Claire writes: “As part of our preparation to walk The Camino in 2022, my friend Margaret is learning Spanish using the DuoLingo App. She’s learned about 250 words so far that should support us with finding food and shelter. And she’s only learning the present tense. That seems to me an efficient way of reducing grammar angst. But when I started thinking about it, we will be living in the present for the whole walk, and the only encounter we will need to have will be in the moment. So the present tense is all that we need.
In coaching, we talk about staying in the moment. Asking questions in the present tense keeps us present to each other. In coaching, of course the future tense is useful, as we are looking forwards. And if you are tempted to start going backwards, try and explore the past in the present. This reduces the risk of the person who is thinking reporting back to us, and increases the likelihood that they will gain insight. That might mean that you move from saying ‘tell me more about what happened.’ to ‘is it useful to talk more about that here and see what you notice today?”
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