I eliminated the word “broken” from my vocabulary a couple years ago when referring to people.
I realized the stream of Christianity I was a part of used that word a lot to describe people. Referring to people as broken does something to your psyche.
When I heard master coach Marcia Reynolds state that she believes every client is whole, creative and resourceful, but might need help getting unstuck, something shifted in me. That shift took me out of the position of being someone with the fix or answers, and let me be a helper, to come along side them and notice with them where they are stuck.
For example, open and powerful questions disrupt patterns of thinking, and create new possibilities. If I offered someone advice for a new way of doing something, I’ve centered myself as the authority, and once I’ve handed off my advice it’s no longer my problem. If I ask a question that might lead someone to try something new, I’ve reinforced that they have the ability to problem solve, they have the capacity to create new patterns, and they have support to help them get there.
Centering my clients (and friends, too, at this point…I find myself using this approach in daily life) in their own situations has freed me to notice how whole, creative and resourceful they are. They just might be stuck.