May 18, 2023
By Dave Bushy, PCC
Please don’t think you should read this blog. I simply invite you to do so.
How many times a day do we hear the word “should?” It’s a word that we use to inform others about what we feel, about what we desire or even about that which makes us feel guilty. And it’s also a word we hear from others and, in turn, direct back to them. Here are just a few examples:
If that’s not challenging enough, we hear it from others:
And then we routinely use the word repeatedly back to others:
It’s fascinating to note that two very apparent outcomes emerge from overusing the word “should:”
I often ask clients why they are “shoulding” all over themselves so much and they laugh. And it is inevitably a knowing or sort of grudging humor. From there, developmental growth can begin to emerge.
In coaching we work diligently to not tell anyone what to do (or should do). Instead, we ask what they are doing now and how that is working for them. We explore in detail the “now” and invite our clients to think about the “whys” and the “possibilities.” We use inquiry and ask questions that emerge from their current way of being, such as:
In coaching and life, each of us is in continual receipt of energy from others. When we continually receive that energy in any form without exploring it within ourselves, we lose the opportunity to release our own energy. As the recipients of “shoulds” from ourselves and others, a release can seldom occur, causing either a level of passivity or resistance. That’s why we work to both release energy and to help develop a more positive energy. We support a commitment towards change by first allowing others to appreciate what is working for them and then deciding if their current path might be able to be modified somewhat for their benefit. It is a wonderful paradox to explore!
Dave Bushy of Boston Executive Coaches – bostonexecutivecoaches.com – is a an ICF-certified coach who was trained at the Gestalt International Study Center (GISC). He is a former U.S. Army officer and senior airline executive who works with leaders throughout the world.
Image courtesy of PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay