"The unedited musings of a
Let YOUR CLIENT DO THE LIFTING
Here's what tripped this blog:
Friday, August 8
Give It the Nod
[BTW, I heartily recommend the daily tips!]
Nod your head when you're thinking positive thoughts. It will make
them even more persuasive.
Researchers speculate that nodding one's head up and down may
cause a person to gain confidence in what he or she is thinking.
In a recent study, people who listened to a powerful message
appeared to gain more confidence in the message when they nodded
their heads in agreement.
This is kind of interesting, "kind of" because look at how you
influence others if you nod your head...remember the monkey
experiments...when a monkey watched another monkey do something, the
same area lit up in "Monkey Watching "Brain" scans without the
monkey doing anything...therefore IF you want to influence someone,
you nod your head...as you make it more positive in you, it by
correlation becomes more positive in them.
BIG DANGER FOR COACHING in my view!
You're going to have to decide, are you running the show or are
If they are, keep your nodding to yourself!
Most conventional people don't like phone coaching because it
doesn't give them the cues they are looking for, yet in my view,
phone coaching is FAR better for developmental coaching as it
removes most of the cues, teaches the person to listen more, and
causes the brain to interpret sound, tone, pitch, speed and silence
much differently than does in person coaching; where there are too
many cues taking place in the sight world--that overrides the sound
cues and perhaps the kinesthetic cues from what might be created
Of course, we know some people will over rely on visual, some
auditory, other kinesthetic and others the detailing of the entire
fit. Yet, in my view, if you are truly attempting to work with a
client developmentally, in order to isolate their meaning making
system, you have to isolate yours.
Some people will immediately say this is not what human
relationships about...yes I agree. However when you're trying to
help someone improve their way of making meaning and are attempting
to do that in a way that builds capability, you can't lift the
weight for them, they have to workout with whatever weight they can.
Once they get to a point where they have reached a plateau
(continuing to use the weight-lifting metaphor), you can help them
take on a bigger weight and do some "spotting" or a little help, but
not much or they don't break through....
MOST COACHING IS NOTHING MORE THAN PERSONAL CONSULTING!
I was amazed the other day to review one of the definitions of
coaching at the ICF website and they indicated that coaching was a
form a consulting.
"How is coaching different from consulting?
Consulting. Coaching is a form of consulting. But the coach
stays with the client to help implement the new skills, changes
and goals to make sure they really happen."
For years I have avoided their "masked COACHU model of personal
consulting/training" because it was not about the client, it was
about telling people what to do, be, feel, strive for, dream,
account, etc. They don't tell you directly, it is about
getting in there and lifting the weight for the client!
Again, taken directly from the International Coach Federation
In the Designing Actions Competency:
Advocates or brings forward points of view that are aligned
with client goals and, without attachment, engages the client to
Helps the client "Do It Now" during the coaching session,
providing immediate support,
Encourages stretches and challenges but also a comfortable pace of
In the Managing Accountability Competency:
Promotes client's self-discipline and holds the client
accountable for what they say they are going to do, for the
results of an intended action, or for a specific plan with related
Develops the client's ability to make decisions, address key
concerns, and develop himself/herself (to get feedback, to
determine priorities and set the pace of learning, to reflect on
and learn from experiences),
Positively confronts the client with the fact that he/she did not
take agreed-upon actions.
In these quotes--there are literally hundreds that could be used
to establish the fact that this form is coaching is consulting and
does the lifting for clients through the "DO IT NOW" to the "HOLDS
the client accountable" statements.
It takes one HELL OF A LOT MORE EFFORT (and ego discipline) for the
coach to get them self out of the way and let the client lift, than
it does to immediately rush in when they get a little more weight
than they can handle and you save them--OR WORSE YET, you
"positively confront them" about not taking agreed-upon actions.
quite frankly this is akin to mothering and managing and
developmental coaching is NOT ABOUT EITHER in my opinion!
The paradigm of coaching put forward by ICF is conventional,
flawed [except when used by people who have responsibility,
accountability and authority over the outcomes of their clients] and
creates co-dependency. It "moves" and trains the client faster than
their coping system can rewire their neurophysiology. People need
to have the weight crash down on them at times, give them a bearing
on where they are in relationship to life conditions.
I find the weight-training metaphor powerful because most coaches
get in there and do lifting. The first thing you know, the client is
trying to lift things that they should be wary of and they crash
down on them, taking the "narrow" scaffolding of their development
with them. This is particularly helpful when we run across clients
that have been coached in other systems. For the most part, they
have been mistakenly led to the limits of their coping system and
while they may be able to talk the talk, their walk is still
insufficient to cope except in narrow areas without stress.
No weight trainer would ever do this to their client.
Yet, I see this happening all the time with over aggressive coaches,
who they themselves are seldom developmentally coached, yet they
"have license" to coach others to "go after it." Quite frankly,
this growing crowd of people has limited application in my view.
The problem with constant uphilling and not enough
development of resilience is showing up in increased stress,
depression and illness throughout the world. As the world
bends people into submission through stress, illness and lack of
happiness, we'll see even greater outcomes along these lines. We
need to let people do some lifting at lower levels in order to built
resilient frameworks instead of building their houses high and
narrow and the first wind that comes along, it blows down.
Well, that's my rant on getting yourself out of the way when you
coach, hopefully you can see the point. What the head nodding as a
coach--let the client lift the weights--spot them, don't help them
lift, except in a stretch.
Mike Jay, August 2003