Asking the miracle questions

There’s been a bit of a gap in my contributions to articles here. I’m back in flow now so will be updating more regularly; good to be here again.


I want to share with you another coaching journey of one of my clients. Again, shared anonymously with permission. This client was looking for support as she transitioned from one career to another. Although, when we first met, they weren’t thinking about the future at all, simply feeling worried about having to take redundancy from the job they’d been in for almost 12 years.

As usual, the conversation is precised as we usually worked together for about an hour or so, and we met four times.  

They started by saying that they weren’t sure if coaching would work for them as they weren’t the ‘type’ to have coaching. We discussed this to start with as it’s common for people to have misconceptions about what coaching is for and the ‘type’ of people who sign up for it. The fact is, coaching is simply for you when you want to make a change in your life, whether chosen or forced.  Often, when you're not sure which way to turn, (too many choices/can’t see the choices/feel like choices don’t exist/don’t want choices) having that skilled, professional someone to talk with can be the switch you need to make things work easily again.

So, back to the conversation.

The client explained their situation about having to leave their job and look for something new as the company was downsizing and their role was no longer available. It’s a common thing these days and many people are searching for career coaching. They said they really didn’t want to leave as they would lose so much.

Q: What, specifically, will you lose?

A: Money!

Q: Is money the most important thing?

A: Yes, but I also love what I do and the people I work with.

Q: What else does your current job give you?

A: A sense of community and teamwork (the team is such a laugh, and my boss is great), a purpose (not sure what I’ll do if I don’t work), a feeling like I belong somewhere too.  It’s hard – although everyone wishes they could just retire and give up work, it’s actually quite important in other ways than money. I hadn’t really realised that before! There’s a reason to get up in the morning too – even though I complain when the alarm goes off. And, there are all the people at the train station too – I see the same people every day! Then, there are the things at work like training and development, helping and supporting new starters, (especially the school leavers who come in) being asked my opinion about things as I’ve been there for so long, I have experience of each department. Wow! I really didn’t realise how much I got from going out to work!

Q: If you had to put those things in order, what would come first? For example, if you had a job that paid well, but you had to work on your own, would that be OK?

A: Well, I guess if had enough money, then I’d choose the job where I work supporting other people as I really love this part of my work.

We had an honest conversation about what would be enough money and then continued prioritising.

So, if the pay was OK, then it would be;

  • a role where I felt I added value to people/cared for people
  • teamwork
  • regular hours
  • somewhere that offered development and training

They went on to say that they didn’t mind travelling to work, up to 45 minutes by public transport as they didn’t drive.

Q: So, if you could write the perfect job description for yourself, wave a magic wand, what would it be? Where would you be based; who would you work with?  What gives you that feeling of excitement and sense of achievement?

A: Well, all of the things I’ve said, really. But, if I could wave a magic wand, I’d love to work with young people specifically. I did it years ago, before my family, but when I returned to work after having kids, there wasn’t anything available. I don’t have any training or qualifications (didn’t need to in those days) so I couldn’t do it now. But, it’s so satisfying, seeing young people blossom and grow. I love it when they get more confident – you can see it in all areas of their life, and I like knowing that I’ve been part of that.

Q: You couldn’t get training and qualifications?

A: Not when I have to earn some money.

Q: What are the possibilities within the industry where you could train and work at the same time?

A: Actually, I don’t know as I’ve always just dismissed the idea. I guess I could try for an apprenticeship or something? Or, I could work out how long my redundancy money would last and see what training I could do in that time? I feel quite excited about the possibilities now!  

There were lots of other conversations about what Charlie might do next, but here you can see that, with a couple of simple questions to focus their thinking, they’d found at least a couple of avenues to explore.  

People can quite often get caught in a rut, feeling like they have limited opportunities and close down options, especially in a stressful, ‘emergency’ situation like losing their job.  This can often make our brain go into emergency mode, producing lots of stress chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline which make us think about survival.  

Working with a coach might not give the whole answer, but Charlie finished their sessions feeling much more empowered to at least consider areas they thought were closed off to them. They were able to work with their ‘thinking brain’, rather than simply reacting to our emotions, and this allowed them to make better decisions for the future.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Prudhoe, Northumberland, NE42
Written by Tracey Hutchinson, MSc, NLP MPrac, Happy Brain Coach/Trainer, Advanced Hypnosis
Prudhoe, Northumberland, NE42

Tracey is an experienced coach, trainer, and facilitator inspiring people like you to make a positive and permanent change across any area of life. When you're ready to find out how easily and quickly Tracey can help you find your best self, please get simply get in touch.

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