I am an executive coach and my passion is helping women who want to, take up executive roles. Many choose not to climb this mountain but I reckon the ones who do, deserve support. To this end I offer senior women a free 2 hour coaching session as a way of giving them value, building my own quality network, and offering them the experience of working with someone like me!
The last session I did was for a senior manager in the Police force who had recently been fielding a new role whilst going through a messy divorce. Her husband also worked for the Police in the same area.
Defining the challenge
I asked how she wanted to use the session. She replied that her change in status had brought with it the need to make many new decisions. With the added requirement of performing in the new role, her head was bursting and she had no idea where to start. On reflection she felt she would really benefit from prioritising some of these decisions to give her more of a sense of control.
Describing a successful outcome.
A characteristic of the way I work is to use objects to help clients make some of their fleeting thoughts concrete so they can, literally stand back and consider them. What she wanted to have achieved by the end of the session, was being in a position to identify what to do; now, in the near future and at some point.
I have a box of small objects that I invite clients to choose from to represent the situation they are dealing with, laying them out in whatever format they choose. The need to simplify some of the complexity she was dealing with, suited this approach perfectly. In this case, finding suitable objects, she laid out and described all of the issues she felt she needed to address! As you can see from the photo above, when she had enumerated them, they had a very definite structure that was difficult to ignore!
As soon as we she posed the questions, about what to do, when, her unconscious kicked in and led her to position them in a way that shouted back the solution!
If you look at the image above, it is remarkable how clearly her preferred strategy was defined! On the left, the tape measure -sewing, the whistle - her clarinet and the candle - meditation, represented things she really enjoyed doing. These were a priority right now to calm her down and help her reconnect with who she was and her own creative resources.
The ones she needed to do soon, were represented by the line of objects, things like, changing the deeds for her house - the glass pyramid, looking at her insurance and her financial position - the china egg, planning a family holiday - the seashell, buying a new car - the racing car, speaking to relatives - the photo in a frame, and so on. As she explained each choice she was also able to say what needed to happen and understand why one needed to be done before or after another.
As she told me what she already knew but hadn’t been able to access she began to relax and enjoy the game! By the end of the session, there were gales of laughter about why one object rather than another! She was connecting with her own ease and facility to solve problems, something that had been sorely tried in the last year!
We already know the answers
We all experience times when we are just too congested with immediate worries to be able to access our natural resourcefulness. Connecting with who we are in a relaxed environment, unplugs the blocks and lets the mental juices flow again
The Lego man, languishing on the far right represented finding a future relationship! That was in the sometime/never category!! Understandable right now!