A Coaching Power Tool Created by Catriona McDermott
(Executive Career Coach, LUXEMBOURG)
There are always new grander challenges to confront and a true winner will embrace each one. Mia Hamm
It’s great to be challenged. To dig deep, to stretch your abilities mental or physical, challenge your thinking or perspectives or learning – whatever it may be.
Confrontation – that space where we can feel fight or flight, a mirror that deals with friction and conflict – where battles engage.
Additional note: Challenge and confrontation are opposites and I believe in working with opposites to create growth. So I have focused on the positive that delivers ‘a more empowering perspective or attitude’.
What does Challenge mean?
Noun Collins English Online Dictionary
A challenge is something new and difficult which requires great effort and determination.
What does Confrontation mean?
Noun Collins English Online Dictionary
A confrontation is a dispute, fight, or battle
To stand or meet facing especially in competition, hostility or defiance.
To bring something face to face
To come up against
I was deeply inspired by Monica Scillieri’spower tool on Perfectionism (1)and the picture of light shining between cracks and the quote by Leonard Cohen:
There is a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in.
If we look at the challenge as the tool that creates the cracks that let in the light, then confrontation is the space where transformation and growth take place. A place where creative abrasion (2), the friction that produces polished gems (3) and higher levels of self- awareness, development, and learning.
Challenge is a coaching competency and a key service that as a coach we provide to our clients.
In coaching, we have to hold that space for the client where challenge and confrontation exist.
Great coaching orchestrates the elements(4) to create higher awareness, new learning, development, and growth.
Establishing a trustful client relationship, partnering and establishing a safe space for the client to explore and being active in listening for client shifts in energy, breathing, and voice.
Providing powerful questions that challenge the client’s way of thinking, to shift perspectives that can lead to the confrontation of emotions and thinking.
Using the language of the client and being mindful of the kind of language being used in this often emotional space.
To providing the silence and space for introspection and simply allowing space for new learning to take place.
To providing support to the client, to acknowledging the client’s work and new awareness.
To moving ahead and exploring how the client will use this new learning, to supporting specific measurable, achievable, realistic, time-framed actions.
To offer ongoing support on the development journey through to celebrating small steps of success.
Coaching is where challenge and confrontation are orchestrated into a great transformational journey and a great coaching experience.
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What if …? Questions starting with ‘What if…’ to show the client another perspective or help gain a different way of thinking.
What if you made the change, what would it change for you? What else? How else?
What if you can do it, how would that change things for you now?
How would that serve you?
Where is the opportunity here for you?
How can you use your frustration to move on?
What is the most compelling reason for doing this?
What can you learn from this experience to help you move forward?
Jerry Hirshberg, founder, and president of Nissan Design International
https://fortune.com/2011/11/11/steve-jobs-the-parable-of-the-stones/Steve Jobs on Performance Teams and Confucius
Catriona McDermott Research Paper Intrinsic Motivation and Practical Application of Academic Research in Coaching https://forum.icoachacademy.com/profile/9110/CatrionaMcDermott and Dr. William GlasserChoice Theory – Basic Human Needs https://www.wglasserinternational.org/courses/professional-development/choice-theory.