The Bus Driver

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. 
- Oprah Winfrey

We know it’s true. When we are doing well on our life’s journey, it seems there is no shortage of people who want to ‘go along for the ride,’ but it’s a whole different story, when we hit potholes in our journey, or we are ‘stuck’ in traffic.

This is true for our coaching clients, as well. Take for example, the woman, who comes to you for individual coaching. She may not know it, but she is a bus driver.  She is coming to you for help driving the bus, which is her life. There are many things which must be established with your bus driver in order to have a successful coaching journey.

  • Is your client aware that she owns the bus and is responsible for it? Her bus journey is all about choices; choices for which she alone is responsible.
  • Does she realize that as a coach, you are only the GPS system? You can help her navigate her journey, but she is responsible for the bus, the bus route, the speed, and direction. You are only there as a guide. She cannot depend on you to drive the bus.
  • Does your client realize that her coaching sessions are just one aspect of her on-going bus maintenance? Coaching can serve as a periodic tune-up, but she may need the help of doctors, mental health professionals, clergy, family, and friends to operate her bus efficiently, and lessen the chances that she will have a break-down.
  • Does she realize that the passengers on her bus will come and go along her route? While some of them will ride along with her forever, others will leave her bus, and move off in other directions. Some of her passengers will only ride her bus on cold or rainy days, while others will be with her rain or shine. Occasionally, she will encounter an unruly passenger, or someone who wants to ride her bus, for free. Is she interested in devising policies and strategies for dealing with these passengers so that they don’t take her off her intended route?
  • Is your client willing to devise short term and long term goals to help her keep from getting stuck in traffic?
  • Is she willing to understand the importance of parking her bus, to take much needed breaks for refreshment and relaxation along her daily route?

[Coaching Questions]

  • How are you enjoying your bus ride?
  • Are there unruly passengers aboard, who you need to deal with?
  • What are the alternative routes you can take to avoid potholes and getting stuck in traffic?
  • When was the last time you parked your bus?
  • Are you driving aimlessly, or do you take time to notice the scenery passing by your window?
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