Expert Series: Coaching Legacy: When, Why & How. Part 3
I’ve shared a few thoughts and insights about coaching legacy in this series, and while today take a slight turn of a topic, in the end, you’ll see the connection.
Just this week I listened to a client describing how at her age she felt like a giant tree. “I have a heavy, solid middle, and very deep roots. I’m settled in, rooted. In order for me to change you’d have to uproot my whole life and replant me in different soil. I’m stuck here because that’s not going to work!” I chucked good-naturedly.
Of course, with everything we know about neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, we know this isn’t actually true. In reality, in keeping the same metaphor, you can train branches to grow in different directions without needed to replant the whole tree! All it takes is desire, consistent forward-moving and reflective actions, and time.
The desire part, that’s yet another reason coaching legacy is so rewarding and beneficial. Our clients are often seeking solutions to waning motivation and energy that keep them moving toward their goals, toward the life they want to have. The desire is there, they want it, but the motivation comes and goes. Why is motivation so elusive to so many? It’s often because the client’s WHY isn’t compelling enough. Why do they want what they want?
Goals like getting the raise, losing the weight, or finding the life-partner all seem pretty motivating, but they often fall short in creating the sustainable fuel-source that carries the client across the finish line. This is where a bigger WHY comes in handy, and for many, the creation of their legacy is a might big WHY.
Try this reflective exercise with your clients when they’re struggling with motivation to ‘keep on’ with the pursuit of their dream. This exercise also works when a client is ready to transition away from what you first were hired to coach them around, and they are looking for the next goal to align to. Ask them: Imagine yourself sitting at your 88th birthday party. If you were to describe and imagine your ideal scenario, where are you in the world? Who is with you? What are you all doing? What memories are you sharing? What topics are on tips of everyone’s tongues? How is everyone reflecting on, or embodying, the impact you have had in their lives? Notice if there are generations of your family there? If they are there, who do they know you to be?
Further, explore by asking your client questions like: What would it feel like to have everything you’ve envisioned come true? If you keep on as you are, do you think this vision will come to pass?
Exercises and questions that connect, or reconnect, your clients to their potential life-long impact can uncover some discrepancies between the vision and their current reality. These gaps between their current situation and their desired legacy, (coachable moments), and then working to close them can help pinpoint some mighty compelling ‘WHY-fuel’ to sustain your clients change!
Terri Hase, PCC, MMC, is a 16+ year veteran in the coaching industry. She is Managing Director at Impact Coaching Academy where she teaches a variety of beginning and advanced coach training programs. Her private practice includes Mentoring and Business Development Coaching.
Terri’s direct, casual, and humorous approach has earned her top status among instructors in the coaching field.
The Expert Series is brought to you by choice Magazine as part of our ongoing efforts to bring opportunities for learning and growth to the coaching community. Delivered in four parts every two weeks, each series covers useful topics for business development and coaching insights, serving the needs of leaders in all areas and walks of life. Archived copies of the previous series can be found here.