Big A, little a

This refers to the first letter of the word ‘agenda.’

This concept has arisen in quite a few of my coaching sessions in the last week. When working with a client there is always an agenda for the coaching even if it’s not explicitly said in each session. The agenda the coach holds is the Big A.

Big A

– who the client is being as a human and who they are becoming

– it’s the being, the big picture, the future, it’s the learning

– it’s a life lived from the client’s values, vision, what they want their life to be

– it’s the entire robust flavourful meal

– it’s the inspiration

The agenda the client often comes to the session with is the little a – something specific going on in their life/work.


little a

– the everyday situation or circumstance the client is in

– it’s the doing, the foreground, the current, it’s the action

– it’s the ingredient in a fantastic dish of food

– it’s the specification

Today my client talked about one of his team members who suggested she go over his head and contact the CEO to complain about her low pay raise. This is on top of the issue he had with her last month where she complained to him on behalf of another team member (that team member was upset when she found out her name had been used in a complaint). He could continue to have these individual conversations with her about each situation and the impact she’s having or he could have a Big A conversation – how could she build her profile in a constructive, proactive way rather than reactive and defensive?

It is how you live the little a items on a daily basis that cumulatively create your BIG A legacy.

What little a can you address today in the living of your Big A?


This concept is from CTI, captured in the book Co-Active Coaching by Henry and Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl, and Laura Whitworth.