So, I’m sitting on a plane talking with this very inspiring young man. What a great chance to ask “what do you think couples need support with?”. As a coach, I love his answer. Couples need to know how to support each other’s dreams. Wow. Of all the things he could have said. Wow. Profound. That’s my mission as a coach, help people flesh out their dream and create a strategy to get there.
So, as a coach, how do I do that? What can we steal from coaching as tools that couples can use?
1. Create opportunities to really hear each other.
I think our role as a partner is to help that person be their best. What are their dreams? What do they think they have to put on hold in order to be responsible? (Maybe there is a way to get there.)
Here are some questions for this discussion:
* If you could do or be anything at all, what would that be?
* What have you done so far in life that brings you the most joy and fulfillment?
* If there were no barriers, what would you change?
2. Hold off your own judgment, opinions, fear and advice.
Instead, ask your partner what skills and gifts they have to really support them in that dream. Explore this. Explore what it is about their dream that would be life-giving and meaningful for them. Hear more of their thinking on it.
Some questions here:
* What would being in that dream job do for you?
* Tell me more!
* What excites you the most about that idea?
* Are there people that have inspired you to think about this dream?
3. Start playing with strategy ideas together.
Some dreams feel really impossible and unrealistic at first. I’m living one now that for many years felt almost foolish to think about it seemed so unrealistic. Please, please, please don’t let that stop you and your partner. Now if you each have dreams with multiple barriers you may need to also include strategy for taking turns supporting each other in working towards dreams.
Things to think about:
* What is one small step towards that dream that we could realistically take right now? (How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.)
* Who could we talk to that could mentor or help us towards that dream?
* What are the 5 most important steps you will need to take to make it to the dream?
* What is the best way you can each support your partner on their way to them living their best life?
* How do your dreams compliment each other?
4. Create a resources and barriers list.
As a coach, part of my job is to listen for people’s strengths and resources. Often people have more richness in their life than they realize. It may be about who you know. It might be about resilience. Perhaps your resources include followers on social media. Mobilizing what you already have for resources will really help you and your partner move forward intentionally pursuing your dreams. Barriers are important to acknowledge so that you can create strategy to overcome them. These can be very concrete like, I don’t have the money to go to school. They can also be psychological, such as “no one in my family went to college, I don’t know if I can do it.’
* As partners, ask each other “What barriers do you think I live with but shouldn’t?”.
* Brainstorm a list of shared and individual resources.
* Tell each other how to best support each other towards your dream. “What is the best thing I can do to help you move towards your dream?”.
5. Document your ideas and re-visit.
This can be a vision board, a personal mission or vision statement, a list of steps. You find your way as individuals and as a couple. Set regular times to re-visit how it’s going and what the next steps are. As your partner becomes their best self you both win! There is an awesome verse that references “iron sharpening iron”. Be that person in your partner’s life that helps them be their best self and bring to the world all that only they can uniquely bring.
Until next time,
Marilyn Orr, The Luv Life Coach
Marilyn Orr, MA, CEC, PCC is a relationship coach with Luv Life Coaching, passionate about equipping couples with the tools for real and lasting intimacy.
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