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Going Deeper: How to Masterfully Coach the Person, Not Their Problem

August 21, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Free – $35.00

Presented by Marcia Reynolds, PsyD, MCC

Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 6:30 – 9:30 PM


Marcia Reynolds, PsyD, MCC

Even experienced coaches fall into the trap of focusing on the problems clients bring to their sessions. There might be fears of emotional reactions or discomfort with “challenging” the client. If you stay focused on these dilemmas, the coaching feels like it is going in circles because of the emotional attachment your clients have to their problems. In the end, your clients might find steps they are willing to take, but they don’t gain the new awareness that will help them avoid similar problems in the future.

This session will help you shift from problem-solving to coaching the human in front of you. You will discover new applications of your coaching competencies, learn three ways to prepare your mind for coaching, and after observing a demonstration of coaching with the presenter, explore what you will do differently in your own coaching following the session. These practices will expand how your clients think about their dilemmas, creating more breakthrough experiences. You will rapidly advance your mastery of coaching.

Most trained coaches are aware they need to coach the person, not the problem. They know they need to coach “vertically” instead of horizontally. They need to dig deeper into what the client really wants to resolve to move forward. They need to spend more time on discovering the beliefs, assumptions, fears, and conflicts of values that have left them feeling stuck and out of answers. The coaches know they need to do this, and yet they get caught in the trap of coaching to find ways of solving the problem that clients probably could have done with some reflection on their own.

Even experienced coaches fall into this trap. Clients get resistant or emotional, and the coach backs off of exploration. In the end, clients might find steps they are willing to take, but they don’t gain the new awareness that will help them avoid similar problems in the future.

There are a number of reasons that inhibit coaches from going deeper. First, there are the typical coaching fears around how going deeper will impact the client emotionally. Second, coaches often get stuck looking for the “powerful question” that will move the client forward instead of staying present with the client. Third, they fall into the expert role when problem-solving, and then lead clients to solutions instead of staying in the role of “thinking partner.”

This session will explore these common pitfalls of coaching and how to overcome. We will look at the research on coaching fears, as well as research on what creates breakthroughs in thinking. Then we will explore how to integrate reflective practices more deeply into their coaching. Participants will witness a coaching demonstration that will enhance their powerful questions with a new view of Active Listening and Direct Communications. The session will end with a question and answer conversation.

The overall objective is to help coaches stay curious about how their clients are framing the situation and what blocks and biases are limiting their perspective. As a result, coaches can work better with clients to discover what needs to be addressed so that clients see new possibilities on their own. These practices increase the opportunity to create more breakthrough experiences.

What you’ll learn:

  1. Differentiate the external problem from the internal blocks that keep clients from discovering powerful solutions on their own.
  2. Perform three steps in mental preparation to increase presence and more effectively coach the person instead of the problem.
  3. Use reflective techniques as well as powerful questions to “vertically coach” deeper into what is keeping clients from moving forward and resolving issues on their own.

Learn more about Marcia:

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter

Registration fees:

$30 – ICFLA Members, Community Associates, and Student Associates
$40 – Guests
+ $5 – additional fee for registrations after Thursday (11:59 pm) August 15th.


August 21, 2019
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Free – $35.00
Event Category:


Skirball Cultural Center
2701 North Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90040 United States
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