A Coaching Model Created by Han Ee Lim
(Mindful Performance Coach, SINGAPORE)
Our Greatest Fear —Marianne Williamson
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
The 5R model is based on a cumulative experience of over 20 years in high-performance arenas grappling with the puzzle of what it takes to unlock human performance. In the Navy, while we spent days on ends on piracy patrols, I learned that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In managing world champions and elite sports performance, I learned that peak performance is cyclical and a growth mindset separates the serial winners from the rest of the pack. Incorporate the world, I’ve learned the importance of a purpose-driven approach to stay the course and bounce back with resilience in the V.U.C.A marketplace.
This model targets anyone who views themselves as leaders in any high-performance arena. They could be athletes, students, and certainly business leaders and managers. Business leaders are the focal point given my professional background. They see themselves as “corporate athletes” who are keen to carve out a competitive advantage that is holistic and sustainable.
The essence of this 5R model is a five-step approach to unlock the full potential and what we mean by this is engendering flow experiences (1990, Csikszentmihalyi). With a disciplined, deliberate, and supported approach, I believe that flow experiences can be cultivated. A couple of caveats and guiding principles:
- The journey to full potential can be difficult and challenging. It doesn’t feel flowly at all. In itself, this can put off some especially when we live in times of instant gratification and quick fixes. This is a long term, big picture approach.
- Flow experiences are not permanent. It is important then to accept the transient and non-permanent nature of such experiences.
- This is a process and it is not an ON/OFF switch.
With these 3 principles in mind, let us introduce what the 5R model is.
The 5R Model
This is the first step of the model and underpinned by mindfulness practice – to become aware and attuned to what is happening as things unfold. (1990, Kabat-Zinn). The cues and information observed can originate from external (e.g. what my boss said) as well as internal sources (e.g. my self-talk, physical reactions, etc…). The key to this step is to simply observe the raw information while suspending judgment. The judgment and labeling can still arise and that can still be observed as raw information as it unfolds in the present moment. It is important to not get caught up in the information.
This is the important step of letting go and letting be. “I recognize that I’m averse to how my boss is treating me right now…” While we may hold on to preconceived notions, unconscious biases, and our dogma of what should and shouldn’t be, the grip can suffocate and retard our ability to empathize, innovate, and flourish together. It does take courage to accept and release that which we hold very close to our value system and our very own identify. But this is not about self-resignation. This is about seeing clearly what we are holding on to and what we can release.
Mindfulness practice continues. Drawing from the works of Tara Brach along the R.A.I.N of self-compassion, it is important to investigate and look closely at the direct experiences of what the present moment holds for us. If we feel disappointment, how does that show up in our bodies? What are we holding onto? What are some recurring thought patterns we see ourselves caught up in?
As we start to turn towards and look into our experiences, we realize we see more and see through things. And this is the time to ask ourselves what our values and purpose are. What are we covering up, unintentionally perhaps? With this in mind, what do we need to revive and renew for us to thrive in the given circumstances? This is also a values-based approach to enable us to align and feel empowered to act upon sound fundamentals.
Instead of constant impulsive over-reactions, as we go through this model, the final step is to respond from a base of clarity, self-agency, coherency, and full alignment. The actions and responses we choose may still be difficult, but it comes from a place of peace instead of anger, disappointment, fear, etc…This is where we are at full potential, full engagement of our senses, and our being.
Underpinning this model is a sound mindfulness practice. It is a process that takes practice to master. With the necessary support over time, this becomes an effective coaching model that enables our corporate athletes to unlock the full potential and find their flow. It is a process where there are steps to honor (no skipping of steps), the journey can be up and down, and it’s about transcending what life should be and simply accepting and living each moment with full consciousness and full engagement. We cannot control what life throws at us. But when it gives us lemons, we make lemonade. This is our gift, this is our capability, this is our light to shine. Not something we have to acquire from somewhere else. It is already in use, within us.