In this article Matthias Hombauer shares what is called Balance coaching.
Balance coaching is a way to guide clients toward making powerful life choices and selecting the experiences they want most. Matthias shows how he assists his client in developing new perspectives and how to create a plan of action grounded in commitment to what is most meaningful. Balance coaching is designed to restore flow and uses a simple series of steps to move a client from being stuck to getting into conscious, resonant action.
One of my clients, Peter, is the Founder of a fantastic Start Up that empowers teenagers to impact our world positively. He is driven and focused and has this inner fire that keeps him overcoming every struggle on his way. In one of our sessions, he admitted that he is stuck with juggling business and family. Since his son was born, finding the proper time for his family and relationship has been challenging. I sensed that he was overwhelmed with his current situation.
2) Resonant Choice
3) Co-Active Strategy
I started the conversation by defining the topic of this session. It's important to note that the topic needs to be neutral. I asked Peter: "Peter, it sounds like you're talking about Life Work Balance, and the way you see it is that you're stuck to blending work, family, and your relationship.” Make sure you check in with your client if you nailed the topic by asking: “How does this sound to you?"
I explained that how he looks at something will impact how he feels and what actions he takes. After naming the current perspective "Overwhelmed," we explored alternative perspectives.
It's important to let your client see the topic from different perspectives. I offered Peter to embody a Pirate, and we explored this perspective and what a Pirat would say about his topic of Work-Life Balance.
Peter came up with other perspectives, such as seeing the topic from the eyes of a Clown (The silly perspective), a tree (the calm perspective) and a lion (the positive perspective).
One way your client can get in touch with his true self is by asking to imagine a friend standing beside him, the one he loves dearly, he can trust, and who always gives him the correct answers. Peter connected to this inner energy, and from the perspective of his true self, he made a choice. He chose the Positive Perspective from the Lion because this choice resonated the most with him.
In this step, we did a brainstorming session. I explained to Peter that we would start exploring the Positive Perspective and write down as many "doing" and "being" attributes we could find together in a few minutes.
After the brainstorming process, I asked Peter to underline 1-2 attributes from the "Doing" and "Being" list which are most important to him for our next exercise.
He decided on the following:
Doing: being a Role model, showing my son how beautiful the world is.
Being: being an inspiration for others, taking care of his family.
Peter wanted to find a better Life Work Balance, so I explained that if he says YES to something, he needs to say NO to something else.
Peter said YES to living according to his agenda and NO to residing to the schedule of others, and he said YES to celebrating life and NO to being affected by negative emotions.
I acknowledged Peter for taking full responsibility in his life and asked him what action step he could take right now to move in the right direction?"
He came up with the idea to put a notice on this computer with the words "I say NO to the agenda of others and I am not attending unimportant meetings anymore."
The Result for Peter:
After our Balance Coaching session, Peter could see his current situation from another perspective. He started to be more aware of his time professionally and privately, which allowed him to make better decisions toward finding a better Life-Work Balance.
Two weeks later, he even sent me a photo from a five days bicycle trip with his family where he could show his son how beautiful our world is.
In the Co-Active training, you will learn how to use the Balance formula to restore flow and to move a client from being stuck to getting into conscious, resonant action.
About the author
Matthias Hombauer is a Co-Active Coach and former Molecular Biologist. He loves working with change-makers who dare to lead from within. He lives with his two kids (Mia and Noa) and his wife in Vienna, Austria.