Have you ever been to a museum and seen things from a time gone by? Through those artifacts, you get a glimpse into someone from an ancient civilization’s life. These are the things that someone used and experienced every day but didn’t think much about them. Way back in ancient Egypt, most Egyptians probably didn’t think anyone would come along and dig up their stuff and put it in a museum. The archaeologists saw value in the things that they did not.

Let’s fast forward that concept to coaching: as I sit with clients, they say powerful, heavy things. They speak truths that need to be spoken and heard. They make discoveries about themselves and their lives. As a coach, I draw out these artifacts of truth by asking questions and listening intently. When these artifacts are spoken aloud, they hang in the air like smoke, just as transitory. I grab those artifacts and have my clients write them down before they’re gone.

I can almost see the words hanging in mid-air, ready to evaporate. If the thought isn’t captured in the moment, who knows how long it will be before it visits again? And it’s only there for a fleeting moment before the conversation marches on. These golden moments of discovery don’t come around that often, and we must seize them when they present themselves.

You say these things but don’t realize the gravity of your words—never fear, your coach does. They’re listening for them, asking questions to draw them out into the confidential open space between the two of you.

Often when I ask the client to repeat what they just said, they can’t remember it—but I wrote it down when they said it. That’s the power of coaching, and it’s a great day for both of us when it happens.

These moments of epiphany are needed to fast-forward development in our personal and professional lives. As a coach, I capture these moments before they get away from us, then I hold you accountable for the action steps you come up with to reach the outcomes you desire. I walk with people as they find their own solutions and achieve their own goals.

A coaching relationship requires vulnerability in both directions. In their book Coaching for Breakthrough Success: Proven Techniques for Making Impossible Dreams Possible, Canfield and Chee said, “Trust is the thread with which the fabric of all relationships is woven.” 45 minutes into our first Zoom call, one of my clients said, “You know more about me than my drinking buddy does.”

That’s a good sign for a coach. It means I made a connection. Coaching looks like two friends having a confidential discussion, with one of them intently listening for and salvaging the artifacts as they come along—before they evaporate. 

Do you have anyone like that walking with you on your journey? If not, you may eventually get there on your own—but you’ll get there faster with a coach.