it’s important for us to pause, take a deep breath and ask the following questions that will help us to check our current state: How well have you understood your own self? Can u clearly state what it is that you are chasing? What according to you is balance in life?
Assuming that you have achieved all that you aspired, would you feel complete from within?
Did your goals remain constant or did they keep changing as you ran faster? If you have to live exactly the opposite way for the rest of your life, can you visualize the impact? How well did you enjoy your journey all along?
In a coaching engagement, as a coach we are bound to work with clients for whom this deep connection between the journey and destination is an issue. More often than not it is also likely that a coach is inducted when the need is felt strongly. From this point it can be a reactive response from the client and the coach should be able to perceive this situation clearly.
We may also have clients at differing state of mind viz, ambiguity regarding the destinations, ownership of the destination, fear of the fatigue of the journey, overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of effort required, and unsurfaced underlying beliefs which slips him in to his original response patterns etc. Questions such as, “Is it worth the chase?”, “What’s the return I get out of it?”, “What do I lose in the transformation?” etc. are other tensions that a coach may have to deal with.
With the knowledge that both the journey and destinations are important , a coach can direct the client in the following through some powerful questioning and power listening such as :
- What do goals and journey mean to you?
- Do you see them together or separate from each other?
- How important is this destination you have chosen to reach at?
- What is your ownership to these destinations? Whose goals are these actually?
- Where do you see yourself now vis-a-vis the destination?
- Narrate some great things you have exhibited in pursuit of the destination?
- What aspect of you enabled you to bring such results?
- What holds you back from going full throttle?
- Where do these blocks come from? Tell me more about it?
- Do you want to tackle these blocks? And how do you suggest we go about it?
- Would you like to mark some milestones on the way to the destination?
- What do you do on reaching each milestone? Would you like to reflect back?
- What’s the best and worst case scenario you could think about reaching or not reaching?
- How could you be prepared for both the eventualities?
While the questions may appear to be left-brained, the process of dialogue, showing of trust and empathy and positive reinforcement by the coach throughout the journey is bound to stimulate fresh answers in the minds of the client. The coach’s state of awareness of his own self, being present with the client with suspended judgments (being mindful) can also significantly enhance the relationship. Hence while working on bipolar extremities such as journey vs. destination, truth vs. lie, love vs. hate, etc., a coach needs to demonstrate a heightened sense of competencies that could help the client reach his end outcome of the coaching relationship. It’s also possible that the coach can stumble upon a third choice, a mid path between these extremities during this exploration!