Many years ago, I was facing some difficult career choices. As a coachee, I was asked a question which I found very powerful. My first kid was a few months ago at that time, and the question was like ‘The best way to raise the kids is to role model. How would you choose so that you will have the stories you want to tell your kids when they grow up?’
I suddenly became very clear on what I will do. On reflection, the question is powerful because it connected my emerging identity to the problem. Since I had a lot of energy on such identity, the question empowered me to address the problem the better.
The implication for me as a coach is then to look for the different identities a coachee has, especially those outside the natural scope of the underlying problem. So, if the problem is in the workplace, look for identities like a mother, a father, a daughter, a son, a sister, a brother, a friend, a sports team member, a church member….. Sense which one the coachee has energy with. Prompt the coachee to look at the problem from such identity may give him / her new perspective.