A Coaching Power Tool created by Boris Drizin
(Executive, Business, Leadership Coaching, BRAZIL)
In the coaching conversation the intention of the Coach is to have the Client leave the conversation feeling freed up, with more hope, more confident in himself and in his competence, with more creative ideas, with a clearer view on possibilities and empowered to act.
What Power Tools can the Coach deploy in order to achieve the above goals?
Besides the two fundamental key concepts or goals of coaching – Awareness and Responsibility(*1) – the Coach must also work with the Client on two related issues: Courage and Fear: how can the Coach help the Client increase his courage and diminish his fears.
Or in other words, how can the Coach help the Client …
- Face adversity with courage and determination?
- Face adversity with courage, serenity and wisdom?
- Act proactively without being hindered by fear?
- Overcome fearful situations without getting immobilized by fear?
- Cope with his fears in a mature and productive way?
- Take the risk whenever needed?
Understanding the Virtue of Courage and the Emotion of Fear
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, Courage is “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.
The word Courage implies firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty. It suggests an ingrained capacity for meeting strain or difficulty with fortitude and resilience. It also suggests a quality of temperament enabling one to hold one’s own or keep up one’s morale when opposed or threatened.
The Merriam Webster Medical Definition of Fear is “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger and accompanied by increased autonomic activity”.
Fear is a powerful and primitive human emotion. It alerts us to the presence of danger and was critical in keeping our ancestors alive. Fear has been and still is essential to our survival.
Margaret Wheatley reminds us that “Fear has a lot of positive attributes when you think about it. First of all, it gives us adrenaline. So it gives us the energy we need, the surging we need, to really do things that, then, look courageous. So, fear could be a good thing.” (*2). Fear connects us with the world and is a good companion when you use it properly.
When we are frightened we have trouble thinking and acting consciously. We lose our minds in large part due to the huge physiological reaction that fear causes – our bodies and our minds are flooded and overwhelmed physically.
When fear appears, and we recognize and acknowledge it, and understand its meaning, it helps us solve the situation in which the fear arose. It helps us to do the right thing in a tight spot. But when we fail to relate to fear effectively, then fear can paralyze us and make us lose touch with our common sense. Fear when not dealt in a healthy manner may hold people back from achieving the things they need and want in life.
While COURAGE is a virtue or quality (*3), FEAR is an emotion (*4). A Quality can be developed, while an Emotion is something beyond our control. It just happens. We can’t avoid the Emotion of Fear; we can only train ourselves to respond appropriately to the emotion that emerges.
When fear nocks at your door, don’t react immediately to the emotion. Train yourself to respond appropriately to the emotion, by understanding and acknowledging the meaning and reason of the emotion of fear. Ask yourself: “What or whom I am afraid of?” “What danger exists, real or imaginary, that I am facing?” “What is at stake? “What or who is the threat?”. Accept the emotion of fear without struggling with it. Acknowledge it and understand what it is saying to you.