A Coaching Power Tool Created by Michael Cadrette
(Life Coach, UNITED STATES)
Suiting Up to Move Forward
How would you answer the question, ”What are you most passionate about in working with your clients?” I would answer that by saying, “I am most passionate about helping people change and grow.” That is what brings me to coaching in the first place. The next question is of course, “How is the best way to help people change and grow?”
Describe and Define
A survey of ICA resources yields a helpful definition of A Power Tool: “A lazer like way to shift a client’s perspective from a disempowering one to a more empowering one.” ︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎ ︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎ ︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎It is a way to help a reframe their perspective about an area of frustration, annoyance, etc., in a way that creates more resourcefulness, and helps them identify what serves them as well as what is no longer serving them.
In the first century a catalytic traveling teacher named Paul wrote to a group of friends he knew in Ephesus, a city in modern day Turkey, about how to change and grow. He used the metaphor of an old jacket. In describing how to move past the old way of life that no longer serves us adequately, he encourages his readers to take off the old one and replace it with a new one. The old ways are described in a picture that his readers would well identify with, when he uses the sights and smells of the first century meat market, which at the end of the day were full of unsold, smelly, fly infested carcasses, fit only to be burned in a heap at the end of the day. Put that kind of coat off he says, and put on the one that is custom fitted to symbolize alignment with the values that lead to a good life free of the negative effects of bad decisions. This process of putting off and on is made possible through a new way of thinking, a change in perspective.
So let’s use this metaphor to develop a power tool that can help people change their perspective from disempowered to empowered. If I am going to buy a new coat to replace my old one, how does that actually happen?
Find a store that believes in new coats.
If I am looking for a new coat I want to go to a place where the people who work there are excited about what a new coat means, have lots to choose from and actually wear one themselves.
- Does this coach actually know how to help me put off and put on?
- Do they offer different ways to help me change my perspective?
- Do they appreciate my old coat, how it gained the stains, the worn patches, and the stories behind them?
- Does this coach have a list of references, in effect, a coat rack of successful clients?
Find a store that has a selection of coats in a wide price range.
- How much are you willing to pay in order to leave the store with a new coat?
- What price point do you have in mind as you walk in?
- Have you thought about what you get at each price point?
- Does one price point serve you better than another?
- Do you want to pay all at once or over time?
- Are you as a client willing to submit to a process rather than a quick fix?
Find a store that is committed to custom fitting your coat.
You may not be interested as a client in the time and effort it takes to insure this coat is contoured to your unique body geometry. There are always coat stores that have racks of generic sizes, but to walk out really satisfied it takes the skillful hand of a seasoned tailor to insure the proper fit. That is where the role of a skilled coach comes in to the picture.
Let’s move to a more concrete discussion. A client enters your office and is obviously unsatisfied with some area of their life. There are parts of their life that “stink,” are “rotten,” and attracting flies, so to speak. Here is where the shift begins. Here are some categories that can assist a client in describing what needs to be put off:
- futile thinking - empty, useless, unhelpful
- dark understanding - negative thoughts that lead to destructive emotions
- lack of alignment with values - living with inner conflict
- simple ignorance - just don’t know
- self-indulgence - too much emphasis on self
- lack of healthy boundaries - an extension of self- indulgence which can be described as “too much” of something.
Ways to describe what to put on:
- Things that are true and relate to positive alignment with my personal values
- Things that are right and relate to supportive structures that help me align my life with my personal values
- Things that are clean of the negative influences that come from what is rotten in my life.
Here is helpful comparison in terms of behaviors
Helping people change and grow as a coach means assisting people in making the shift from the left side to the right side of the chart. It begins with an assessment of “what stinks” in my life, reframing my thinking about “what stinks,” and moving to the daily practice of structures that serve me in enjoying the new jacket.
My Power Tool Reflections
The process of helping people change and grow has been going on for hundreds of years. The source material for this power tool comes from a first century scholar and leader whose framework for helping people do life was rooted in centuries of rabbinic teaching.
The power tool itself leads to an almost seamless flow of questions. In seeking to hone my coaching skills this tool provides a great deal of reassurance about always having an ample list of questions to use in assisting a client.
New jackets smell great, have a positive impact on how we see ourselves, and often lead us to even walk and talk with more confidence. New jackets are an invitation to something new, to put down what is worn out and walk away from what no longer serves us. And finally, new jackets provide a clear alternative as we replace what is old with something helpful and positive. From a coaching perspective, the prospect of actually helping a client in the process of choosing a new jacket is what makes this power tool OLD vs. NEW so exciting.
The Holy Bible. (1984). Nashville: Broadman and Holman Publishers. Reframing Perspectives # 1 – Alexandra Barosa April 7, 2014 Power Tool # 2 – Helen Omand – March 16, 2014 ICA-iCoachPortfolio-CreateYourPowerTool p. 3