fall short of their zone of genius. Awareness of this barrier, brings sadness around what they could be doing. They may be expert at observing what is true for them, but at some point have the choice to manifest these truths in their lives also.
Some clients, that are not yet inclined to embrace the vulnerability that process coaching brings, prefer to focus on planning and timetabling. Expanding on the tasks required and identifying when and where to place their energies can bring forth immense progress. This logical and analytical assessment provides a map of the steps and resources needed for goal attainment. It promotes a competitive viewpoint directed towards overcoming external obstacles in their path. Over time, the client will successfully reach the many goals they set for themselves.
However, clients that resist process coaching and connecting to their internal truths may find that this high level of success still leaves them feeling hollow because the goals they are setting are peripheral to their core being. Rather than engaging with what really makes them tick, they deflect the pain of this emptiness by keeping busy and doing for the sake of doing to maintain social appearance or dominance. They may be experts at manifesting, but at some point they can also choose whether this creation really connects to their personal mission.
I like to think of process coaching as feminine and action coaching as masculine, the yin to the yang. Direct your coaching conversation both to the clients’ journey as well as to their goals. When the journey aligns with the way the client wants to live they will be more inspired and joyful and their sense of accomplishment in making progress on their goals will be even greater.
Elizabeth Saigal is an ILCT Certified Life Coach. She offers Life Design Coaching for those intent on connecting with their inner truth and aligning with their intuition to live a life on purpose. You can connect with her and sign up to receive her Free Ten Step Life Design System at www.myspirecoaching.com