Coaching Spotlight: How My Client Regained Momentum After A Two Week Set Back

When life gets in the way, how do we IMMEDIATELY jump back into action?!?


This week a client of mine had a significant life event happen and when it came time for our coaching session he felt like he had lost 2 weeks of momentum and was feeling stuck and overwhelmed on all that needed to get done since returning back to work.  Here is what we did together.  I trust it may offer you direction if you ever find yourself in this place.


It starts with asking yourself the question “what do I need the most right now?”  This current client shared these four things; 1) team status 2) focus/clarity 3) expectations of self 4) get out of feeling of being overwhelmed.


So together we took this approach and chunked down a simple plan.  It’s always these three things that get us moving again 1) PLAN 2) ACTION 3) RESULTS.  So we built his plan, wrote down the actions to take for him to see the results he was needing/seeking.


How we approached the team status portion was this.  By asking my client ‘what do you need when you think of your team?” he stated “I want to hear how their doing, what do they need and how to best communicate with me so I can stay focused this week as I return back to work and have two weeks’ worth of tasks to accomplish. We decided that a clear, concise team email was appropriate.  So, I championed my client to ask these four key things;

·      What is the PURPOSE for the email

·      What is the GOAL you have set by sending out this email?

·      What ACTIONS do you need to take (including a strong call to action (ex; please respond back to me with your input/update by Friday at 5pm.)

·      What RESULTS would you like to receive by sending out this email?


Immediately he had a roadmap to follow.  This lessened his overwhelmed feeling and gave him immediate actions to take.  As he said toward the end of our call, “most of the overwhelm and exhausted feeling I was having was really me just overthinking all that I had to do, but once we chunked it down and set up simple actions to take I was in immediate ‘go mode’ and could clearly see how I was going to get everything done (2 weeks’ worth of things) by 5pm Friday”.


When coaching on the ‘overwhelmed’ aspect, it simply came down to this question “what do you need to get done with the time that you have?”  He clearly stated two simple things; 1) complete all my client needs 2) complete all the paperwork.  So, together we created ‘healthy boundaries’ toward approaching it and noted that if he spent 10 hours on client focus and 10 hours on paperwork he would achieve the goals he had set to get everything done. 


The way we approached paperwork is this: getting clear on the priority of it.  By creating an A | B | C system allows for a quick snapshot of what needs to happen first.  If you say ‘by Thursday noon I will have completed X level of paperwork’ allows you a timeline to approach it and by A | B | C’ing the process you know what needs to happen first.  This allows you to breakdown and approach the paperwork aspect with ease.  Creating an end-in-mind approach helps.


Now my client was back in action and had a simple approach to follow in addition to feeling whole and complete and start the upcoming week with a fresh slate.  Returning after 2 weeks of being gone no longer seemed like a problem. 


Life happens.  Sometimes too much of our time is spent on ‘the feeling and thinking’ of being overwhelmed but if you put pen to paper and work through it with some strategy (that’s what coaching offers) you can through the rough patches of life and come out ahead.

Marlo Higgins