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Snippets from the Lab "Chloe"

Updated: Oct 18, 2023



Snippets from the Lab are excerpts taken from real Coaching Intake sessions and do not represent complete developmental coaching sessions. Names have been changed.


"Chloe" came into Coaching with us presenting the problem of avoiding things in her life. Avoiding the small things like cleaning the house and general life admin. She was so much avoiding these things that she would even stop herself from looking at or going near certain parts of the house she knew needed cleaning. These parts of her life she was avoiding would build up until she eventually had to address them which put here into a state of frustration and stress and burnout. Not to mention conflict with her partner who felt he was picking up all the slack around the house. The beginning of resentment.


When Chloe finally did some cleaning and got it out of the way, she would then be super sensitive to the first thing she noticed around the house that was "messy". Dust appearing again, something being left on the floor. "I just cleaned!" she would say. Which then started the cycle of avoiding all over again.


For Chloe, the cost of this problem was being felt far more broadly than just a messy house and growing to-do list, she felt this had got to the point where it was affecting her mental state (burnout), how she interacted with others, and her relationship. It was not just cleaning by the way, it was any task she deemed as not attributing to her progress in life and "not important".


If only she could just get onto the cleaning and the admin in life!, she said.


We know with our Coaching clients that the problem is never the problem, but an indication of where to start exploring to find the real problem.


So we started we grounding this problem in the example of cleaning and uncovered her avoidance of cleaning was to not become the like her Mother and Aunty who have OCD when it comes to cleaning and Chloe witnessed when growing up. They would clean morning and night and Chloe was worried about also developing OCD. The frame of reference here for Chloe was, if I do that - I will become like them.


What would happen if you did?, we asked. Chloe explained she would not have any time left in her days for the important things and would spend all day cleaning. Why is cleaning not important? "It does not contribute to my progress".

After a few more questions we discovered that Chloe's definition of progress was solely relating to her Career. She had built a successful career at a young age and was now a Director in a Global Consulting Company and learnt that if all her efforts went into her career that everything else would take care of itself. Chloe had identified with her career and success, it was who she was.


We know now the issue was not with the life admin, cleaning, or task, but with what they represented to Chloe.


We asked, given where you are in your life now, is this still working for you? "No, it served me well at a younger age when I needed to find my feet in a new country and new career, but where I am at in my life now, it is not helping", said Chloe.



We now uncovered one of Chloe's leverage points for change. The lens she was using to look through and make decisions was based on her career progress and nothing else. No other aspect of her life would even get a look in!


The prior positive intention to doing this, which was providing value for her, was survival, but that had now been established and the survival needs had been met some time ago. An example of an outdate program that had not been updated and still running outside of our awareness!.


Her value system had changed, what was important to her back then was not what is important to her now. With this new awareness mid way through the conversation, Chloe started to recall times where she had made decisions purely on her career and at the time not giving any consideration to how it would impact here relationship at the time or her health. It was starting to 'click' in her mind.


So we started to uncover what was now important to Chloe, her new value system. Career was still important, but now relationships, family (current and future), and her health were equally as important.


We asked Chloe what she would need to do differently to have choice in her decisions and respond differently in the moment. "I need a new Lens of Life, she said. I need to not be so black-and-white when it comes to what success now means to me when making decisions and be more holistic".


We continued to build a new Decision Matrix for Chloe, one she could now use as her new decision criteria. It involved her four (previously one) valued aspects of life across four quadrants - Career, Relationship, Family, and Health where Chloe could run her decisions through. We made sure the desired outcome was well-formed to ensure Chloe was set up to succeed with this new way of being.


Chloe finished the session with excitement and calmness as she began to consider how things could be different in her life. Listing all the areas this could have an immediate and future impact on. Her entire state had changed since the start of the conversation.

And to think this all started with avoiding doing the house work....

Other notes:

Using the Identity Compass profiling tool we used the results to guide the coaching session and give us clues.

Chloe's driver Cognitive Intentions pertaining to this coaching session were:

Directionally Motivated - Towards

Success Strategy - Vision

Time Frame - Short-Term

Work Orientation - Task

Primary Attention - Caring for Self



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