As reflection for the client, the first question could involve a listing of the inner and outer resources.
- Which is more important to you?
- Which do you spend the most time developing?
Then the client could discuss examples of this prioritization and development. For example, if you work at a job because you need the money, but the work doesn’t challenge or inspire you, then you’re devoting a lot of time to acquiring outer resources while investing little in your inner resources. On the other hand, if you’re going to school to acquire knowledge and skills, you’re building your inner resources while investing little in your external resources.
The coaching process can also include looking at the key differences between where the client is placing emphasis, as there are some key differences between inner and outer resources:
- Depletion. Inner resources aren’t depleted when spent. In fact, the more you exercise them, the stronger they become. Outer resources are usually diminished from use, or there’s an additional resource drain to use them. For example, to use technology, you need electricity, which you can pay for with money, and the value of the technology depreciates while you use it, eventually becoming obsolete.
- Conversion. It’s easier to use inner resources to create outer resources than vice versa. If you’re very disciplined, you can earn plenty of money, but if you’re rich, you can’t readily buy a more disciplined mind.
- Security. Inner resources are more secure than outer resources. It’s more likely you’ll lose your money than your knowledge. Outer resources are subject to greater risk of loss.
- Transferability. Outer resources can be transferred from one person to another. Inner resources are tied to the individual. A resourceful person isn't someone who knows all the answers, it's someone who knows how to or who to get the answers from. Think of resourceful people as “full of resources,” or tools for coming up with solutions. They adapt well to new or difficult situations and they are able to think creatively
Coaching objectives for a perspective shift would include asking the client to explain their feeling of helplessness, as well as what facts or beliefs surround that.
Questions about resources can be explored, and then the coach may get a sense for whether or not the client is ready to explore a shift into resourcefulness, which is equal parts mindset and practical actiontaking. One tool that could be used effectively is to rely upon a ‘helpless’ thought as a trigger for a positive affirmation about resourcefulness. For instance, if the client explains that he or she has frequent negative thoughts about their ability to exercise personal control, the client could be engaged to design an affirmation:
Each time I say the sentence ________________ (relating to helplessness), I will instead firmly repeat to myself, “From now on, I am going to be _____________” (trait of resourcefulness) or “I am bright, capable, creative, and resourceful with __________” (relating to situation at hand).
The next phase of coaching would include exploring resourcefulness and further cementing the value of the perspective shift. As clients develop resourcefulness, their ability to meet challenges in a variety of ways further stimulates their creative intelligence.
Other positive byproducts that the client can be encouraged to discuss are:
- learning to trust their instincts and unique abilities;
- acquiring a positive attitude to problem solving;
- fully engaging as a confident and industrious citizens;
- tapping into the multitude of joys that life has to offer.
Coaches can stimulate imaginative, independent thoughts by posing questions to clients.
Such questions may deemphasize perfection, facilitate playful thinking, accumulate solutions, and propose mix-and-match approaches, such as:
- Is there another way to get what I want?
- In what ways have others who have faced this situation also solved it? Perhaps a book, software program, or someone’s existing checklists or procedures?
- Who is the expert in this area? Who else has information that might help me?
- Who is in my network that I could call on for questions and support?
- What backgrounds, fields, industries, and age groups can I look to in order to expand my network for resources?
- What is something very similar to what I need that might also work?
- What is one more thing I can try?
- What would someone I admire do in this same situation?
- What could I do to learn everything I can about HOW to find information?
- When have I previously exhibited creativity and persistence in the past to accomplish a task/goal?
- What words come to mind when I think of being resourceful? Able? Bright? Capable? Clever? Creative? Imaginative? Ingenious? Inventive? Quick-witted? Sharp? Talented? Collins English Dictionary 5th Edition first published in 2000 © HarperCollins Publishers 1979, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995.
- How could I anticipate situations in which I might or will need to be resourceful? What are some situations in which I will need to be resourceful in order to accomplish my goal?
- What do I currently have available? Working backwards from there, what would I possibly need?
- What intangibles could assist – communication, time, gravity, sunlight?
- Would I be willing to experiment with different approaches to be resourceful?
- How could I improvise?
- How could I use a difficult situation to my advantage or use it for an opportunity?
- What Inner Resources would I like to develop?
REFLECTION FOR COACHES
- What inner resources do you have?
- What outer resources do you value?
- How have you utilized inner resources to achieve important goals?
- Describe a time when you have felt helpless and how you handled it.
- What is one way you continue to grow in resourcefulness (studying, listening, exploring)?