Resilience Pathway #128: The Big A

Most often my clients show up to their coaching sessions well prepared, knowing exactly what they hope to accomplish or explore during our time together. Sometimes, however, clients show up and their intention is a little foggy. In these instances, we work together to determine a meaningful path. Years ago, in the early days of my coach training, we were taught to distinguish between our client’s “little and big A” agendas.

A client’s “little a” agenda is about the doing of life, life’s circumstances, decisions, problems, situations, tasks, and activities. These are the things that, as we go through life, either get in the way of or support us in having a fulfilled life.

The “Big A” agenda is what is magnificent about who we already are and who we are becoming. The “Big A” is about what is important to the client, how the doing of life is interacting with the client’s fulfillments, values, and perspectives as well as the emotions related to the moment’s process. The “Big A” agenda is the big picture of a client’s life.

During a coaching session, one way I distinguish between the “Big A” agenda and the “little a” agenda is to mentally rise above the conversation in order to look down on the coaching and determine if, at that moment, the coaching is about circumstance and/or the tasks of life (this would be the “little a” agenda) or if it is about a client’s fulfillments, values, and perspectives, or the process of emotions, which would be the “Big A” agenda.

Powerful coaching happens when clients come to their session prepared to dive into a “Big A” agenda or when the coach can help shift a client’s discussion in this direction. Talking about the doing of life and its circumstances certainly has a place in a coaching conversation, but client’s who desire meaningful life shifts and more fulfillments bring their “Big A” to the coaching sessions.

Coaching Inquiries: In your mental downtime (e.g., when you’re driving the car or brushing your teeth), what’s on your mind? Your “little a” agenda or your “Big A” agenda? How does your “little a” agenda get in the way of your “Big A” agenda? Imagine that you’re partnering with a coach; what’s on your “Big A” agenda?

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. If you are interested in learning more about how you can partner with a LifeTrek coach to enhance your resilience, please Email Christina or use the Contact Form to arrange for a complimentary coaching session.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Christina Lombardo, PCC, CPCC (
LifeTrek Coaching International
Columbus, OH

Telephone: 614-332-9747
Fax: 415-634-2301

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