Decisions. Whether its telling your boss what you really think of her. Or slowly realising that the relationship that has lit your fire for the past seventen years has finally gone cold, binary choices often lie behind the decision to find a coach.
Good news is that coaching offers a variety of tools that can help. As a long-time Coaches Training Institute-trained coach, I’m a fan of perspectives work that allows you to explore the lenses through which you are looking at the options. That’s a good place to start. Then – without going all Lib Dem about it – it usually makes sense to explore whether there is a Third Way (rather than the Plan A and Plan B which look to be set in concrete). Crucially – if you can – it really helps to use the body as a barometer and guide. Move around and see how it feels to take up one choice or another. Look at the body energy. All things you can do in coaching. And outside of coaching, finding a time and space to NOT think about the decision on your plate and allow your inner wisdom to emerge will always pay dividends.
Whatever process you use, one of the things that may emerge is that the cigar is not always the cigar. i.e., that the decision is not the real issue. Whether you take the plunge and tell your boss what you’ve always thought of him or her (a fantasy enjoyed by most of the population) or decide better the devil you know. Whether you choose to walk from your marriage or go for couple counselling, chances are that you will still be that same person. Bringing the same hangups, strengths, hidden assumptions, patterns of behaviour right along with you.
So the real work becomes about uncovering those things and seeing which you want to keep, which you want to change, and which you want to jettison. (Or as one of my first, favourite, very German, clients, put it to me: Jane, you have to love it, change it, or leave it. Genau).
Which doesn’t mean that that coaching around decision making is redundant. Far from it. It’s a huge topic and one I often revisit. But one suggestion I would offer is that the question is often not about making the right decision. It’s about making the decision that you make, the right decision. Which means that – when you’ve gone through all the processes, had time and space to walk, talk and sleep it over, made and communicated the decision – you then decide to make the decision you’ve made the right decision.