Whose talk is it?
It was when I was interviewing 16 and 17-year olds for the Swedish organization ASSE as part of their applications to become Exchange students for a year to the US, Canada or Australia in the early 90's, that I realized I had a good skill to enable people to feel comfortable sharing their truths with me. It was here I soon could differentiate between someone answering something that sounded good, but most likely was taught and told to, and someone who simply shared directly what he or she thought, felt or wanted. There was for example a girl who really didn't want to go at all to the United States to be an exchange student, but her mother insisted that it would be good for her to go abroad and it would look good for their family. In my own case as a comparison the year before, my mother had brought me with her and my brother to visit Upstate NY first, so when I chose to go, I knew where to, with an even pre-set host family (which later changed) for both her and me to feel safe, since my father was so negative and wanted to infuse us with scary threats by sending clippings of school shootings (while I was more dreaming of it becoming like in the TV-series "Fame" so I could become discovered as a dancer...). The point is, as an interviewer for ASSE, it was because of our own experience, we were chosen to do these interviews that we got paid for to our own fraternity called IKU (International Culture Exchange). This particular girl is the one and only I declined, which I hope was the right decision. I think it was because I just received more responsibilities after. It made me feel good to raise her awareness of what she wanted herself and how her shy personality might suit another type of pursuit.
Recognizing whose talk it is, is part of the benefits of participating in a coaching conversation, preferably one-on-one. It is when I as a coach, summarize and mirror what you said, you can realize how it makes you feel and if you believe in what you are saying yourself and if it's most of all true, for you. Many of us are conditioned and taught to answer in certain manners, that might even be completely opposite from what our own values and desires are. These are things you can explore and discover safely with me, your coach! You can start right now by simply listening to yourself while you talk. Make a note about it afterwards in your journal and reflect on who wants this for you. Is it your own wish? Is it a responsibility you need to heed and reward yourself afterwards with something else? Or is it something you need to learn to say no to? What is it that you want?
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