Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Anindita Das (China).

Many a time clients have come to me with a shadow of their present reality hanging over the coaching session. In almost transference situation, the mood has then hindered me from focussing on the session or caused distractions or unnecessarily hampered progress in talking about clients’ future growth. This has not only caused frustration in me, but also hindered in serving valuably to the client by not being present enough, though the fault was neither mine nor the clients.

Client moods have tremendous effect on the outcome of the coaching session. Some clients might come to a session after a horrid day at work or are in the process of tough negotiation or often a looming presentation ahead of them that hampers them from fully and completely offering themselves to the coaching session. I took a leaf from therapists and counsellors books and offered to use mood cards to Investigate client’s mood in the initial minutes of the coaching dialogue. This sets the baseline of our coaching session.

A very simple Plutchik wheel of emotions or more elaborate coaching cards are simple yet effective tools to encourage clients to talk about their present feelings and put the daily grind out of the way before continuing with the set agenda of the coaching hour. Many times, mood cards have helped me and the clients see an issue or a challenge from a different angle and reaching the a-ha moment even before we started with actual coaching.

Additionally, mood shifts created through the use of mood cards has resulted is the clients become more positive and rated the session quality to be high. Emotion cards have also helped me and the client loosen up and get into deeper discussions as well as creating rapport and a general feeling of well-being and trust.

A basic emotions wheel can be downloaded from the internet or cards can be bought from various resources on amazon. Although I prefer the old-fashioned emotions wheel with primary, secondary and tertiary emotions noted on them, some coaches also use emotions apps to generate a communication. These are especially noteworthy with adolescents or young clients.

As we all know emotion are expressed differently in different culture, cards can be customised according to the culture one lives in.  It also makes a difference to the clients they can interpret the feelings in their own language. Some coaches based in India, for example, use ‘Nava Rasa’ or the nine moods to open channels of communication with clients.

About Anindita Das

Anindita Das is a global executive coach and co-founder of Global Expats Coachworx. Born and raised in New Delhi, India and studied and worked in the UK, Germany, USA and Singapore, she has recently moved to China and dedicates herself to coaching global workforce, especially women executives, based in Beijing. Currently, she spends her time coaching, speaking at events, intercultural training, volunteering and learning Mandarin.

Anindita is a coaching scholar from University of Cambridge and group and team coaching alumni from Oxford University. She holds a specialisation in Global Coaching (MCC Philippe Rosinski, Belgium) and Emotional Intelligence (MDIS, Singapore) and is certified Cinema therapist (Zur Institute, CA). She is undergoing specialisation in somatic psychology.

Her work experience includes intercultural training (University of Jena, Germany) and flight attendant for Lufthansa based in Germany as well as Key Account manager based in India.

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