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Insights: Coaching Session Transcript

This is a transcript from an actual coaching session I had with a client who wanted to work on eliminating time wasters. She also had a desire to work on creative projects that she enjoyed, and bring her family together while feeding her desire of being needed and working on collaborative projects.

This was recorded with the client's knowledge and permission. Coach sessions are never recorded without the knowledge and permission of the client. A session can be recorded for learning and further reflection if the client requests it.

COACH: Hello there, are you prepared to start our session today?

CLIENT: Yes ma’am!

COACH: Awesome! So what would you like to focus on for today’s call?

CLIENT: Well I think I would like to be an organizational call, or kind of setting clarity on my direction, if that makes any sense.

COACH: Can you tell me more about that?

CLIENT: Well part of my problem is that I tend to have a lot of things I want to do, but I take off on whatever one is easiest or closest at hand, or whichever one I’m inspired to do at the moment. But I need to work in a more organized fashion, and so I think today, I’d like to hone it down to one thing if I can.

COACH: That sounds great! Do you have any idea what that one thing would look like?

CLIENT: I have decided I wanted to continue moving toward my “more creative self” and get away from my “dutiful, responsible self.” One of the questions you asked me before was about my time wasters. I realized that if I can’t find a way to waste my time, I’ll do something dutiful. I’ll go help my mother, or help my mother or do something to feel productive. So instead, I’d really like to hold my feet to the fire and stay on a creative bent.

COACH: In the creative realm, was there one thing in particular that you’d like to focus on?

CLIENT: Well I have a quilting class coming up this weekend, and they will kind of organize me for that, so I’m not going to worry about the quilting part.

COACH: And do you have time structured for that specifically?

CLIENT: I guess I’ll have to because I have the class itself tomorrow, and then there will be homework, and then I have another class in another couple of weeks. So I guess I’ll just have to make time for that.

COACH: OK and how are you doing that? How are you making time for the quilting?

CLIENT: Good question, well, I’m working now, so if it’s on a weekday, it will have to be probably between 5 and 7 pm, because I have other stuff I tend to do between 3 and 5 pm. So it will at least have to be between those hours during the week, I don’t know how much time I’m going to need in between, but I know I could pull those two hours out most of the week.

COACH: What days do you prefer to be doing this, is there a commitment you want to make to yourself to have those hours on certain days?

CLIENT: Probably Monday through Thursday is better, I know Friday I’ll just turn up my toes and do nothing, so I’ll leave Friday as a day off.

COACH: Sounds like good self-care.

CLIENT: Yeah, and that would give me 8 hours, so I’d be surprised if it’s more time than that, I guess I’ll find out at the end of next week.

COACH: Cool! Do you feel strong about that choice?

CLIENT: I feel kind of excited about it, only because it’s something I’ve always wanted to learn to do. And I like the person who’s giving the class, so it’s pretty motivating, and I think I’ll feel pretty good about it.

COACH: Great. It sounds like we’ve got some direction there, and focus on what you’d like to do. But you did say that you want to explore other things in the creative realm, so tell me more about that.

CLIENT: Ok, well part of my problem is, like I put in my notes, I don’t have a specialty, so I’m not really good at any one specific thing, but there are things I like to do that are creative. I found out I could paint, so I put painting on my own on my list, because I can do it with lessons. And then a long time ago, I wanted to create a CD, with a few songs that I like to sing, and would give to my family. I had gotten as far as making a list, and then things came up, and I let it go and I never pursued it. So that would be a good contender, I think the highest on the list.

COACH: Why did you stop on the CD project, what got in your way?

CLIENT: Just life, like I said, to me my time wasters is something I realized that I tend to do, whatever is needed at the time, and so I usually set aside things I might want to do because it just doesn’t seem as important, but I’d like to stop doing that! I’m not as needed as I used to be. And there are other solutions besides me getting involved, but I tend to be the first one to step in, so I’ve been working on patience and hanging back. And so I thought if I kept myself busy with things that I enjoy, then I could have an excuse to hang back. Because if I don’t have a good excuse, I can step in and it’s not a big deal. Then it leaves me with these holes.

COACH: Tell me more about the holes…

CLIENT: Well I have these holes where I tell myself, wow that would be a really good idea! I have some songs I like to sing, that I know I sing well, and I know that my children will remember me singing, or my family would remember these songs we enjoyed together. And it would just be a nice something to leave behind. But then it loses its power because I get involved with something that at the moment seems more important, and so it leaves a hole. Like I had that idea, way back when, and it’s too bad I didn’t follow up on that. I don’t want to continue to live that way. So I’d like to close up some of those gaps.

COACH: Well, tell me more about your time wasters then, and how they get in the way?

CLIENT: OK, the time wasters I have noticed, well, over lent I gave up Facebook. And then I wound up with all of this extra time! I mean, I stopped playing video games and wound up with a lot of time on my hands. I was thinking my goodness, there are hours that I have spent literally sitting on the couch either going through Facebook or playing video games, or watching TV, sometimes doing it all simultaneously, and I’ve not read books that I’ve wanted to read, I’ve not done anything per se, to fill up my time. It’s like I’m waiting for something to happen in order to be needed. And so that kind of woke me up to that fact that I use these things to kind of escape. It’s like when you unplug a machine it just sits there on your counter not being used. And that’s how I realized that I was spending my time, so those were easy time wasters to identify. I seem to shut down instead of find an inner motivation. So maybe I need to look at my inner motivation to finally get some of these things done.

COACH: With that, you said you want to be needed. I’m curious about that, and how your time wasters that get in the way. Is there a way that you could set yourself up for success here, by scheduling time? Or is there something that would work for you to make sure you’re enjoying your time appropriately and putting your time where you want to put it?

CLIENT: Hmmm… Yeah, that’s a good point. That’s a good thought there.

COACH: OK let’s look at that.

CLIENT: Yeah, because I do look at it that way, I think it’s the fact that I’ve reached a time in my life that’s very different for me. Everyone is handling their stuff, and they’re all on their own. You know kids, parents, sisters and brothers, friends, everyone. So it’s a very good time for me. So I get this desire, like now that everyone is independent, now it’s my time to do something, and then I sit there and I don’t know what to do. There’s like 3 or 4 things I could do, but instead, I’m picking a time waster, and thinking I’m resting, or something, but it’s just wasting time. So that’s a really something I need to look at.

COACH: Well what are you getting from wasting time, what’s the good and bad side of it, how do you feel when you’re wasting time? What does that look like for you?

CLIENT: At the time, it doesn’t feel like it’s a waste of time, it feels like I’m free to do whatever I want, even if it’s nothing.

COACH: So freedom, ok…

CLIENT: Yeah, video games give me that charge of achieving goals because I can just eat up those levels! And that feeds a part of me where I can get that next level, and boom I get it, and I’m like YAY!! Then those detective stories, like Colombo, I like that he’s so clever. And it’s interesting the way he winds his way around solutions. They seem to capture the parts of me that enjoys figuring things out and moving things forward, but in actuality, I’m watching somebody else doing those things, I’m not really doing anything. So it’s almost like a false pleasure, I don’t really know how else to explain it. But I don’t think about it as wasting time, until I had to put something in its place, and then all of a sudden there go hours of doing nothing.

COACH: The things I’m hearing from you are that you like freedom, and you like achieving goals and leveling up, and you like things that are clever. So can you tell me about any recent projects that you’ve done that made you feel that way, where you didn’t feel like you were wasting your time?

CLIENT: Well I started painting my woodwork which was a horrendous job, and it’s almost done. So I have that really good feeling of achievement, that everything looks so much better, and has a nice fresh look. I think the only clever thing I do it’s really not clever…

COACH: What’s that?

CLIENT: I comment on things that I see on the news, talk shows or the like. And my husband is the recipient of all of this “faux wisdom.”

COACH: Explain, what do you mean by that?

CLIENT: Faux wisdom, you know it’s like “I bet I know why they are doing this, it’s because blah blah blah,” like trying to come up with things that may or may not be true, but seem to fit together in a an odd sort of way, as anyone does when they discuss current topics.

COACH: Yeah, you have opinions for sure.

CLIENT: Yeah, and it’s not really amounting to anything, but there’s a sense of satisfaction I get doing it. Participating in it. So it kind of feeds that leveling up, or achieving, but I think I’m getting tired of the fact that I have nothing to show for it. I’ve always had that in my life, where I had something to show for it. I could say, well I’ve worked this long on this project, and we achieved this much. I never did it 100% on my own, because I work with people on teams, but the satisfaction is so great. And I think that’s the part I need to get moving on.

COACH: Well on that note, with any creative project that you could select ever, what do you think would give you the most satisfaction?

CLIENT: Well the three things I have here, the quilting, the CD and the painting. I’d have to choose the CD only because it’s been hanging out there the longest, and I think it has the potential for the most fun for me.

COACH: Please tell me more about that project.

CLIENT: Well my original idea was to connect with my sisters and get them involved, but they’re such sticks in the mud lately… but if I could get them together and to sing songs that we sang together, I could also get my kids together and they play instruments, or maybe they could help me find somebody to help us to move this along. But for me, the satisfaction would be in hearing us sing together again and having fun with it. My friend Lori is a wonderful singer! I thought she’d be fun, as she always wanted me to go sing with her, and I cannot tell you how many times it just didn’t happen for one reason or another. And so I thought there may be something we could find together that she and I could, and it would be something that I would totally enjoy getting done. It’s just the hard part for me is really planning out how I could make this happen.

COACH: But you’re clever, as you said, and I know you are. So how would you put that together, it sounds like a whole project, and it sounds like you lit up a little with that!

CLIENT: Yeah, well because the end result is what I’d get the biggest kick out of and the collaborations. My sister asked me to go walking with her tomorrow, so I can talk to her about how she’d like collaborating with me on this project. Maybe she even has some ideas, so I can talk to her tomorrow. I see Lori on Sunday, so I can see if she’s feeling up to it, she’s been awfully sick lately, so we’ll have to see. But you know it doesn’t have to be done in the next week, it could take a while.

COACH: No, just to start the conversation…

CLIENT: Yeah, and then you know I’ll have to get my voice in order, I haven’t sang in a very long time. So I’ll have to see if there’s anything to work with there anymore. At one time that was fun, but I know Lori would enjoy that, so if we go to Karaoke or something, that would be a nice way to get some practice in and to pick some songs too.

COACH: Nice! Well what would be the challenges to making this project happen?

CLIENT: Well I think my biggest challenge will be if they can’t do it, or don’t want to. If there’s no one to collaborate with, that would be a huge problem! It would be the absolute worst thing that could happen. And the next issue would be that if only one other person wants to collaborate, finding the musicians, they used to have those background tapes or something to use…

COACH: Hmmm Karaoke rentals or something… would that work for you?

CLIENT: That would help if we couldn’t find musician backups because all you’d need is to have the words, and then you just perform it. So those would be the biggest challenges.

COACH: How would you deal with it if nobody wanted to do this, but this is your passion project, and you are very attached to it, and you want to do it… How would you push through and feel good about doing it yourself, or eventually having somebody else come on board. Tell me more about what that would look like for you.

CLIENT: That would be a real hurdle for me, because what I really liked about this idea from the beginning was that I could do it with someone else with similar interest. If that interest only exists with me, I guess I’d have to believe that I still had a voice for it. I think as long as I feel like I can sing well, I wouldn’t mind doing it on my own, because I would enjoy it. I think if I’m mostly there, and somebody else is too, that together we could make it good, and that’s more attractive to me. So getting the voice in order is going to be important. If I had confidence in that, then it really wouldn’t matter to me one way or the other, and that might make it more appealing for somebody else to take part. Because they always like to join in if it’s going to be fun, not when they have to because of obligation.

COACH: Oh and just the fact that you said there are musicians in the family anyway, it seems like something that you would probably end up getting some buy off with the others. You might have some struggles leading the way, but it sounds like you want to really push through and go for it, is that correct?

CLIENT: Yeah, I think that’s right. Part of my problem is that I don’t have a lot of confidence in my own voice right now, so I don’t even know how I’d do that?

COACH: Let’s look at that for a minute. I want to get back to that, because it sounds like there are a couple of easy targets to ask, being your sisters and your friend Lori. But let’s take a little side trip here and talk about why you have this lack of confidence right now in yourself, what’s going on there?

CLIENT: Well I think it’s because the last time I remember singing a song was when karaoke was big, like in the 90’s 80’s… something like that. People would go out to karaoke parties and sing, and I even went around with a bunch of friends and we’d just go to the clubs around the area and they would have contests, and it was fun. But that was a long time ago. I think part of it was that I just have to practice a few things and then, maybe go to a karaoke bar, and just convince myself that I can do it. Yeah, I’m not shy, I don’t have that problem.

COACH: No, no, clearly not shy. But do you think that just for fun, maybe without bringing up the project to start tiptoeing in there, do you think you might want to ask some friends or your sisters to go and have a karaoke date with you?

CLIENT: Well that’s a good idea. I know for sure that Lori was saying a few months ago, there was a place near her that she did karaoke to keep her motivation up. And she said it was a really good for her to do that. So I know if my sisters won’t do it, at least she would. Even if she just came to listen, I think that would be a good thing! You might come with me Liz, you’d be a good listener, and you’d be honest, so that would help!

COACH: Yeah!

CLIENT: So that’s probably the painless way of figuring out what I could do.

COACH: Is that something that sounds more on the fun side, and you’re excited about it, or something that’s a little bit scary… where are you at with that?

CLIENT: I’m on the fun side, it’s a more carefree way of just kind of seeing where I am. Because that would be the easiest thing for me to do. I can’t think of anyone else, my sister sings in the choir at church, so I think she’s probably a good choice. My younger sister, I don’t know if she’s ever stopped singing, so I don’t have to much worry about with their voices. But I’m a little bit of a stickler where mine is concerned because I haven’t done it in such a long time, I don’t even sing in my car any more.

COACH: Well it doesn’t sound like it would take much to build your confidence up there again, is that correct?

CLIENT: I’m hoping it won’t. That would be the biggest question in my mind, only because I have been unusually quiet, when it comes to music, for about the last 10 years. And so to sing well, I’m really going to have to open that back up. With karaoke, they have some old songs, which are probably the only thing I know at this point. And Lori can help me too, she’ll probably give me some idea of what’s out there since she’s been singing lately.

COACH: What else can support you … are you interested in voice lessons or anything like that?

CLIENT: Well actually that was on my original list when I first started putting this CD idea to work, number 1 on my list. So yeah, that’s still there, maybe that can go right to number 2, especially if I have trouble with getting out to karaoke.

COACH: Well is there anything that would stop you from starting voice lessons? What would get in your way?

CLIENT: Oh… fear, just plain old ordinary fear. That would be the only thing in my way, but it defeats the purpose if I don’t move forward, because if the worst were to happen, and if no one had time, or something else, then I’d have to set it aside again. I know I probably wouldn’t pick it up again after that. And I would like to see what would happen with this project. I think there’s a lady in my area that gives voice lessons, do I’ll have to check that out again.

COACH: Back to the original line of thinking, is that something you could fit into your schedule, and that you would look forward to and be excited about? Is that something you would want to do, and set a date?

CLIENT: Oh that’s a good question, let me think. Hmm… well usually lessons are about an hour long, and maybe just once a week, so I don’t think there would be trouble finding time. I can’t imagine it being a downer, you know? Because I think the last time I took voice lessons, a long time ago, I went for one hour a week, and I could probably handle that. Even with the quilting, I could sing while I quilt Liz!

COACH: Yeah, I love it!

CLIENT: And probably the third thing I would like to do is to go through the list of songs, and maybe find something updated. You know so they don’t all have to be dreaded old ditties. I’ll have to think about that. Everybody will have ideas, I’ll collect from as many in the family as I can and see what I come up with.

COACH: That will be fun!

CLIENT: That will be great, you know if I can make the CD, I will have 2 things that I really always wanted to do off my list! The quilting and my CD. Huh!

COACH: Great!

CLIENT: Wow I did not think this was going to come up, isn’t that weird!?

COACH: I love it! That’s awesome! So around these things, how are you feeling right now, are you feeling enthusiastic and excited and like they are all doable? Is there anything else that might be coming up for you? Tell me how you’re feeling…

CLIENT: Uhm, I have that kind of nervous excitement around the CD, because it’s an “Oh My God” kinda thing! But it looks doable, and part of me didn’t think it was going to be, so this is good. And I’m not worried about the quilting, because I either do it, or I don’t get a quilt. So that’s not going to be a problem. But there will be a lot more experts encouraging me for the CD because there’s a lot I’ll have to arrange before I get there, but first things first. I think that looking into the voice lessons will be my number one thing, and then I’ll talk to my sister and Lori to see what Karaoke looks like, and I’ll go dig up my list of songs somewhere. Maybe I’ll make up a whole new list once I talk to the girls.

COACH: Wonderful!

CLIENT: Yeah, I’ll let you know where I find voice lessons, I think there’s a music center nearby.

COACH: Alright, well… is there anything else as far as your creative pursuits? This already sounds like a handful, but is there anything else you want to dig into around this?

CLIENT: Well no I don’t think, these two are my biggest things. I think singing and honoring my time to do these things would be what I have to put in place so that no excuses around no doing dutiful things get in my way. But I think I’ll work around what I want to do with these two areas rather than setting them aside. That’s how I need to look at this, because, I’m going to write that down.

COACH: I love that you want to honor your time. It’s very important to meet your goals.

CLIENT: Yeah, because I didn’t feel like I was dishonoring it, but it just isn’t as important as everything else. But it’s left me with these holes and I don’t want that anymore. So I am good.

COACH: Awesome! And is there a way that I can support you to keep you motivated with these goals?

CLIENT: Yeah, ask me about it... It’s going to be easy to send you pictures about how I progress with my quilt. And as far as the CD thing, just say how’s it going with the CD, and make sure I’m honoring my time. Because I think that’s going to be the trick for me, is to really honor my time. Because I would have accomplished one or two of these things if I honor my time.

COACH: Awesome. So I would like to just check in and see if there was anything else you wanted to talk about otherwise.

CLIENT: Well I’ll tell you one of the things, maybe this is more of a comment, but the biggest struggle I had with the list you sent me before our call, is that I have never been a person who has been able to look at goals, 3 months ahead, 2 months ahead, 5 years, it’s like I have never been able to answer those questions. You get them at job interviews, “where do you see yourself in 5 years,” and I always think to myself, 5 years older, I cannot think beyond that. And it was hysterical this time because you know I will be 70 in 5 years. 70!!

COACH: It’s a milestone!

CLIENT: I was thinking what the hell, how did that happen?! So when I was thinking about creative things, I honestly wasn’t thinking about what we came up with. I was just thinking about what my life will look like in 5 years. And it’s never been a mindset for me. I don’t see myself as a present person, I just handle things as they come along, I don’t have that kind of forward vision. So it just struck me when I was looking at this, like OMG there’s that questions again and I can’t answer it!

COACH: Well, on paper I understand how it seems a little bit difficult, but like you said, in talking through these things and reigning it in, looking more at the short term goals, it sounds like that’s a lot more doable for you. So if that’s how it is, then that’s what works best for you. So let’s just focus on the good part of that.

CLIENT: Yeah. I think that will be good, and in 3 months, I would like to have some kind of organization around getting the CD started. I think it would take about that long to coordinate with other people. And if it’s just me, then I’ll have to figure out all of the other stuff. But I think within a year I should have a CD, don’t you?

COACH: Oh I think so!

CLIENT: That’s what I’m going to put out there as my one year thing, and the 3 month thing, I should have some organization down to where I feel it can happen. 5 years I don’t know…

COACH: Are you willing to put a date on it, because that will help you really look at it in real terms and it’s like, "OK, here’s my deadline, there’s the date!" So if you wanted to go ahead and write down a date for your organization for the CD, and then a year out for the CD to be done.

CLIENT: Yes, three months from now would be August 1st for seeing how my organization will be going. I should have a lot done in those three months, at least from my perspective. It will depend on who’s available and all that other stuff. And then in a year, ooh wow, that would be this time next year, I don’t even know. Would that be realistic?

COACH: I think if you want to put a date out there, whatever you’re feeling about that date.

CLIENT: How about July 4, Independence Day.

COACH: OK, next year?

CLIENT: Next year, I think that would give me plenty of time, and it would kind of be symbolic.

COACH: Freedom and independence

CLIENT: Yeah, something to shoot for, and wow that would be a really neat picnic to be able to slide that CD in there, wouldn’t that be cool?! Yeah you’ll have to be there. Now I’ve got a lot of work to do, thank you very much!

COACH: Well OK, we got to whip up some big dates there. What about when your quilt will be finished, do you have a date for that?

CLIENT: Oh that should be by June 1st of this year. I’d have to lose my machine for it not to happen, she’s a great teacher. But maybe that’s a good 5 year goal. The 5 year goal would be to make sure I have a quilt for everyone in my family. Because that’s why I’m doing this. I thought I could use some of my favorite photos and create quilts. My husband was surprised, about why I’m giving all of the quilts away?! But that’s what they are for.

COACH: Because you love your family… and this lovely CD!

CLIENT: Yeah, I honestly hope if I can do that by next year. If my parents are sill with me, and I hope they are still with me next year, they will get the biggest kick out of it ever! That’s what I was always wanting to get done, and now I better not wait too long, oh they are so ornery…

COACH: Well I have one more thing to ask, and you can do this on your own time. With your professional background in project management, and all of those wonderful things that you’ve done in your career history, I encourage you to create a project plan for these things. To start with karaoke, the voice lessons, getting musicians together, and other project planning to put it on paper and give yourself some date milestones, just to make it a little easier for you to reach the goals.

CLIENT: Oh yeah, it would probably end up looking like that, without the labels, but you’re right, putting in the labels and the month, week and all that would really help me out.

COACH: Alright, and I’m wondering if there’s anything else, and if you’re going to feel supported around these projects, and it sounds like you are by your friends, family and your husband.

CLIENT: Yes, and by you.

COACH: Of course, absolutely! Well I think it sounds like we’re done for now, there’s plenty to do and plenty to look forward to. Are you feeling excited?

CLIENT: I am, I’ve got that kind of buzz, like I’m afraid I don’t have enough time feeling which is a good thing for me, that fire, so that’s good!

COACH: That’s awesome! Well, I want to say thank you so much for all of this great work today!

CLIENT: Oh well thank you, it went in a direction I didn’t expect it to go in, but I’m really happy!

COACH: Woohoo I love that! Alright thanks so much!

CLIENT: Alright thank you ma’am!

Are you ready to improve some area in your life with coaching? Call me to see if it’s a good fit… +1 971-319-0452 or email


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