“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.”
The coaching blog. From Non-Coach to Coach and Beyond …
Aug 13 2013
Feb 05 2012
“The really valuable method of thought to arrive at a logically coherent system is intuition.”
Oct 14 2011
In this week’s guest post experienced coach and NLPer Nigel Heath shares his advice about coaching.
By Nigel Heath
I was at a meeting of NLPers one day, long ago, discussing the tools & techniques, when one of the group asked for ‘advice’ with a specific client. The group member told us a bit about the issue and then proceeded to tell us what she had ‘done’ to help the client fix their problem.
“I started with a ‘swish pattern’” she said, “and then I used a ‘circle of excellence’ to build some extra resources.” “I tested to see if the issue was still there, it was, so I used ‘perceptual positions’ and threw in some ‘anchoring’ to help with reinforcing the resources discovered earlier.” “This still hadn’t shifted the original problem.” She then told us of three other things she had tried without success before finally giving up and making another appointment. She asked us “What do you think I should do next?” (Answers on a postcard please to Jen!)
I too remember the heady excitement of discovering I now had the power to heal the world with my new NLP and coaching skills – even if particular individuals, who were clearly in need of healing, resisted my attempts to fix them. Fortunately for me, and everyone else, this phase soon passed.
I began to incorporate my new skills into my existing ones as a physical therapist. As people relaxed under my hands and felt able to express what was really bothering them so I was able to guide them to their own solutions. Increasingly my clients came to me for these skills rather than my physical therapy and I relaxed into knowing they brought their own solutions wrapped in their problems. My job was to listen, ask a few questions and wait for the ‘solution’ to present itself. Their solution, which I reflected back to them. Because it was their solution there was no resistance to it and they would often exclaim “Yes! That’s it!” I think it was Richard Bandler who said “The art of therapy is 99% listening and 1% intervention.”
I now work with my wife, Jenny, as specialist Relationship Coaches. We use NLP, Clean Language and many other assorted skills we have acquired over the years. We have available many resource sheets and exercise plans to give to our clients. Always we hold in our minds “Less is More”. We coach couples and coach together. We see them for two hours minimum but increasingly we see them for one day or two days together. We know that in the ‘dance’ of their unique relationship are the weeds of their problem and the seeds of their own solutions.
I was powerfully influenced by Richard Bach, discoverer of Bach flower remedies, who spent many years ‘unlearning’ the dogmatic approach taught to him in medical school and learning to listen and intuit what his clients really needed to solve their own issues.
As coaches we hold a ‘space’ for our clients, where it is safe for them to confront issues they prefer to ignore. We remind ourselves to:
My message to any new coach is “Only use just enough to get the job done. Please don’t ‘try out’ every technique you know on every client. They will leave more screwed up than when they arrived. Trust your intuition and your experience to help your clients have a positive experience with you they will either want to repeat, or recommend to their friends.”
Nigel Heath works with his wife Jenny as The Relationship People. They coach together and have trained other coaches to do the same. They are both Master Practitioners of NLP, Clean Language Facilitators and Life Coaches.
They work from their home on the northern edge of the New Forest, on the Hampshire / Wiltshire border.
They have written their first book, “Let’s Talk Love” a one message book based on just one of the exercises they give their couples to do when they are looking to repair or enhance their relationship. It’s available on Amazon and other online bookstores. Their second book “How to have a better argument” is in progress and should be out in 2012.
For 13 years they ran the successful NLP practice group NLP-South, which still meets once a month in Eastleigh near Southampton. Www.nlp-south.org.uk
Visit their web site at www.therelationshipeople.co.uk
read their blog http://relationshipeople.blogspot.com/
follow them on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/relationspeople
find us on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/company/the-relationship-people
like us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/LetsTalkLove
or contact Nigel direct nigeltherelationshipeoplecouk
Sep 16 2011
In today’s guest post coach Peter Tate shares his expertise and thoughts about coaching intuition.
by Peter Tate
Have you ever found yourself afraid of what is going on during a coaching intervention; you know, when it’s really intense and you feel like you are living on a toxic coctail of adrenaline and intuition?
I used to lie to myself and call it “being in awe of the process”.
Fortunately, for me, experience led to wisdom, and stress led to strategies that helped me mature my own practice sufficiently that I’m pretty certain both client and coach come out unscathed these days.
“If you give people tools, [and they use] their natural ability and their curiosity, they will develop things in ways that will surprise you”
I discovered the real power of tools in coaching. I know that sounds like it should be obvious, I mean we all know about the “Wheel of Life” exercise. We know how it can bring direction and focus to a coaching session. So we all use it, even if not in that simple format.
Yet sometimes tools like this for me created a terrifying experience. I started calling the wheel of life the “Wheel of Fortune” when my clients somehow applied arbitrary measures to the segments and found an interpretation of the words based on some distant dialect of a long lost language. The problem was simply that using a subjective tool kept me on my back foot unless I had a really good handle on my client’s reference points and frame of mind.
“Facts have a cruel way of substituting themselves for fancies. There is nothing more remorseless, just as there is nothing more helpful, than truth”.
William C. Red Field
What I discovered about the real power of tools in coaching was that when used more objectively, with structured measures and interpretation, I could get to the real heart of the issues; issues that I had previously used my intuition to probe.
And my real discovery was that these tools helped me cope with myself in a coaching session better. I had a better grasp of the client and I was on firm ground enough that my intuition became productive more often. I could genuinely start to be in awe of the process because I could coach with confidence.
“We shall neither fail nor falter; we shall not weaken or tire…give us the tools and we will finish the job.”
I love the work of Suzanne Skiffington and Perry Zeus at the Behavioural Coaching Institute and can highly recommend their books. Their work in applying a rigorous basis to coaching tools taught me to consider the same in my own field and has freed me from some of my fear of coaching.
I specialise these days in career coaching and have found that expert knowledge embodied in tools can lead to breakthrough situations occuring for my clients much quicker. For example, theory states that Job Satisfaction is related to Work Vales. So, the tool on work values comes out to play when a client indicates they are dissatisfied with their work. More often than not the client “discovers” what is missing or what they have to compromise in their current job and all of a sudden I am a successful coach.
Remember that most coaching models are inherently a toolkit, but I’d like to encourage you to find specific tools that do the groundwork and provide you with the knowledge you need in your own niche to give you the space and confidence to coach at your best. You won’t regret the effort.
About the Author/Further Resources
Peter Tate is based near Guildford in the UK, enjoying life as a Career Coach and developer of a powerful Career Coaching Toolkit called Career Horizons. Peter runs a career management practice (http://careersupportservices.co.uk) that equips professionals and those just starting out in the world of work to find their own career success. You can find Peter tweeting as @intolife.