Several years ago when I began coaching, I was taught that it was important to focus closely on the language choices made by clients. For example, clients who said they would try to change a behavior, read an email, or follow up on a difficult situation inevitably failed. Clients who said “I will” were much more likely to succeed.
One client I worked with came to his first coaching session upset about being passed over for a promotion. During the first ten minutes of our session, I noticed the language my client chose as he talked about his feelings. The words and phrases he used suggested that he actually hadn’t wanted the promotion. His speech was peppered with weak and ineffectual words and phrases such as try and sort of. The message was subtle yet undeniable.
When my client paused at minute eleven I took advantage of the moment…
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