As a Certified Life Strategies Coach or in any leadership position, the first step in creating change or making progress is precise and detailed information gathering. Getting the full picture of where your client is now and where they want to create a blueprint system that can be followed to build success.
All too often, a coach is tempted to immediately start fixing or giving advice when they hear about a challenge. This is a limiting trap and leads to an incomplete structure. And remember, in the Hemispheric Levels Template for living life – each level has to be considered for solid change work to happen – from a solid foundation to the joy of the finishing touches.
Reminder: All change work can be divided into two main categories:
- The client has a particular goal. There is nothing apparently stopping them and yet they are not reaching their goal. Or, there is a missing link between the current skills of the client and what skills are needed to be fully successful. In these cases, the coach looks for the roadblocks or hidden saboteurs and builds new skills and expertise.
- The client is currently experiencing or participating in an activity, thought or behavior that they no longer want to be involved with – and yet they continue to make choices that lead to the unwanted experience.
The client will often say they “feel” like they cannot stop the old behavior.
Defining the Goal or Desired Result
This part of the process is often overlooked when a coach gets bogged down in problem-solving or “fixing.” Nature doesn’t allow a vacuum, so before we help a client remove a problem or change a behavior or response, it is crucial that the client has already created and prepared what he or she is wanting instead. This will make doing change work ecologically sound.
Ecology in the context of coaching means evaluating and considering the impact of the proposed change on the larger system. When ecology is considered, the coach can then proceed with the technical work with a much better foundation of understanding. We want to have any change last through time, as the client develops and practices new behaviors and responses.
Define the Current Challenge or Problem
When a client describes their individual challenge, listen to how they describe their “stuckness.” The structure of their language will give you many clues as to what is causing them to not move forward to get the results they say they want.
One says, “People already have all of the resources they need.” And, “People always make the best choice available to them at the time.” The job of a coach is to make more options available to the client so that they are able to make new and more appropriate choices. And “Choice is better than no Choice.”
Whatever the issue, as a coach your job is to be curious, to search for the underlying patterns or limiting beliefs that are holding your client back, then installing new skills, powerful beliefs that support the client’s values, and patterns or strategies for results effectiveness and a solid sense of personal identity.
Then the client can look beyond everyday challenges to have a choice in defining their individual passion or mission and who or what is beyond self: where they want to connect and have a sense of spirit.
The Power of Perspective: Being a Good Detective
Scientists say that fish can’t see the water because they are swimming in it – and this is often true for humans as well. We cannot see the solution to a challenge because we are too involved in only one perspective (our own) of a situation, and this is another situation where an effective coach can be so valuable.
A Certified Life Coach brings multiple perspectives, facts, and options to the coaching/client relationship:
- Active listening.
- A detective looking for the structure of how a client is thinking, processing and behaving.
- Observing and identifying patterns previously out of the client’s conscious awareness.
- Respect, curiosity, expertise, wisdom, with a willingness to ask questions for clarity.
One of the many benefits of learning the Hemispheric Integration work is to know that when we guide our clients to their chosen results, along the way, they will develop new “thinking” or neural
There are three main perspectives we can benefit by focusing through for any given situation:
- We naturally view things from our “Self” perspective, with our way of thinking and feeling based on our history.
- It is useful to step out to an “Observer” position. Let go of any agenda or need and just view the interaction from this neutral, fact-finding perspective. The “Observer” part of us can send information back to “Self” with a broader scope of the scene, and we can expand awareness of the situation.
- “Other” position represents a person we are in interaction with or a group of people. From neutral “Observer” position, step into the position of “Other” and try the experience on from their viewpoint. Make your best guess as to what their experience may be and how “Self” looks through this person’s eyes. From this perspective, you are just information gathering, curious. For “Other” to be behaving the way they are, what must be their filters? Now step back to the “Observer” perspective and then back to “Self” position. “Self” now has three perspectives, rather than just one; generating wider options of choice for
how “Self” wants to act.
The goal with this information gathering tool is to have multi-perspectives of any situation. This gives a better understanding and more options to negotiate for win-win results.
Your Life Coaching Career
If you are passionate about helping people and living a fulfilling life, we can help you achieve your dreams right now. The Life Strategies Coaching Certification Course combines the latest advancements in human potential and neuroscience with proven methods of success used by the world’s most productive people.
Spencer Institute certification programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.