Imagine the ER: ambulance sirens, patients on gurneys, blood, guts and…. more. The VERY first thing every health care professional does to help a patient, no matter what has happened to them, is assess the ABC:
AIRWAY, BREATHING and CIRCULATION.
When ER doctors are confronted by patients in extremis, they rely on this simple, structured approach to manage the situation in an effective, safe manner.
The ABC is the only thing that matters in the initial phase of saving a life. There is no point in treating anything else or having anything else on the agenda if the ABC is not OK. This structure is drilled into doctors from day one so that in a stressful situation they are not distracted but can cut to the chase and stabilize the patient.
The same principle can be applied when coaching an emotionally distressed client.
Imagine now a coaching session: the client arrives in a state of emotional distress. Recent events have turned their world turned upside down and they are unable to focus. Let’s apply a structured approach to managing the situation - a coaching ABC:
A coach can use this ABC as a technique to avoid being distracted, so they can manage both themselves and the situation effectively. It enables the coach to help the client to arrive, relax and become present in the session, creating the space to concentrate on their agenda.