There is a skill in coaching called “intruding” or interrupting the client. It has a couple key uses, one of which is yet another way of being with “stories” :
- When a client is “telling a story” and taking it “way too far” – caught up in details and not learning from their personal reaction to or engagement in the situation – the coach may intrude and perhaps ask for “just the facts” or “bottom line” or “what’s they REAL issue?” or “what aren’t you saying?”
- When the coach has an intuition, an “Aha!” and it fits … NOW … in order to most benefit the client, the coach may interrupt and ask “I just had an intuition … may I share?”
The purpose here is to help the client go beyond the story, go deeper, get outside the box, vision, shift gears – learn. Coaching is about forwarding action and deepening learning. We usually don’t learn much from telling and retelling our tales.
Here’s the challenge for you this week: Intrude on yourself! Catch yourself rehashing a story, or embellishing, or rationalizing, or “wasting time in your head”. Catch yourself and INTRUDE! Then ask one or more of these questions:
What is the real issue?
What am I making up here?
What do I refuse to see?
What action is mine to take?
What if I just let it go?