A while back one of my coaching clients took some time out from our sessions due to challenging personal issues for which they also took time off work. I offered online video sessions and agreed they could contact me when ready.
It got me thinking though. Could coaching perhaps be at its most useful at a difficult time like this? Would you postpone or continue?
I imagine anyone would feel very vulnerable in the face of great difficulty. And perhaps that is when our greatest opportunity for growth occurs, when we are vulnerable. Very often when we feel vulnerable we pull away from others and isolate ourselves. Maybe we are afraid of being seen as weak, we feel ashamed, or struggle to cope. Going through a difficult time, being off work (and probably stressing about that), without your normal everyday routine, social interactions and daily achievements, left with lots of time to think…that could easily lead to low mood and further distress; or it could be potentially life changing, depending on whether we perceive this as a threat or as an opportunity.
My sense is that in order for any good to come out of a tough situation like this, some form of support is needed. Coaching could be that support. Coaching has perhaps the greatest opportunity of being transformational when there is vulnerability. Your coach can be your sounding board, and your mirror to reflect the parts of you that you are least likely to see, to grow awareness and gain insight, to learn and develop as a person.
The rewards can be rich but the work only happens when a client feels safe enough to be fully themselves, to open up and explore the meaning of a situation for them in their life at that time so that they can move forward feeling renewed.