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  • Writer's pictureBetsy Kent

COACHING IN A BOTTLE


My 28 year old daughter is probably the LAST person to ever want me to coach her, on any subject. But we are on a family vacation this week and she has no one else to talk to. I am her first choice only when she has hit “rock bottom” and has no one else to turn to.


So her rock bottom is my lucky day. She is upset about something - work related, and since I am a career coach she is dipping her toe in some coaching, reluctantly.


Everything I say in the beginning is met with eye rolls and emphatic “I knows”. But then I ask her a few more questions and while I expect more of the same reactions she stops and says,

“wait - why didn’t I ever think of that! It’s so obvious!”


The truth is, it WAS really obvious - to me - because I wasn’t part of her problem. But it wasn’t clear to her.


This is the perfect example of the perfect metaphor for coaching that I heard from another coach a while back (I can’t remember who or I would give them credit for it here!).


It’s hard to read the outside of a bottle when you are stuck inside the bottle.


Solving all your own problems alone is like being stuck inside a bottle and trying to read the writing on the outside of the bottle from the inside.


It’s backward and you are too close up to see the whole word or sentence.


A coach, on the other hand, is outside the bottle and can see the writing perfectly.


But unlike a friend or family member (don’t tell my daughter!) the coach doesn’t judge or interpret the writing and doesn’t tell you what to do with the new information the writing provides.


The coach helps you figure it out yourself - which you can more easily do with the additional information.


This is the best advertisement for coaching I can imagine. And frankly, my daughter is the last place I would have looked for inspiration!


So - you can stay inside the bottle (which is your own perspective on any situation) and spend a ton of energy trying to figure out what that writing says.


Or you can get the perspective of a coach and see all the relevant information so you can spend your energy solving your problem!


I don’t think my daughter will hire me anytime soon, but I think she might hire someone else now that she resolved her own issue in less than 20 minutes.


So ask yourself - how much time and effort do you want to spend reading backwards and up too close?


Get some coaching - with someone - even if it’s not with me!


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