Blog Post – July 25, 2018: What are you saying “yes” to — and why the question matters

In my work as a Professional Coach I sometimes find that when I, to use a coaching metaphor, “hold up a mirror to my client” I see myself reflected in it as well.

In the course of a Coaching Conversation about choices and decision making I asked my client “If you choose this path, what are you saying ‘No’ to?” It’s a great coaching question, and it sparked some deeper thinking and, hopefully, some more powerful insights. However, I think that I could have asked a better question: “What are you saying ‘Yes’ to?”

I think that it is a better question because I realize that I ought to be asking myself that more. The trite answer is: “I’m saying yes to the goal, the objective, the future.” That’s true, but does it miss a lot? I believe it does. The question is important because as a society and a culture we frequently (and unconsciously) interpret the statement “if you can see it you can be it” as meaning “to be it, all you need to do is to see it”.  Of course, that is an incredibly silly idea; but also a powerfully attractive one and we are surrounded with inducements to buy into it (literally).

Why commit to a regime of exercise and self discipline when for a small deposit and low monthly payments you can get this amazing new device which will have you looking like an athlete in only five easy minutes a day?

Why go through the hard and ongoing work necessary to build deeper relationships with others when you can simply drop a large sum of cash to register for a weekend seminar which promises to provide you with a “secret code” that will allow you to do it painlessly?

Why devote the hard work necessary to building up your business when you can sign up for a webinar that suggests that your participation therein is all that is standing between you and a six-figure income?

A very wise and honest teacher once advised his listeners to “count the cost” before they made any commitment. Asking the question “What are you saying ‘Yes’ to?” is a great way to spark some deeper thinking about what costs might be implicit in achieving the goal in question.

That goal that you are seeing, do you know what you have to say “yes” to in order to get there?  Have you done so?  Will you continue to do so?  If not, what’s getting in the w


James Greengrass, ACC

Director of Membership


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Thursday, September 13 - "Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ"