“How’s your job search going?”
Seems innocuous enough, right? And to be sure, some days it may be a safe question. But more likely, it will elicit a number of emotions and thoughts that can put the client into the Red Zone (that state of fight-flight-freeze-frantic-fearful-frustrated). The question may lead to the client…
> Getting defensive
> Feeling shame
> Berating him/herself
Instead, here’s a suggestion for a different type of question that a colleague of mine at the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business came up with recently:
“How much of an opportunity have you had to focus on your search?”
The question can bypass or alleviate the potential for the defensiveness, shame, or berating. From here, the coach can follow with comments/questions such as:
> You’re in the right place now… let’s look at how to get some traction going.
> What’s worked best so far? … let’s look at how to leverage that and add any other strategies as well.