Nehemiah, a cupbearer to King ArtaXerxes, who ruled in the citadel of Susa in 444 B.C., heard that his people (the Israelites) were in distress because the wall of their city, Jerusalem, was broken down.
Like the prospect that comes to you because he or she finds it difficult to move forward. 
Nehemiah asked to be temporarily relieved of his royal duties in Susa, to go to his people in Jerusalem, to help them rebuild the wall.
You say “yes” to coaching the prospect, turned client, who is stuck.
Nehemiah showed up in Jerusalem, with his coaching hat on, and announced the encouraging plan.
Let the coaching begin!
Nehemiah and the Israelites were on a roll. Each had their assignments and construction began.
All is going well in the first few sessions. Action steps abound!
Even when naysayers tried to pull Nehemiah away to thwart the plans…
Much like the saboteur comes to the client’s mind as a distraction…
Nehemiah employed direct communication and a powerful question:

“I am carrying on a great project and cannot {leave town}. Why should the

work stop while I leave it and {leave town per your request}?”

(Nehemiah 6:3b, NIV {emphasis mine})

Modern Day Application for Coaches

If Nehemiah were going for his ACC with ICF, perhaps he’d have considered beginning with a “what” or a “how”.
Maybe something like, “What will come of the good work if I stop because you’re upset that you’re not getting your evil way?”
Nevertheless, Nehemiah didn’t back down when the saboteur came calling. He wasn’t rude or self-seeking either. He simply responded out of curiosity. “I’m doing something good here. Why should it stop?”
How often do you, as a coach, watch your client lose traction?
You want to manage progress well, but somehow you end up empathizing with them so much so that you don’t hold them accountable?
What might happen if you coached like Nehemiah?
“You were carrying out your action steps with great enthusiasm. What caused you to check out?”
If there’s silence on the other end, that’s okay. It usually means they are thinking deeply, and things are about to turn around, for good.
Until the client has an awareness of what’s thwarting his or her plans, it’s difficult to move forward.
And isn’t that what it’s all about?

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