Baby Steps – coaching through difficult situations
An interview with Sue Terry of Metroline Coaching, with a lovely story – also in the video – about how step by step, she helped a woman overcome her fear of having to be at the same important family event as her Ex husband.
“Sitting across the table from me, K smiled as she said, ‘I feel we’ve taken the first steps towards a better relationship at last.’
I knew that six months ago she’d never have believed that she and her ex-husband could even be in the same room, and here she was, giving me a relaxed account of their big family event in the heart of London.
After her divorce K had focused on moving her life forward on her own terms; with a plan and my coaching support she achieved this significant goal, but it was crucial to her that she was not rushed and was able to progress at her own pace.
It is important to me that people make the change they need at the speed with which they are comfortable, as this means their results and successes come more easily, so K’s decision was not a problem. I’d been reminded of the playground game ‘Mother May I?’ where one child is ‘Mother’ and the others race towards her, but not by running – each player has to ask if they can take a certain amount of a specific type of step.
These might be Baby Steps, Scissor Steps, Giant Steps, Jumping Jack Steps, Karate Steps, or Jump Steps. As I remember, it’s considered very nearly cheating to ask to do ’20 Giant Steps’ every time!
Baby Steps are fine – and with some clever planning they can actually help you reach the destination first, perhaps mixed up creatively with some Jumping Jacks or a Karate Step or two. The different types are fun, perhaps a bit of a challenge, but each takes the players at least one step nearer their goal.
K had been focusing on strategies for the big event that was looming ahead of her- she knew that it was important to the rest of the family that she made the effort to attend. K told me that it was essential to her that she didn’t let the impending diary date defeat her. ‘I didn’t want to let our children down, I didn’t want them to see me fail,’ although, she said, she felt wasn’t ready and was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to face it. She felt maybe she was going too slowly.
In fact, K’s Baby Steps had already covered a huge amount of ground and I suggested she look at that. K had been working on her personal change through coaching with NLP, with visualisation to gain control of her state of mind and meditation exercises to help with relaxation. It added up to a creative series of steps specific to her personal requirements.
Over the preceding six months she had worked hard on various areas of her life and health, progressing steadily towards the goals she had set. I said that she could now let herself feel how confident and strong she was becoming and how far she had already travelled.
As a boost to help K’s confidence and to shift her belief that she couldn’t face her ex-husband, I gave her some focused techniques to use in the immediate run-up to the big event and on the day itself.
K took the day in her stride – in fact, it sounded like a series of Giant Steps to me! She told me that she had practiced my confidence techniques and relaxation methods in her hotel room as she got ready and was surprised how good she felt. The rest of the day was a great success: she sat opposite her ex-husband at lunch and was able to relax in his company.
‘In fact’, K said, ‘we got on really well and were even laughing together as a family, exactly as I’d seen in the visualisation session you did with me! It might have been slow getting there, but it was right for me and now I feel we’ve taken the first steps towards a better relationship at last.’
As she told me this great news, K passed me a photo and, yes, I can report that all family members are definitely enjoying a joke!”