The language of decision-making is quite stressful. You make a choice. You have to take a decision. In German it’s a little less stressful: you meet a decision.
In our coaching conversations we can reduce the stress by changing the terms we use. How about ‘I understand you are in a time of deciding. How is that for you?'
Decisions take time, but we ask binary questions like 'Did you decide yet?’ It may be better to acknowledge the time factor, for example by changing the metaphor to one of ‘ripening the decision’. There are things you can do to help ripening - sun, rain - but you can’t rush it.
The new metaphor allows for new conversations, such as putting a scaling number on the degree of ‘ripeness' and discussing how the ripening is going. We get a fresh construction of a conversation from a new metaphor.
Look at the feeling during the process, rather than on the eventual outcome. If it’s not a good feeling currently, then ask how it would be different if it were a better feeling. How would you prefer to feel about this decision-making? When have you experienced that?
Problems go on, but you can feel better about yourself while they do so.
Today is probably not the day when I actually quit the job. So what would be a good use of today’s discussion?
This post was inspired by Jan Muller, from Hamburg, who presented a session at the Skills and Solutions Conference, Amsterdam