Wishing bone voyage to the hip of and to my hip 86-year-old Mom with slight dementia and 24/7 care created the immediate need for bringing to bear the weight of my coaching skills. These skills and coaching models are my immediate go-to place when facing tough situations and of course when working with business coaching and personal coaching clients.

With Mom, I use the following skills most frequently:
• Deep listening
• Meeting her where she is
• Supporting her in rediscovering strengths and recovering strengths
• Encouraging her to be in the moment
• Co-creating a picture of her future self

On a Friday morning while using her walker to get into the passenger seat of her car she fell on the driveway, breaking her hip. The next morning she underwent surgery to replace the fractured part with a chrome and cobalt ball.
Mom’s default position for loss is, “Except for the Holocaust and losing Herb so young, I’ve had a good life and am ready to die. I’m not afraid to die.” In breaking her hip, she said, “This is the beginning of the end for old people.” I reminded her of her strengths so she could apply them. Mom likes being different from other people so for her, hip replacement would not be the beginning of the end. She likes winning and is tenacious, so she will come through victorious.

Her words around loss do not sound as if they are from someone with a wonderful sense of humor, which Mom has. And after each loss she regains her wit, sometimes more quickly than others. Six weeks before this fall she endured the loss of her long-time significant other, Charles, when he died suddenly. Within a few days of making her signature statement about being ready to die, Mom asked her caregiver, “How can I attract another man at my age of 86?”

With loss there is a gain, although the gain might not seem immediately obvious. Because the situation is so new, Mom did not fully grasp the benefits of wishing part of her hip bone voyage. In my first brief conversation with her one day after partial hip replacement surgery, we talked about what she gained: an indestructible hip that will be more comfortable. With that, still groggy and disoriented, she laughed.

Author's Bio: 

With her steady, calm presence and personal goal of making people laugh several times a day, founder Renée Barnow, considered by some as the "crisis whisperer," immediately gains her clients' trust. Often called on in crisis, chaos and business transitions that can accompany organizational change, Renée quickly assesses a situation. She provides meaningful insights that support her clients in moving forward from being stuck in behavior and speech patterns. She works with clients to explore how such patterns affect their performance.

Visit www.right-line.com to find out more about Renée and her coaching and consulting practice.