Reframing the Thoughts

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: The key to successful coaching is helping clients see problems from a different perspective through reframing the thoughts.

Reframing the Thoughts
Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash


A client only seeks help from a coach when there are multiple areas of work-life where they are experiencing problems. The client feels uneasy in a difficult situation and feels that they are powerless. The out-of-the-zone relief is important for the client. Clients who are happy and fulfilled don’t seek out a coach.

Good Read: Steps to Improve Your Coaching Presence as a Coach

Most clients are capable of either resolving it on their own or go to their superiors, coworkers, or mentors for advice if they are aware and conscious of what is causing the discomfort. The only time clients will turn to a coach is when the problem is internal and unconscious, meaning the client is unaware of the root cause. Disempowering habits that disadvantage the client are, in general, found in disempowering habits.

Unconscious behavioural patterns may arise from insecurity, insecurity causing meekness, or even bullying due to insecurity. People with these characteristics may fear that they will fail or they may be bullies in an attempt to boost their own confidence. This and other similar habits are generally due to the way we were raised.

Good Read: Get Comfortable with Mindful Silence and used to the power of it

As a result, a therapist may dig into the cause or belief of this behavior’s source in the past. To do this, you could begin with open-ended, exploratory questioning, and follow up with professional therapy. As a coach, I would reposition the root cause or belief and recontextualize it. During the future-oriented generative inquiry, the coach will explore the mind map while using language that does not include past incidents, which could have led to the formation of the limiting belief system, causing disempowering behaviour.

This is an example of an incident I worked on that has a number of characteristics that are similar to other incidents. One of my relatives said that a younger person has neither confidence nor competence. I gave my client the peace of mind that he or she didn’t have to worry about anything we talked about. As the first level, the client was only able to discuss their discomfort with people they didn’t know.

When you look into your past, you discover a feeling of guilt, shame, regret, and anger. the client felt responsible for having caused the incident but was the victim I was the cause of this. “I’ve invited you,” and after that, “I’m not good,” and “I cannot be good.”

It only took a few minutes to reframe this existing negative belief once I gained the trust of the client and that translated into a feeling of safety. Once the client stopped thinking about this in terms of a child’s options for remaining silent, all of the anger, regret, and shame faded away.

First, we worked with the client to identify the numerous strengths they have, which resulted in a personal development plan. This resulted in a new personality.

In this case, I did not use any other method. It was enough to just talk. The change of state techniques that include visualisation are employed in other instances. What matters is the end result. The coach is emphasising positivity. To employ reframing, clients and situations must be considered.

The steps needed to reframe limiting beliefs of the mind are:

  • Putting the client’s trust and giving them a safe place to express themselves
  • In the coach’s eyes, the client expresses discomfort in the current reality, which is recognised and accepted without complaint.
  • investigation into the particular behavioural pattern used in disempowering habits and what’s occurring in the current situation
  • We start with a general awareness of the limiting belief. The limiting belief is often the result of one or two root cause incidents that occurred, and we use techniques such as visualisation to further cultivate our awareness of this.
  • Throughout multiple follow-up sessions, maintain awareness of the limiting belief and use that to fuel self-empowered action moving away from past disempowering habits.
  • Maintaining parallel engagement with the client’s work-life planning

The use of the client-centric model of unconditional positive regard, generative visioning, empathy, and congruence is ethically appropriate in coaching.

Good Read: Set healthy coaching boundaries

About Srinivas Saripalli 47 Articles
Hi! I'm Srinivas Saripalli. For over eighteen years I've been building high-performing software development teams and organizations through the use of agile and Scrum. I've worked with startups and some of the largest organizations in the world. To find answers to specific questions about Scrum and agile, scaling agile, agile transformation and leadership coaching browse my blog. I am an Executive Leadership Coach handling select clients in the are of Agile & cultural Transformation. I am a Certified Scrum Professional, a seasoned strategist in executions of Coaching Agile Transformations. I am also a SAFe Program Consultant. I have also held positions of process quality consultant in CMMI and ISO doing harmonising process operations for customers, including the implementation of quality programmes in Hi-tech, Retail, Media, and Publishing.

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