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I have a client who is stuck. I am feeling really frustrated as our coaching sessions seem to be just going around and around the same problems which they seem unable to take action on.

23 February 2017 Anthony Eldridge-Rogers

It’s easy to get caught into a circular situation with our clients. They come to us to change things in their lives and then get stuck. And what is wrong with that? Change is, for very many people, a tricky and difficult process. Why do we expect to go from A to B without resistance?

The first step then is to be curious about your own response to your client’s situation. Are you interpreting it as a failure of your skills as a coach? Or are you telling yourself that the coaching is not working? And was it a race to change you entered into with them? Change, fast, furious and certain? Much of the difficulty we run into relates to the way we design and manage our coach client relationship. Did you ever talk about what they wanted to do when they got stuck? Did you even talk about the possibility? Is being stuck really what’s happening? Or has it become all about stuckness instead of the process of change itself, and an opportunity for a new and refreshing perspective?

If you can see that your client is stuck then obviously they can, too. Stop trying to break the cycle and instead, explore it. Make it a real place that has as much potential value as any other experience. Stop making it wrong and find out what feelings are in this place that may well be wanting to be integrated before the next steps can be taken.