"The unedited musings of a recovering madman"


Here's what tripped this blog:

Friday, August 8
Give It the Nod

From: http://www.realage.com [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.
You're going to have to decide, are you running the show or are they?
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 through sound.
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....

<rant on>
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."

End Quote

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 Website:


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 consider them,
Helps the client "Do It Now" during the coaching session, providing immediate support,
Encourages stretches and challenges but also a comfortable pace of learning.

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 time frames,
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.

<rant off>
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

On The Professional Edge