I graduated a client today. It's a sweet, happy day when someone no longer needs coaching.
There are two reasons for being done.
One, the coaching "isn't working." I tend to avoid that outcome because I am very careful in my vetting process. Some people aren't ready for coaching because they see it as me "fixing" them. That never works, though it does add to their list of "things they've tried". Others aren't coachable because they are getting too much out of being stuck. Without shame or blame, I mostly steer clear of these two frustrating situations.
The other reason for being finished with coaching is because TA DA! We have met our goals with the work.
In the case of my client who graduated today, healing of past trauma, grief and sorrow resulted in greater self-trust and insight. In other words, the past no longer had to be prologue. By "healing" I mean looking at deeply-held truths that were unfair and invalid, but seared in like scar tissue. Sometimes having a hand to hold while you go back into the pain allows you to see it more clearly, in a way where you are not quite as implicated in your own heartache.
What does all this feel good language mean in real terms?
In this case, a long list of accomplishment in the world. Commitments met, goals reached (worldly goals, not woo woo goals), and finely crafted plans for the future. A credential in sight, a new job in her sweet spot (and a chance to resign from the old, icky one), and a larger push toward a huge but appropriate goal. (I can't be more specific because...confidentiality.)
Measuring progress in coaching is a combination of the unseen, and the real. Today, work toward self-knowledge, better management of the past, and willingness to work hard resulted in a bountiful bunch of successes. What is better than that?
Only one thing; the future is wide open.
What is on your list?