When You Find the Critical Moment

As a life coach trainer over the past decade, I’ve listened to thousands of recorded coaching sessions. In almost every coaching session within the first few minutes, a coach and client reach a critical moment in the coaching session. I regard a critical moment as that point when the client decides whether or not to trust the coach and the coaching process and dig deeper into his or her awareness, and explore previously unvocalized ideas and emotions. The coach can’t force it, but a coach can create a safe space and invite the client to take the opportunity to seize the moment. 

When do you know you’ve arrived at a critical moment?

5 thoughts on “When You Find the Critical Moment”

  1. I know I have arrived at a critical moment when I feel a little bit uncomfortable- when there is a push to lean in or move forward and there’s a stirring within. It’s such a good feeling!

  2. When I have the chance to make the push to get through the to-do list, or check email or slack or get distracted. It’s that moment of doing the tasks that I didn’t think were possible, but makes a big difference.

  3. I believe that critical moments are always surrounded by ‘truth’ or at least the opportunity for it.

    When we are presented with new ideas, or asked questions that uncover motive or intent, we must make the choice to fall into truth, or to deny it.

    I know I’m in the midst of a critical moment when an opportunity for honesty (and in turn growth) appears.

  4. When reading this paragraph, the first thing that came to mind was building a relationship with another person (could also be coaching a client). I know a critical moment has arrived in a an initial conversation with someone when they share a vulnerable detail about an emotion, feeling and thought. I feel like, especially early in a relationship, my ability to embrace that critical vulnerable moment and accept what is shared opens the door for trust and a deeper relationship.

  5. Some critical moments I have experienced have been when hurt and resentment shifts into gratitude and growth; and when fear of change shifts to excitement of possibilities.


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