Light is a metaphor used to describe anything that brings clarity and dispels doubts / issues. It is also a metaphor used to describe anything that shows the way ahead and helps a person move forward. The term ‘inner light’ refers to a person’s ability to help oneself. The underlying belief is the faith in human potential to be masters of one’s own destiny. Many a times in a coaching situation a client seeks direct help from the coach. The process of discovery of solution can be painful. At this point, coach helps the client discover one’s own path. As mentioned in the story of the boy and the butterfly, this struggle a client goes through is essential to build a solution that takes into account all important aspects and helps client discover a sustainable solution. Coach plays a major role by bringing out core strengths of a client in given situation. This is done by asking questions that are rooted in coach’s curiosity. Coach also plays a major role in shifting the focus from ‘hoping for help’ to the ‘inner light’ to solve the problem.
Coach needs to spend sufficient time to bring out the clarity in terms of coach’s role and the coaching process to avoid any potential confusion about role of the coach. To avoid jumping into the ready-made solution mode the coach needs to spend enough time to clarify issue at hand and ask the powerful questions like:
- What is the exact issue and how is this impacting the client?
- What makes the issue important to the client?
- If this issue not resolved what would happen?
These questions will ensure that the issue is tabled comprehensively and it will also ensure the client’s personal perspective of the issue. Apart from clarity it also helps in minimizing the risk of ‘identification’ with the issue by coach as mentioned above.
In order to ensure that the client finds own solution than depending on the ‘help’ following techniques can be adopted by the coach:
Appreciative inquiry technique is used to bring forth all the resources that a client may not be conscious of. This also helps a client to be more confident during the ‘struggle’ to find a solution for the issue being discussed.
Visualization technique is used to help client “see” the best solution without getting constrained by the current resources. Once clients visualized the best solution, powerful questions can be asked to explore multiple options leading to the solution.
Once a client chooses the action plan, client is encouraged to draw parameters to determine the success and milestone to gauge the progress going forward. Client is also encouraged to clearly articulate the support structure that needs to be created to ensure the results.
The whole system of awareness of desired results, action plan, milestones as well as the support structure is the ‘inner light’ that guides the client on the road ahead in a sustainable manner.
- How do you resolve the conflict in your mind as a coach about whether to help a client or not?
- How can you maintain a positive environment as a coach when the client is going through a struggle to find out the solution?
- What are the advantages of ‘inner light’ vis-à-vis help?