A Coaching Power Tool Created by Susan Chen
(Change & Career Coach, SINGAPORE)
To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge. – Confucius
The inspiration behind this power tool is the concept that the search for continuous improvement and to reveal authenticity requires a continue process of unlearning the learnt truth or habits. Being stuck in the stage of Knowing suffocates the space to explore the unknown or to challenge the known truth. In the Unlearn mindset, we are open to explore ideas that were perhaps once rejected or deep-rooted beliefs and habits that are handicapping the individuals from moving forward to reach the desired goal.
Knowing: The state of absolute self-assurance of the truth or required behaviors
An example of a client in Knowing mindset when approaching a goal is habitual driven by a belief. For example, a client might have family relationship management as a goal. The client in working all the time and is always on the phone in the presence of family and friends, and the habit is affecting their personal relationships and their physical wellbeing.
The client in the state of Knowing believe that they must be connected all the time to work e-mails or phone, as they know that is what is required to make them successful at work and therefore be the good parent and good partner.
Is that really the truth?
A process of removing barriers that blind us to our authentic selves, questioning our classical conditioning, deconstructing and re-ordering our identities, identifying and discarding negative values, repeatedly focusing awareness towards one’s state of being.– Steve D’Amico
An alternative perspective is to questions the true conditioning of the behavior and habit. This approach, as defined above, required multiple questions to understand the conditions and therefore deconstruct for new associations. The focus is to identity the conditions that need to be changed. In the Unlearn mindset, we are open to the possibilities of doing things differently to achieve a different outcome. In the example of the client above, the Unlearn mindset will allow for the client to reflect on why the feel the need to always be connected with work, and how change in behavior may contribute positively to their personal relationship without compromising work. The reflection will allow for action plans that are directed to the journey of change. Therefore, Unlearning is not about moving towards something, but moving away by letting go.
Coaching Application as a Coach
Consider our own state of Knowing allows the coach to hold a space of none judgment for the client. This calls for the coach to be in the state of Unlearn when they are working with their client so they can continue to ask questions instead of assuming the answers.
Coaching Application for the Clients
This power tool is linked to the UNLEARN coaching model. The model follows 7 stages of:
This model focuses on unlocking and unleashing clients hidden potential and to make sustainable changes through leveraging on current strengths to support the unlearning current habits/undesirable thoughts and behaviors in order to learn new perspectives and create new positive thoughts and habits.
This model is based on the assumptions that the Unlearning process is a looping process, where you go through various phases of Learn, Unlearn and Relearn.