A Coaching Power Tool created by Jeff Anderson
(Mid-Life Coach, UNITED STATES)
What is Responsibility?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines responsibility as being
…liable to be called to account as the primary cause, motive or agent.
Responsibility can be assigned or assumed voluntarily, but in all cases responsibility must be accepted. You might raise the objection
My boss gave me the assignment, I had no choice.
Unless you have a contractual obligation, you always have a choice. You may not always like the choices, but they are there.
What is Guilt?
The dictionary definition of guilt is
…feelings of culpability from imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy.
Let’s see if we can build ourselves a little guilt detector:
- I should call my mother
- I ought to get started on that project
- I’m angry that I have to care for my aging parents
Sound familiar? Remember, guilt is internal. Like responsibility, it must be accepted.
Bring to mind something in your own life that you feel guilty about. Now answer these questions:
- What is it I feel guilty about?
- What are the reasons and fears that are causing the guilt?
- What actions could you take that would reduce or eliminate the reason?
- Of those actions, which would you be willing to take right now?
Often times when coaching a client you will notice reluctance on their part to either take action toward a goal, or even discuss the goal. A few gentle, prodding questions will often uncover a guilty feeling or a fear that is holding them back. This is your chance to ask one of the most powerful questions in coaching –
Would you like to discuss the issue surrounding that guilty feeling?
This is often the permission your client has been seeking to bring the issue to light. Once out in the open, it can be handled like any other coaching session.
- Has the client been reluctant to discuss a goal or failed to take agreed upon actions?
- What is causing the client to block on the task?
- How is this block affecting the client’s life?
- What would the client see as the perfect outcome for this issue?
Once you reach a point where the client has a desired outcome, you as coach can now use your own tool bag to move the client from a position of guilt to a position of responsibility.