A coaching session using the Thinking Path may take 30 minutes to several hours and may occur over the course of several sessions. Figure 3 below provides an example of an executive who completed both the current and desired states during several coaching sessions. This 38-year-old leader engaged in coaching due to recent criticism of his performance as a manager with the organization and due to his deteriorating health. He found the sessions challenging but made the discovery that underlying his actions and results was a set of thought habits—which he called core beliefs—he had never before seen with such clarity.

Figure 3: The Current and Desired States
a .pdf of Figure 3 for your convenience


As stated above, coaching with the Thinking Path can yield solid results. Yet, it is important to remember that this is only a framework, and like any framework, it best serves those who invest in study and practice, and it will not be appropriate in every situation. Therefore, give yourself time to learn how to use the Thinking Path.

Try it on yourself first and with a person in your life who is not a client and who is willing to experiment with you. When you try it for the first time with a client, apply it to an issue or challenge that is not too complex; you can apply it to more complex issues later on after you have gained experience with the model.

When you begin using the Thinking Path with clients, remain alert to the client’s responsiveness and reactions. If the client seems disinterested or is resisting the approach, be ready to let go of the framework. You may choose to come back to it later or drop it altogether. The key is to remain flexible and to always meet your client where he/she is.

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