As a coach, I find that journaling is incredibly useful in the coaching process. I use journaling to continue the conversation between a client and me in between phone calls, and this helps me to collect a great deal of useful information about a client in a short period of time. I often respond to journal entries with a prompt or question that launches the client into deeper self-discovery. It is unbelievable how much a client can learn from this reflection and response process.

Here’s an example of this approach for you to try. You’ll notice that the sample journal below helps you to understand the client’s thoughts, beliefs, and perspectives. After reading this client’s journal entry, consider the follow-up questions and respond in the comment section below the post. 

“I’m very unhappy at work these days. I feel disgusted. I feel disposable and not valued. I work hard at keeping a positive attitude, but I am human. I get upset and disagree with things at times...and I feel we all are being punished for speaking up. I would like to leave this company, yet I am unsure about future steps. I’m very fearful about my work future and don’t know what lies ahead. But I do know that this is not the kind of work environment I want to subject myself to.

A former co-worker, the boss’s assistant, recently left my company. We became very good friends while he was here. Now that he’s gone, my boss repeatedly has criticized his work. My boss must be struggling now because he has twice the workload, but his bashing is extremely rude and unprofessional.”

Imagine yourself as this client’s coach. Think carefully about what you can do to make an impact on the coaching process. Use the comment space below to respond to the client and give some thought to these questions:

Why do you think this client is still working in this environment?

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What fears keep her stuck in this place?

What follow-up questions would you ask to learn more?