Many times my coaching clients feel stuck and don’t know what to do. I love helping them get “unstuck.”
In my experience I have found it quite powerful to use direct communication to help my clients to see that they do have options. Sometimes I will say something like – “You have the power to renegotiate” or “You have the power to choose a different course.”
A statement like this has often opened up the door to considering new options once they see that they can choose a different path or direction.
I remember a time when my coach helped me to get “unstuck.” I felt trapped by a commitment that I had made to a training event and was feeling internal pressure about it. She helped me to discover that I could renegotiate this commitment and I found a way forward that relieved the pressure I was feeling.
Another helpful approach is to generate multiple options. Sometimes a client feels stuck because they only see two choices and feel that they must choose the “lesser of two evils.” You’ve probably felt this way at times.
I tell my clients that they need three good options to feel empowered to make the right decision. This requires generating more options — even some that are ridiculous or impractical. Seeing more options can help discern the best way forward.
Asking “And what else?” can often trigger more creative choices. Feeling “stuck” can simply be a result of not considering enough options. Try asking yourself “And what else?” several times before making a decision.
In his book Do More Great Work, Michael Bungay Stanier speaks about the power of asking this question:
One of the most powerful coaching questions I know is also the simplest: “And what else?” …The first answer someone has is never their only answer and rarely their best one. This simple follow-up question allows all their other insights to come in out of the cold.
Don’t forget that “And what else?” comes in a number of variations: “And…?” “Can you think of anything else?” “Do you have any further thoughts on this?” They’re all the same question with different makeup on.
The next time you feel stuck – try working with a coach OR try generating more options. Remember that you have the power to renegotiate.