Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
A useful definition of coaching is ‘bringing thinking forwards’ and although I’m not sure who said it, I do agree with them.
Us humans are inexplicably complicated. So much so that even scientists, who have done so much to introduce us to our world, tend to agree that we only use 10% of our brain and the rest is pretty much a mystery.
This is roughly equivalent of living in one room in our house and not knowing what’s in the other rooms.
It’s highly likely therefore, that we’re trying to make decisions without being able to truly access all the thoughts and feelings we have. Almost like choosing new wall paper for our whole house, without going into the mystery rooms first!
Coaching, as a process of kind and challenging questioning, aims to unlock the bits of us that are just out of reach.
We can indulge in a bit of self coaching if we like. It may give us the answer, it may not, but at the very least it will unlock thoughts and feelings that will take us in new directions.
There are two easy ways to coach ourselves.
The first is to write down several really sharp questions, such as…
What am I ignoring?
What are the facts?
What’s the headline here? (Our dilemma in 10 words or less)
What’s scaring me?
If I had a wish, what would I do with it?
What do I need to do differently?
What is the one, essential thing I must change?
Questions like these are hard to answer and yet if we face up to them and acknowledge their searching nature we will make progress.
The second method of self coaching is to draw a ‘mind map’. Start with a circle in the middle of a piece of blank paper and write in it the essence of the problem. Then draw 8 lines radiating out from it and at the end of them write the following prompts:
Give up and then what…
Make a big change
Speak to someone
Do something crazy
Do nothing and wait
With each of these prompts we can allow our intuition to add details to them. Aim to write at least two things for each spur, in order to push our thinking. For people who like visual things this approach can be really helpful and is one I use myself when I’m stuck.
Our intuition is powerful and the purpose of these exercises is to connect it up to our conscious thinking brain. We get to visit the other rooms in our house and see what’s in there.
We can all take care of ourselves when we need to and can make rational, grounded decisions.
And of course we can make contact with a human coach, we if wish.
Happy self coaching!
Next week: Facing Fears
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