A Coaching Power Tool Created by Hedvig Berry Wibskov
(Confidence Coach, CHINA)
Recently during a coaching session, my client discussed her very emotional response to her relationship with her father. She had a specific issue that she wished was different, but she was not open to discussing the issue directly with her father. She made many firm statements such as:
‘My father has Always been this way. There are no surprises there. I cannot address this issue with him. I already Know what he will say. Therefore, I don’t want to address the issue with him AT ALL.’
This raised a very important clue for me when my client said, ‘I KNOW and yet I don’t really Know because I refuse to address the issue.’ I hear my client say: ‘within my personal perception, this is what I believe.’ ‘Based on all of my experience, I would rather base my belief on my perception and not test that perception with direct interaction with my father….about this subject.’ I interpret this belief has created a barrier within the client that has convinced her that her personal perception is Fact.
Lorna Poole has a great line that repeats often in my mind, ‘We have to find ways to recognize how to go deep when the opportunity shows up.’
In other words, when my client says:
‘Oh yes, there is no doubt, I know this 100%, all my history has convinced me of this, you will not persuade me from this belief. However, I admit that the other person within my belief is not aware of how I feel.’
This is where I would use an observation to try to point out this discrepancy. I’m trying to get underneath all the heavy energy, the negative belief that the personal perception lives as Fact. My hope is that I can gently explore the idea that she does not know what her father will say, because she has been too afraid to raise the issue.
If we can shift the idea that this is personal perception and not a known substantiated ‘fact,’ then perhaps the client can shift her perspective in order to open the subject for further conversation.
I understand also that it is not my goal to force the issue, to support her/enforce her to seemingly demand that to go forward that she Has to talk to her father. However, if the client can see that the belief does not have to define the situation. If the client can shift her belief from something hard and negative, my hope is that I can help soften her reaction, soften the ‘blockers.’
I make observations such as, ‘How would it feel if you released that belief? It seems that you have been holding onto that belief for a long time. What would help you to let go of that feeling of ‘nothing will change’ ‘this is how it will always be’ ?
I ask: ‘What if there was no negative response to this person and this situation? How would that make you feel about your belief? What if someone told you that you don’t have to hold this belief anymore?
I ask: ‘If we were to shift this belief away from you for a while, just long enough for you to get some space from it, would that be okay?’
What would help you right now? What would help you feel better right now? I would like to observe that you could decide to take care of yourself first. Within this coaching space, you could decide that this belief is a perception and since this perception hasn’t been tested, we don’t really know for sure if its the whole truth.
In conclusion, its important for me in my coaching role, to establish if the key issue is a substantiated point, ie a fact, or the client’s personal perception. I fully understand that its not my job to force a client to face an issue head on, but I do want to shift their perspective to see their belief in a new a different way.