Coaching client ends sessions

Hi Brooke!

I’ve been coaching a young woman for a few sessions (3 total) and at the end of our last session yesterday, she said she preferred not to set a date for our next session because she wanted time to apply things first, and she would be in touch in the fall if she wanted to start again.

During our session I had sensed she was less engaged and motivated than she had been before, and the way I read the situation is that she wants to stop the sessions altogether but prefers to do it in this gradual manner. (This is a strategy I’ve used before so I’m quick to project it onto others.)

I realize I can’t know what’s going on in her mind or what she really meant. I know there can be a million reasons why she said what she said. I know I coached her to the best of my ability and gave her the tools and insights I thought would be most helpful to her, and what she does with them next is out of my hands.

I’m basing this largely on what you’ve told others before — that a client’s success is his own, and we can’t make it mean anything about our coaching. Not sure if it’s the same about a client deciding to move on.

I’m still in my early days as a coach, and in the event that she has indeed decided she no longer wants to hire my services, I do want to use this experience as a chance to reflect on my coaching style, and evolve and grow.

How do you separate out things you could/should improve or work on as a coach, from those reasons that are outside of your control or just a matter of preference?

Thank you!