What if… terrible coaching sessions weren’t really that terrible?

Have you ever left a coaching session groaning, “Can things really get any worse? Is my coaching really so dire? I’m an idiot!”? Whilst this can be a common reaction amongst coaches in training, don’t be fooled into thinking it doesn’t happen to more seasoned coaches from time to time too.

Man holding unhappy red squarePossibly the reaction is accurate. The coaching session was that dire, and you really are an idiot. I’d hazard a guess, though, that if you’re a qualified experienced coach (or even a newbie in most cases), the more likely story is that something’s been triggered in you which has retrospectively coloured your memory of the experience of the whole session. It’s part of a reflective coach’s duty to try to get to the bottom of such things rather than brush them under a convenient carpet to be tripped over at a later date.

Here I’m going to touch on the kinds of circumstances that might cause such an extreme reaction in a coach, and suggest  3  simple processes we can build into our planning which can help put the experience into perspective. These  3  processes are things we should be incorporating into our thinking anyway, but here we’re looking at them as being helpful when we really need to find a different perspective.

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