Which Door Will You Open?

Sitting across the restaurant table from Ava, I could see her eyes cloud with pain when I asked about her topic for today’s coaching conversation. She systematically chewed her bottom lip, sucked in a long-ragged breath, and plunged in, “My adult niece asked to move in with me for six months and I’m already regretting saying yes. I like my life the way it is. My husband and I enjoy our solitude, we relish our time together. This could wreak havoc in our world. I am so worried.”

Gently probing, I asked Ava what was the most important thing to know about the situation. “I am afraid I will destroy my relationship with my niece, because I really don’t want her to live with me.”

I asked Ava to envision two doors. Behind both is a future with her niece. Behind the first is a relationship which is carefully designed. Behind the other waits a relationship devoid of goals or planning. “Which door will you choose? ”

Ava grabbed a pencil and began to scribble on a paper napkin. “My goal for my relationship with my niece is:
To provide support.
To be generous.
To be respectful.
To model a strong work ethic
To be loving.
To be thoughtful.
To be available.

For the first time that morning, Ava smiled and asserted, “I am in control of determining the outcome of this relationship.”

Like Ava, we always have a choice in determining our future. Even the effects of factors beyond our control can be impacted by setting goals for how we will respond to certain circumstances. It is, at once, as simple and profound as that. Your future, (and mine), will be determined by two things: the goals that we set, and the commitments that we honor. What goals will you write for 2012? What doors are awaiting your consideration?

by Reba Schumacher, ACC
Coaching For Results Global

Reba Schumacher is certified through the International Coach Federation as an Associate Certified Coach. She is a veteran Texas public school administrator with thirty-three years experience. Currently she is an independent consultant and leadership coach, and her experience supervising highly effective, visionary school principals and district directors contributes significantly to her success as a coach. To read more about Diana and other CFR coaches, go to www.coachingschoolresults.com and click on “coaches.”

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Reba Schumacher, PCC, M. Ed.

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