A Coaching Model Created by Jenny Magee
(Life Coaching, NEW ZEALAND)
How often have you felt frustrated and stuck because you just couldn’t have ‘The Conversation’? It might be with your partner, a family member, staff or colleague. Perhaps even with a neighbour.
You know ‘The Conversation’ I mean – the one that we know is needed, that we moan and worry about, that we steel ourselves to have, and then our courage fails us at the last moment. We justify our avoidance with ‘It’s not the right time’, or ‘s/he wasn’t in the right mood’, or ‘I was too rushed’. The very thought of these conversations weighs us down, causing anxiety and discomfort, like a physical burden on the body.
The reason that we avoid speaking up, is more often about our fear of the what-ifs. ‘What if she gets upset?’ ‘What if I forget what I need to say?’ ‘What if this ruins the relationship?’ What if…? Our fertile minds go crazy, playing out so many possible negative scenarios, that we forget why the conversation mattered so much in the first place.
These are gritty conversations, and we all need to have them, at different times in our lives. Rather than letting our fears limit us, speaking our truth opens possibilities that we may never have imagined.
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. ~ Amelia Earhart
The CHEST model is designed to coach you through the process of planning, preparing and then having your gritty conversation. It helps you look at the underlying issues through an objective lens, so that you can clearly frame your concerns, practice the language, set the scene and talk through what really matters to you. Working together through this model, will support you to have that challenging conversation with honesty and good intent.
So, how will the CHEST coaching model work with you? Together, we’ll go through five steps.
CLARIFY the situation:
First, we’ll unpack the reasons why the conversation matters. Who is it that you need to speak to? What’s so important about this? What if you do speak up? What if you don’t speak up? Consider The Four Gates of Speech: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it the right time?
HONOUR yourself and the past:
The feeling of being stuck is often firmly rooted in the past. In this step we’ll explore what brought you to this place. What do you need to leave behind, in order to move forward?
Coaching is about creating the future you want, through taking action. Yet before we leap into the mechanics of what you want to say, it’s essential to create a vision of where you’re going. What do you want this relationship to look like? In one week? Six months? Five years? What’s the best, worst and most likely outcome of the conversation? How will you keep the future in mind as you move through this process?
STRATEGISE your approach:
Planning and rehearsing your words gives you confidence that your thoughts will be clear even if it gets difficult. While we can only ever be responsible for our 50% of any relationship, or conversation, it helps to try and predict or plan for the response you might receive.
What do you need to say? What’s the best time and place? Who and what else will support you? What might the other person’s reaction be? How will you manage this?
This is it. As they say, this is where the rubber meets the road! With your preparation done, it’s time to speak your truth. Remember your goal. Stay present and focused. Speak with an open heart.
After the conversation, is there anything else you need to do to move forward?
Acknowledging your growing skills, strength and courage, once you’ve had your first gritty conversation, you may find there are more to be had. Using the CHEST model steps, we can work together, supporting and guiding you through these too. You are far stronger than you ever imagined!