A tradition in many American homes in October is pumpkin carving, and it is certainly the same in our house.  As my family carved pumpkins this year, I couldn’t help but see the similarities between pumpkin carving and the coaching process.  I know…it seems like a strange metaphor.  Stick with me and see what you think:

1 – Cleaning Out

Before you can start carving a pumpkin, you have to create an opening.  Once the top is off, you can roll up your sleeves and start the really messy job of taking everything that is inside out, clearing out all of the stuff that is not needed. 

The same process happens when you begin working with a coach.  An opening is created as the client and coach begin discussing what the client’s goals are.  Then, both parties dig in to discover what’s been holding the client back.  They get down to cleaning out and creating space for something new and beautiful.

2 – The Design

Pumpkin carving designs have come a long way since I was a kid.  My biggest decision was how to shape the mouth of my jack-o-lantern – should I include teeth or not, did I want a friendly looking smile or something a little more spooky.  Today’s designs are much more intricate.  I am amazed at some of the creations I see! 

In coaching, the client partners with the coach to share how she plans to create forward momentum in her career and in her life.  For some clients, the design is straightforward; for others, it is slightly more complex. 

3 – Carving

The act of carving requires time, patience, and a variety of tools.  It starts with the small tool that dots the design outline on the pumpkin.  These small holes form a clear path for the miniature knife that connects the dots to generate the picture you are aiming for.  Deep cuts open the pumpkin for light to shine all the way through while shallow cuts provide additional details and nuances to round out the image. 

When clients take action towards their goals, they are carving out new spaces in their lives.  Sometimes the action steps are large, sweeping moves, and other times the action steps are smaller, more subtle changes that bring greater clarity and refinement to their aspirations. 

So, you made it through all three similarities.  I hope I inspired you to clean out, design, and carve for your future.  As amazing as jack-o-lanterns are, think about how much more amazing the changes are that you can make in your life with coaching.

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Sign up here for Lesley’s free webinar on Creating Your Personal Mission Statement on November 9 at 8pm EST