Coaching is about helping clients find their own answers to the dilemmas they face. Asking—rather than telling—is central to helping people listen to their “inner teachers” and find their own answers. That’s why one of the first skills you learn in coach’s training is that of asking powerful questions. A powerful question is one that invites the client look at the situation in a new way and discover new possibilities and fresh insights.
Sometimes when a client is feeling stuck on a negative way of thinking about a situation or experience, I’ll ask, “How can you reframe that?”
When you reframe something, you look at events, emotions, and situation through a more positive lens. It’s not unlike what happens when you take a dingy albeit valuable landscape painting that you inherited from an elderly relative to a frame shop, and the craftspeople there transform it into a beautiful vista simply by putting it into a shiny new frame with a clean mat.
Ever wonder why I call it Heyday Coaching. It comes from a quote from one of my heroes, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who said, “Fifty, not fifteen, is the heyday of woman’s life, then the forces hitherto finding an outlet in flirtations, courtship, conjugal and maternal love, are garnered in the brain to find expression in intellectual achievements, in spiritual friendships and beautiful thoughts, in music, poetry, and art. It never is too late to try what we may do.”