A Coaching Power Tool By Tina Melson, Life Coach, Living in Indonesia, INDONESIA
How to Move a Client From Feeling Disconnected vs. Connected
At this time when people have experienced lockdowns and other restrictions to activities, feelings of isolation and loneliness are on the rise. But disconnection is not only caused by lockdowns, it can happen at any time for several reasons during different phases of life. No matter what the cause, feeling disconnected can have a very negative effect on a person’s life and work experience. Unresolved disconnection can lead to depression or more serious mental health issues. This disconnection may occur as a defensive reaction to one’s life situation or can happen slowly as external factors become overwhelming. Within coaching, once a disconnection comes into a client’s awareness, then the opportunity to reconnect becomes available.
The aim of this power tool is to share ideas for how to move a client from feeling disconnected to being connected.
Connection comes in many different forms, be it with nature, other people, or in many cases with our goals and values.
What Is the Difference Between Disconnected vs. Connected
Disconnected as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is not related to or connected with the things or people around.
A client can be disconnected from other people, ideas, or their own feelings.
Factors that can lead to feeling disconnected include the following:
- A lack of direction
- Feeling stressed – either at work or in a personal life
- Overwhelmed – too much happening and feeling out of control
- Lack of time for own interests or tasks – leading to feelings of frustration and resentment.
- Low self-esteem – worrying too much about what others think and not valuing own worth.
- Actions not aligned with own goals
- Feeling bored – lack of interest
- Feeling blocked – unable to get past or even recognize an issue exists.
- Lack of motivation–Not finding pleasure in tasks
- Feeling unhappy
- Perfectionist and having unrealistic goals.
- Depressed – lack of fulfillment
- Putting others first – not valuing own needs
- No connection between head and heart – thinking and feelings are not aligned.
- In some cases, a disconnect can be linked to past events such as abuse or trauma which may need referral to a mental health professional.
Connected as defined by the Oxford English Learner Dictionary, is of two or more things or people having a link between them. 
Connection comes in many different forms, be it with nature, other people as well as with our goals and values. From a coaching perspective, the client has a conflict between what the heart is feeling and the logical thinking from the head. This creates a disconnect. The aim of coaching is to find the balance between listening to the heart and respecting what the head is saying. In a coaching environment, the coach will explore with the client what the client’s core values and goals are and what they would like to reflect on and work with to be able to reestablish this connection – to make the connection.
The Advantages of a Client Feeling Connected
As the client connects and becomes more in tune with deeper feelings and values, this will lead to more happiness as s/herealigns with their beliefs.
This freedom to choose a new path to take will enable feeling more in control and new energy for different directions.
Relationships with other people can become easier. By being more aware of your own feelings, you can be more open to other people around you and make genuine connections with people who are positive, supportive, and healthy. Being socially connected can lead to lower anxiety and depression while increasing self-esteem and empathy.
Being socially connected lowers our anxiety and can actually improve our immune system and health, and can lead to a longer life as stress levels decrease. It also helps cultivate resilience and more confidence to deal with consequent difficult situations. Oct 2019
The Transition From Disconnected to Connected
The first step in the process from feeling disconnected to connected is to evoke awareness in the client. The use of powerful questions, silence, metaphor, or analogy may achieve this.
By evoking awareness the client will start to understand the current situation more thoroughly and how they arrived there. Evoking awareness allows the client to externalize the issue therefore being more able to gain control over it.
Once the situation is clear, clients can recognize the issues involved and find a path to reconnect with their goals and values. Each solution will be unique to the problem the client faces, but the client will find their own way through the coaching process.
Coaching questions for clients:
- What has brought you to this feeling of being disconnected?
- What would it feel like to be connected?
- What is important about connecting back in now?
- What is important to you?
- What do you believe about your situation?
- What can you do today to be more connected?
- What could you do in the future to be more connected?
- What do you want to do to reconnect with your values and goals?
The situation of feeling disconnected may have been caused by a defense mechanism from a situation that the client was not ready to face. It may have been hidden from them as they were stressed and overwhelmed. Whatever the cause, through effective coaching and open, curious, and powerful questioning, they can have the opportunity to tackle the situation and look at what will help to align with their core values and lead to a happier, more fulfilled life.
Within the coaching process, the ‘a-ha’ moments are the glimpses of the client coming back into feeling connected. These are the bombshell moments that give the client clarity around the issue. During the coaching process perspectives may shift and the client can start to feel better as values align with their plans to move forward. With this new understanding, the client can explore paths to strengthen this feeling of being connected.
Feeling and being connected within, allows the client to make better choices and feel in control – leading to higher self-esteem, happiness, and better health. The client is empowered to move forward with knowledge and clarity that s/he is in balance – moving forward with an open heart and a clear head. Connected…….
Oxford Learner Dictionaries.
Candian Mental Health Association
Disconnect to Connect Image