Dealing With Communication Breakdowns
Part I: Communication and Fear
One of the main things people come to coaching for is better communication. They may have other results they desire, but it turns out most of the things we want are in some way predicated on communication.
So when my client comes to me and says, “I really want to be home with my son more,” I ask him what has he tried? He tells me the story of how his wife wants to work more and he wants to stay home more, but he needs his job and there is just no answer. I say, “Have you asked your boss if you can change your hours?” And he says, “No.” I ask why he hasn’t. He has a hard time articulating, as if talking to her has never crossed his mind. “What do you think would happen if you approached her?” And he says, “I can’t do that.” Again, I ask him why he feels he can’t.
This is the place where coaching comes in. Why are you doing the things you are doing? Why are you not doing the things you are not doing? What is your level of awareness? What things remain impossible for you because you have not considered them? Coaching is useful because it invites you to look at things you have not before. The human brain is tricky. It will often not even consider something that it fears. He may not end up talking to his boss, but there is value in at least examining what he is afraid of.
The question, “Why have you not talked to this person?” is a useful one. What is the fear? What have you made up? And why?
This is a series on communication breakdowns, how to recognize them and how to resolve them.
We will break it into sections and offer you some homework at the end of each section. For this next couple weeks, your homework is to make a list of all the conversations you are not having: people you are not having honest conversations with because you are upset with them, people you are not talking to who might be able to help you solve something, people you think you “can’t” talk to. The objective is to raise your awareness, to start to notice who and what you are avoiding. Just notice.
In two weeks, I will post part II: what are communication breakdowns and how do they arise?
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From a current coach-trainee: I decided to take McLaren Coaching’s coach training (Transformative Coaching Essentials) because I wanted to make a difference in the world by learning learn how to facilitate people transforming their lives – at any age. In the process, I transformed my own life. And discovered my destiny to BE a Dynamic Aging Coach.
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