A Coaching Power Tool created by Razan Zeidal-Kilani
(Transformational Coach, CANADA)
My power tool is based on a very important aspect, which I have witnessed repeatedly while coaching my clients, Evading vs. Making Action. It is also inspired by some views mentioned by Mr. Bill Turpin’s in one of his teleclasses.
According to Dictionary.com, “Evading” from the verb “evade” means the following:
- To escape from by trickery or cleverness.
- To get around by trickery.
- To avoid doing or fulfilling.
- To avoid answering directly.
- To elude; escape.
The common meaning among all the previous definitions is that the person knows what is right, yet does not act upon it. This is the opposite of making an action, which aligns with the truth of that knowledge, the person is evading from.
It would be normal and expected if clients evaded making an action in the beginning of the coaching relationship. Yet, I have noticed, which was very interesting to me, that clients usually evaded making an action towards the middle of our coaching process, and following a good period of heightening awareness. Therefore, this has highlighted a repeated pattern of choices, which the client needed to address at that stage.
The diagram above explains this notion. I use it to measure how close or far the client is to achieving their goals. Every time they evade, I show the clients how far they are getting from their goals. It is a clear and simple wayof interpreting the cold feet notion clients experience prior to committing toa change. It has successfully motivated my clients to stick again to their planand make an action. The diagram works both horizontally and vertically.
However, I have observed that clients evade making an action, due to the following key reasons:
- Fear: Human beings perceive physical and emotional harm equally. To the brain, they are both almost identical stimulators, which can remain hidden behind the motivators of client’s actions. So, clients may develop enough awareness around the need for change, yet some unaddressed underlying beliefs may feed certain fears clients may have, which may hinder the coaching progress.
- Lack of motivation and willpower to make a change: Change is not easy. Not everyone is prepared for immediate change, even if the client had sought the help of the coach. This should not translate immediately into client’s willingness to make a major change. On the other hand, it is best that change happens gradually as a counter-motion, parallel to the previous patterns of behavior and reactions. Gradual change is a better predictor of success, as it allows a step-bystep reflection process, which shall – in turn – heighten client’s awareness and establishes alternative healthier habits, as s/he is progressing in their coaching process.
- Not enough awareness around other relevant areas that had not been addressed earlier in the coaching process, like the consequences of the choices the client is making.
It is safe to assume that man is a creature of habit. Habit makes one feel safe. Routine creates security in our lives. Yet, it also makes us feel bored, unsatisfied and unfulfilled. Clients may contemplate change as a result; however, they may not have enough courage and genuine intention for commitment to change.