Locked In the Box

It was homework time, and my 14 year old daughter was uncharacteristically cranky about her assignment. The students were all supposed to create a resume – easy right? She had recently completed hers during an acting workshop and only needed to update a few things. She loved her resume and was motivated, engaged, and excited about her work. Unfortunately, her acting experience resume fit the criteria for submitting resumes in the acting world, but not the criteria her teacher had laid out for the class. This resulted in the assignment being returned with the expectation that it would be redone in the “correct” format. It wasn’t long into the conversation with my daughter before I heard the frustrated and rather poignant words, “She put herself in a box and locked me in there too!”

Climbing Out of the Box

Mike Byster has a simple and clear definition for out-of-the-box thinking: “You take the same information that everyone else has and look at it differently, often finding a better way to solve problems.”

I’m thinking, wait a minute! That’s coaching! Mike’s definition of out-of-the-box thinking is the essence of what the field of coaching can and does offer clients; a pathway to thinking outside the box in life, relationships, work, problem solving, etc.

Getting Rid of the Box

While I wasn’t thinking about or communicating the benefits of coaching in quite this way until now, I believe this is the core reason when I first discovered the field that I was SO sure it could be a profound and life changing approach to working with students; those from solid backgrounds, and maybe even more so for students from hard places.

Living life from a coaching perspective and mindset is truly a different approach. You literally take information (a client’s coaching topic) and help them look at the issues in a new light by shifting mindsets or perspectives, aligning decisions with personal values, or helping them tap into motivation, etc. Once a client has a new way of looking at a situation, it’s time to help them create empowering and exciting actions to move toward living and leading in a way that uniquely and individually fits them as a person.

There is nothing quite like helping someone see true possibilities when they were either sure there were none, or what was on the surface was completely uninspiring.

My next client coaching session is in a couple hours – I can’t wait to get going! I think I have the coolest job in the world; helping people help themselves by learning to think outside the box.

Thanks for checking out my blog! I am an ICF certified Academic Life Coach and train youth advocates in the Academic Life Coaching 1.0 coach training program. I’m also an adoptive mom, youth advocate, and a licensed therapeutic foster parent. For more information about this program for the student in your life or on how to train as a coach, please contact me here.