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Dean Amory - techniques for coaching


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Best practices for self coaching and personal coaching or life coaching.

Best practices for self coaching and personal coaching or life coaching.

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  • 1. 310
  • 3. Title: Techniques for Personal Coaching and Self Coaching Compiled by: Dean Amory Publisher: Edgard Adriaens, Belgium ISBN: 978-1-4716-6888-3 © Copyright 2011, Edgard Adriaens, Belgium, - All Rights Reserved. This book has been compiled based on the contents of trainings, information found in other books and using the internet. It contains a number of articles and coaching models indicated by TM or © or containing a reference to the original author. Whenever you cite such an article or use a coaching model in a commercial situation, please credit the source or check with the IP -owner. If you are aware of a copyright ownership that I have not identified or credited, please contact me at: The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own. – Benjamin Disrael 312
  • 4. Cover picture: Sam & Jeffrey Adriaens - Fuenzalida 313
  • 5. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 INTRODUCTION...............................................................316 3 TECHNIQUES FOR COACHING ..............................317 3.1. ACTIVE LISTENING ...................................................317 3.2. ASKING QUESTIONS ..................................................330 3.3 HERON’S 6 CATEGORIES OF INTERVENTION....360 3.4 RESPONSIVENESS .......................................................362 3.5 GIVING FEEDBACK.....................................................364 3.6 FRAMING - REFRAMING ...........................................372 3.7 REALITY CHECK .........................................................383 3.8 SCALING TECHNIQUES.............................................385 3.9 EXTERNALISING OF PROBLEMS ...........................389 3.10 CREATING RAPPORT ...............................................393 3.11 COLLABORATION BUILDING................................402 3.12 SAYING “NO”...............................................................422 3.13 I-MESSAGES ................................................................432 3.14 ADVISING.....................................................................440 3.15 CREATIVE THINKING ..............................................449 3.16 TURNING PROBLEMS INTO POSSIBILITIES .....491 3.17 SUMMARIZE, EVALUATE AND WRAP UP...........498 3.18 ENACTING ...................................................................509 3.19 THE MIRACLE QUESTION.......................................525 3.20 SHARING INFORMATION........................................530 3.21 SELF DISCLOSURE ....................................................533 3.22 USING INTUITION......................................................542 3.23 RECOGNISE LIFE PATTERNS.................................550 3.24 BREAKING THE DRAMA TRIANGLE....................604 3.25 VOICE DIALOGUE .....................................................611 3.26 CONFRONTATION.....................................................615 3.27 PROVOCATION...........................................................632 314
  • 6. 3.28 MINDFULNESS............................................................638 3.29 HOMEWORK ...............................................................647 3.30 HUMOR .........................................................................648 3.31 RESPECT.......................................................................651 3.32 AFFIRM, COMPLIMENT, CELEBRATE ................655 3.33 PAYING ATTENTION ................................................661 3.34 TRUST............................................................................664 3.35 ALLOWING TIME AND SPACE ...............................666 3.36 COPING.........................................................................678 3.37 DIAGNOSING...............................................................688 3.38 THE PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN ..............697 3.39 TRACKING...................................................................711 3.40 JOINING .......................................................................722 3.41 PARADOXICAL INTERVENTION...........................726 3.42 EMPTY CHAIR TECHNIQUE ...................................728 3.43 THE HUNGER ILLUSION..........................................730 3.44 VALIDATE, INTENSIFY, EMPHASIZE...................733 3.45 CHALLENGE EXISTING PATTERNS.....................747 3.46 SOLUTIONS AND SUCCESSES TO DATE..............751 3.47 USING SUGGESTIVE COMMUNICATION............763 3.48 THE POWER OF “YES”..............................................784 3.49 VISUALIZATION.........................................................786 3.50 BORROWED GENIUS.................................................839 3.51 IMMEDIACY ................................................................843 3.52 CHALLENGING THE COACHEE ............................845 3.53 MODELLING................................................................850 3.54 PROBLEM ANALYSIS................................................858 3.55 POSITIVITY ................................................................864 3.56 HEAD ON COLLISION ...............................................867 3.57 TRANSFERENCE INTERPRETATION ..................870 3.58 PRIMAL THERAPY ....................................................873 3.59 FOCUSING....................................................................875 315
  • 7. Techniques for Personal Coaching and Self Coaching INTRODUCTION This is the second in a series of three books about Personal coaching. Part 1, “Personal Coaching” is about what Personal Coaching is and offers a surview of the most popular models for Personal Coaching (or “Life Coaching”) and Self Coaching. Part 2, “Techniques for Personal Coaching and Self Coaching” introduces you to the most powerful coaching techniques in use and describes the most successful questions and strategies for coaching. Part 3, “Essential Knowledge for Personal Coaches”, is a practical standard reference work highlighting the knowledge and skills that are indispensable for anybody who is considering life coaching as a career or as a serious self coaching process, Dean Amory's Complete Life Coaching and Personal Coaching Course is your best guide for coaching your coachees and yourself towards maximizing your life potential and achieving a happier and more fulfilled life. Personal Coaching is an invaluable training manual for anybody who takes life coaching seriously. 316
  • 8. 3.1 ACTIVE LISTENING Listening is an art. A lot of people stop talking and in their mind they're already trying to think of what they're going to say next. That is not really listening. If you are (pre)occupied with your own thoughts, then there is no room for the coachee anymore. Not really. And even if you are listening and not busy with your own thoughts on the matter, listening is so much more than just hearing the words and being able to repeat them. To get the essence of what's being said -the words behind the words, is just as important, if not more so. While the coachee is telling his story, try to also listen for things like a slip of the tongue, jokes, omissions, recurring themes, metaphors and contradictions. They can speak volumes. Apart from the intonations you can pick out the different emotions in the coachee's voice. Body language and other signals can strengthen or weaken the story. Contradictions are called incongruence and the coach can either keep these in mind or ask about them. Make sure you do this carefully, so the coachee won't feel caught out. In active listening, the coach has an open and alert attitude, he's completely there for the coachee and is peeling his ears, so to speak. To listen empathically means the coach shows a lot of understanding for what the coachee is experiencing and in a way he manages to convey this warm understanding to the coachee, who can appreciate it. Before asking questions, we must learn to listen attentively and effectively. Active listening includes a number of 317
  • 9. techniques: encouraging, paraphrasing, reflecting feelings, and summarizing. But also other techniques are important. Body language Body language is important. Excessive eye-contact may be felt as threatening. Not maintaining enough eye-contact on the other hand might be interpreted as a lack of interest (e.g. when listener is repeatedly looking at their watch or documents on their desk!), or as an indication that the listener is hiding information or is not sufficiently open or honest. Body language includes (affirmative) head nodding and the use of silence, which are powerful tools in any conversation. Gerard Egan describes the correct position for listening as follows : SOLER S : Sit squarely, face coachee O: keep an Open posture L: Lean forward when appropriate E: maintain regular Eye contact (don’t stare) R: Relaxed body language Show coachees that you are interested in the situations, experiences and feelings that they are communicating and that you care not only about what they are saying, but also about how this affects them. Encouraging Humming, and short expressions like “Yes”, ”I see" … are used to confirm coachee that you are listening to him keenly. These expressions also help them to understand which part of their message is being appreciated and to elaborate on that particular topic. 318
  • 10. Asking questions is another way of showing your interest and making coachees feel understood, valued, respected and listened to. In its purest form, life coaching is a technique that uses powerful questions to facilitate you in finding your own answers. (Life-coaching for dummies – Jeni Mumford) Clarifying and reflective questions often are a very good idea: Examples of clarifying questions: - Tell me more about … - Go on … - I am interested to hear more about … - What did you do then? - You say …, why is this so ? - Is this always the case? Clarifying: 1. Restate what you heard the trainee say 2. Listen for confirmation that what you are saying is correct 3. Encourage trainees to tell you if you are right or wrong Examples of reflective questions: - How was this different from …? - What would it look like if …? - What would happen if …? - What do you wish …? - What did you want him to do instead? - How would this impact / change … ? Often enough, it is also very useful to repeat in some way what they have said. This forces coachees to concentrate on what you are saying, thus helping them to take some distance from their own story and obtain an improved general view of the whole 319
  • 11. situation. By repeating coachees’ messages, you also stimulate their thought process, without introducing new subjects. Different options to repeat a message are available: 1. Parroting : literally echo their exact words. Often, only the last words are repeated (mirror-questions) in an invitation to amplify on them. The use of parroting should however be limited, since hearing your own words echoed repeatedly soon becomes very annoying. 2. Repeating Content: This technique goes beyond parroting: The coachee’s exact words are repeated, inviting them to elaborate on their story or to continue it. 3. Repeating Conflict: Repeat both sides of a conflict situation, opposing pros and cons stimulate coachee to make a considered choice. 4. Paraphrasing or Reflecting Meaning: Repeating coachee’s message in your own words, that is: reflecting the facts or ideas, but not the emotions and without getting emotionally involved, may open new perspectives. Often an element of acknowledgement or positive feedback will be part of the paraphrasing, thus motivating the coachee to continue sharing. Simultaneously, paraphrasing is - either a request for verification of your perceptions (feedback) - or a confirmation that you have correctly understood the message. 320
  • 12. Good openings for paraphrasing are: - So you think, …. - You don’t believe that … - You don’t understand why … - So, what you are saying is … - Sounds to me like you …. - The way you see things … - To you, this means … - So, you are saying that … - I guess it is your opinion that … - If I understand correctly … - You’ve always thought …, but now you found out that … Some manuals use the term “reflecting” to indicate reflection of meaning (thoughts) only and use “paraphrasing” for referring to reflecting thoughts AND emotions 5. Reflecting - or Repeating Feelings - is very similar to paraphrasing, but instead of reflecting the meaning, the coach now reflects the emotions that are the basis of coachee’s words. Reflecting feelings resorts a much stronger effect, because coachee will experience that the coach is not only understanding him, but is also emphatizing with his feelings. Reflecting feelings is the basis of emphatic listening and creates rapport. Naming the feeling that you recognize in their story, helps coachees to define and explore their own feelings and become more aware of their seriousness. Reflecting is very useful also when you feel coachees are rattling information without feeling involved. 321
  • 13. Good introductions for reflecting are: - You feel doubly hurt, because … - The situation is worrying you, … - You are disappointed, … - You feel it’s a shame, … - You are feeling sad, … - You were angry, because … - You don’t dare to, … - You are afraid, … - You must be very fond of him. - You feel you have failed … - You are worried that you … - You had the strong feeling that … - Yet, I notice some doubt in your voice - You don’t sound very convinced though - And yet, you sound sad. Maybe you can tell me what happened? - I sense you are still angry, troubled, mixed up, confused … maybe that’s why … 6. Clarifying brings unclear or vague subjects into sharper focus. It is useful to confirm what was said, to get supplementary information, to present fresh points of view or add details, or to shed light on new elements. Examples: - Let me see if I’ve got it all … - Let me try to state what I think you said … 7. Summative Reflection involves summarizing the message in order to provide a structured, complete and comprehensive feedback. Aside from organizing and integrating the major aspects of the dialogue, summarizing also establishes a basis for further 322
  • 14. discussion and offers a sense of progress in the conversation. It is required to also plan regular summaries and evaluations during which you - repeat the essence of what has been said or done - provide a clear image of the situation - locate where coachee is with respect to the total journey Logical moments for summarizing and evaluating are: - At the start and end of each session - At transiting to a new phase - At any moment that you feel a summary might be helpful to keep track of the situation or to stimulate the coachee. Alternatively, it is a good idea to ask the coachees every now and then to summarize and evaluate things themselves. This will help you to take notice of - Their point of view - Which elements have stuck - What is most important to them now - What they are “forgetting” - The most important elements in a summary are: - Accurate summary of core material - Clarity and structure - Reflection of content - Reflection of feelings - Deeper empathy Possible opening lines for summarizing: A. X, let’s see how far you got until now: - You came to me X weeks ago, because … and because …. - We determined that …, because …. 323
  • 15. - Is there something you would like to add at this point? B. So, to summarize, you say that …, is that correct? C. At that moment, you set yourself the target of …. Because …. - To this end, we composed an action plan - Now, the question is when to start with the execution of this plan. D. Summarizing your story, you reported that … , but …, and … - Can you agree with this presentation? E. This seems a good moment to summarize what we have done during this session. - Is there something you want to add? - How did you experience the conversation? - By the next session, I would like you - to consider / go through today’s points again - to start the actions we agreed upon - Which would allow us to proceed next time with …. F. Is there anything you want to add? Examples: I don't understand why my wife is getting worked up, I for instance never get mad!! Still I hear a bit of anger in your voice. Your wife might perceive this as you being angry. If you think it helps, I'm quite willing to do it, you know? You don't sound convinced, what might be holding you back? 324
  • 16. I actually wanted to stop coming here as I think I'm doing much better now. I'm glad you're feeling a lot better and of course you're free to stop whenever you want. However I've noticed there are still some things that seem to trouble you... I haven't touched a drink in weeks, it's clear I'm not an alcoholic... (hiccup) Being an alcoholic might be too strong a word, but something tells me you still do have a drink regularly. I don't know what's wrong with me or where to start. We can take our time. You sound very sad, maybe you could tell me what has happened? 8. Empathy and deeper empathy In coaching you want to build up a trusting relationship with your coachee in a short timespan. The coachee has often heard from people around him things like 'it's nothing to worry about', 'it will be all right', 'don't get worked up, you only make it worse' and more well intended things that unintentionally often made him shut up. With you he is allowed, or rather he should open up and get rid of this threshold. So you want to let him know he's at the right address with his story, his emotions and how he experiences things. By showing him empathy, you welcome his inner experiences and invite him to explore his own feelings. Empathy is not a technique by itself, it is often part of paraphrasing or reflecting. You not only express empathy in the words you use, but also in your modulation, intonation and by showing the right feelings. 325
  • 17. Understanding, empathy and deep empathy are all in line and in a way connected. Understanding is more a rational thing and involves mainly intelligence. Empathy involves feelings, including your own feelings as a human being and as coach. Deep empathy even goes one step further. It goes right into the inner world of experiencing of the coachee for a short while. In other words, with deep empathy you can virtually feel what the coachee must be experiencing. You express the emotions you feel the coachee has. This can be overdone, not every coachee expects a strong emotional reaction from his coach. So use and express deep empathy appropriately and judiciously. In these exercises successive understanding, empathy and deeper empathy are shown. Mother is connected to all these tubes and can hardly say a thing anymore. She's also drugged up with medicines. (Understanding) That must be an awful situation. (Empathy) I can imagine it must be very emotional to see your mother lying there so helplessly. (Deep empathy) I can tell you're suffering, you would so much like for her to get well but there's nothing you can do about it and you feel powerless. Near my house kids hang out; it's very noisy, they fight regularly, and there's trash everywhere. (Understanding) It must be annoying; all that noise, aggression and mess. (Empathy) 326
  • 18. It must be threatening; so close to your home, and that day in day out. (Deep empathy) Looks like it really troubles you. You were looking forward to living in a nice neighbourhood with your children and now it turns out to be just the opposite. I got fired last week, out of the blue. (Understanding) Gosh, that must have been quite a shock. (Empathy) That's terrible, and you thought you would get that promotion. (Deep Empathy) Of course you feel desperate and betrayed. I would really like to try and help you to get over it. “Empathy” is the capacity to recognize (and, to some extent,share) feelings expressed by others and to understand their circumstances, point of view and thoughts. Roadblocks to empathy There are a number of common ‘roadblocks’ that can prevent empathy (Jarvis et al., 1995). These include: - ordering or commanding - warning or threatening - arguing or persuading - moralising - ridiculing or labelling - giving advice or providing solutions It is also important to avoid: 327
  • 19. - insincerity - repetition - clichés - using jargon - collusion “Deeper empathy” is the ability to use empathy to help others understand themselves, their world, personal situation, thoughts and feelings better and in another perspective. Often the coach will 1. Use questions like “Could it be …”, “Perhaps you might see …”, “I feel you may think now …” , “you might ask yourself…”, “Perhaps you feel …”, “it may be that …”, “it seems as if you are feeling …” 2. Followed by a reflection of information implied by cochee’s message, but not put into words by them. This might include naming of themes, patterns, isolated elements or inconsistencies of thoughts or feelings. 3. and by the suggestion of alternative viewpoints or perspectives Example (E = empathy / E+ = deeper empathy) Statement coachee: “I cannot bear to see her laying there like that.” E: I can imagine it must be very emotional to see her laying there so helplessly. E+: I can tell you are suffering, you would so much like her to get well but there is nothing you can do about it and you feel powerless. 328
  • 20. 9. Evaluation In a coaching conversation, you will not want to stop at listening. Towards the end of the conversation, you will want the coachee to take a next step, start changing things, commit to action. Examples: - So, where does this leave us? - What will you do next? - How will this help you to proceed towards your goal? - What will be your first step now? 329
  • 21. 3.2 ASKING QUESTIONS Asking questions is how we find things out. An excellent way to do this is “the FRRO technique”. “FRRO” stands for: 1. FRAME Put aside your own reactions, opinions and feelings and concentrate on getting as much useful and objective information as possible. Discover the story behind the story, then pull the elements that are useful for reaching the coachee’s goal to foreground 2. REPEAT See the chapter on repeating the coachee’s message. Show you understand, show you care. 3. REALITY Checking the coachee’s story, expectations and beliefs helps to build realistic expectations. 4. OPEN QUESTIONS Start with open questions and ask factual questions first, before proceeding to enquiring about emotions. The best way to start asking, is by asking open questions Open questions generally do not start with a verb, but start with a pronoun: who, what, why, when, where, how, how many, which, … 330
  • 22. The advantage of using open questions is that they will evoke a more detailed response than other types of questions. They are therefore the obvious questions to ask when you want to collect information, stimulate the coachee to talk or stimulate them to put their feelings or thoughts into words. Exploring questions are very useful during the coaching process:  For putting the problem in the right context and perspective:  Which other feelings play a part?  For scanning and identifying possible goals  For exploring internal and exterior resources  For examining the various paths that might be useful to achieve the goal Examples: Exploring exact meaning of statement. E.g.: Coachee says: “I am feeling guilty” Some possible exploring questions: - Why are you feeling guilty? - What does feeling guilty exactly means for you, Ian? - How do you cope with that situation / feeling? - How does this make you feel exactly? - What do you do about these feelings, how do you express them? 331
  • 23. Exploring possible goals E.g.: Coachee says: “I would like to feel really o.k.” Some possible exploring questions: - That’s a great goal, Ian. What would it take to make you feel really o.k.? - How would you know that you are feeling really o.k.? - What could make you feel really o.k.? - On a scale from 1 – 10, with 10 being really o.k., where would you locate yourself today? Discovering internal and exterior resources. E.g. Coachee says : “I’m a hopeless case” - You don’t seem to give yourself much courage. Ever heard of internal resources? “Ah, my sources have been dry for a long time now” - Hmm, imagine your sources all of a sudden becoming active again, what difference would that make? “I would be nice, be courageous, …” Probing questions and Clarifying questions Once we have obtained the general information, we switch to the more directive types of questions: probing or clarifying questions, which will yield us the missing data. They are also used to verify whether we understood correctly the information we received from the coachee. Most of these questions will be “Closed questions”. These questions often start with a verb. 332
  • 24. The risks inherent to this kind of questions are: - they often yield very short questions that do not contain supplementary information (yes, no …) - there is always the chance of influencing the coachee’s answer, especially when our question is of a suggestive nature (example: “you wouldn’t know by any chance whether …”, “you wouldn’t want to …” or: “do you think A, or would you rather say B …” Generally, people tend to use too many closed questions and not enough open questions, with the likely outcome of not receiving all the useful information that they might get through the use of open questions. Instead of learning about the coachee’s story, they might end up with a biased story that is limited in content and influenced by their own assumptions and prejudices. A special kind of probing question is the mirror-question in which all, but mostly only the last part of a sentence is repeated: “I have tried everything!” - “Everything?” “It was not a nice chat” - “Not a nice chat?” THE QUESTION TUNNEL 1. Open: e.g. “What does … mean to you?” 2. Probing: e.g. “Which of these objectives are most important to you and why?” 3. Clarifying: e.g. “So, what you really want is …?” 4. Closed e.g. “What will be your first step?” 333
  • 25. Open questions: Obvious line to take for collecting information, for stimulating coachee to talk, for helping coachee describe a situation or put a feeling into words, or for making them reflect on a specific subject. Open questions often start with: who – what – where – why – when – where to – where from - what for – which - how – how many - …. They rarely start with a verb. The use of “why” has to be carefully considered, since this kind of questions easily lead to coachees feeling that they have to justify themselves and then often leads to a defensive attitude. In coaching it is recommended to start asking about an experience or situation and then move to asking about connected emortions. Examples: Phase 1: exploration of situation: “What exactly happened?” “What was the discussion about?” “When did you notice things were going the wrong way?” Phase 2: exploration of emotions: “Who was having most problems with the situation?” “How were you feeling at that point?” “What did it mean to you that …?” “What is your biggest fear?” “What do you think of it now?” “What are you expecting from him?” 334
  • 26. Reflective questions: Special probing or clarifying questions that challenge thinking: “What will make you most comfortable with this action / decision / situation?” “What stops you from taking action?” “What would achieving this goal mean to you?” “What tells you that this is what you will achieve by….” “What’s great about that option?” Pre-supposing questions: “What would you do next if you knew you couldn’t fail?” “If you could have …, what would it look (be, feel) like?” “If it were possible to combine the security of your current job and the freedom of self-employment, how would you be working now?” Boomerang Question Redirect a question back to the learner Example: “That’s a good question. What do you think ought to be done in that situation?” When you don’t know the answer … “What would you do if you knew the answer?” “What would the answer be if you did know it?” 335
  • 27. Pitfalls when asking questions 1. Being subjective : - Asking suggestive questions - Subjective interpretation of the answers received 2. Lack of delineation: - Asking vague, unclear, ambiguous, confusing questions - Unclear definition of the subject - Ramble from one subject to another - Asking several questions simultaneously - Lack of “fine tuning” of the conversation 3. Advising, judging, criticizing questions - Such questions create resistance and tend to block communication. - Do not try to prove you are right, do not enter into discussion, do not try to convince: “a man convinced against his will, remains of the same opinion still!” 4. One way communication : - Talking too much - Not listening to coachee’s answers - Not acknowledging coachee’s answers - Not responding to coachee’s questions and remarks - Bringing up your solutions instead of helping coachee to find his. 336
  • 28. Bloom’s taxonomy Difficult questions stimulate independent thinking and boost the learning or growth process. Bloom distinguishes 6 classes of questions, with an increasing degree of difficulty: 1. Knowledge 2. Perception 3. Application 4. Analysis 5. Synthesis 6. Evaluation 1. Knowledge-questions: ask for facts - Who, what, where, when, which …. - Asking for definitions, lists, descriptions, factual or causal links, events, dates, … 2. Perception-questions: require thinking - Asking for a choice, selection, summary e.g.: Which elements influence …? - Asking for an explanation e.g.: How did this influence you? - Asking to convey the meaning of contents e.g.: Can you explain in your words? - Asking to make a sketch or drawing e.g.: Can you draw up a floor plan? - Asking for a prediction or forecast e.g.: How will A influence B? - Asking for examples e.g.: Name a case where this is valid - Asking for the big scope or great lines of an evolution or event - Asking for points of resemblance and of difference 337
  • 29. 3. Application-questions: Asking to use knowledge in new situations - Asking to develop a plan - Asking to propose solutions - Asking to prove, demonstrate, justify, show how, … - Asking: “How would you … in this specific context or case?” - Asking to test abstract definitions by practical experience - Asking to solve a (mathematical, logic …) problem 4. Asking for an analysis: To force coachee to break up the subject into its constituent parts and order or compare the various parts. - What is the risk of …? - Describe pattern: which causes led to…? - Ask for proof for conclusions - Investigate, explore, … - Compare 5. Synthesis-questions: Asking to create a new entity by joining separate parts - Asking to design something, e.g. “design the ideal town” - Asking to create a poem, a stage play … - Asking to compose a survey, draw up a plan, compile a brochure, … - Asking to write an article - Asking to develop a theme, a point of view, … - Asking to predict, forecast, extrapolate, … - Asking to combine knowledge originated from different fields 338
  • 30. 6. Evaluation-questions: Asking for a substantiated point of view and conclusions - Asking for substantiated conclusions - Asking for detailed arguments - Asking to indicate value: “who is the best …?” - Asking for a detailed critic: “What are the weak points?” - Asking to choose and justify the choice made - Asking for a substantiated judgment or verdict. Tips for asking questions Replace often pointless “why” questions about the past by “how” questions about the future. “Why” questions my leave the impression that one is asked to justify his actions and thus will easier lead to a defensive position. Instead of asking :”Why did you take this approach?”, ask: “How can we move on from here?” --------- Avoid using “why”, use “how”: If you need to know why something happened, avoid the “you” approach Instead of: “Why have you done this?”, ask: “How did this happen?” ---------- Instead of asking “What did you think about …?”, ask : “How do you feel about …?” or ask: “Did / Do you like …?” ----------- Pay attention to what is scrambled, suppressed or transformed: Continue to ask questions until you feel you dispose of all the necessary information. 339
  • 31. Be alert for deletions (omission of referential index, nominalizations, omission of subject, comparative deletions, …), subjective remarks, assumptions, general truths, distortions, wordings which contain modal verbs (must, mustn’t, can, can’t, shouldn’t, …), generalizations (all, every, never, always, almost never, …) Examples : - I cannot ask her now : ask : why not, what is stopping you? … - I have enough of this : what exactly is bothering you? ------------- Challenge ineffective convictions. If you feel that the coachee believes: - that he is worthless unless he’s outstandingly competent - that he is special or doomed: either good or bad - that he must prove himself, must have everything he wants - that he must be immortal; must be loved, must have everything he wants - that he must be immortal, must be loved and cared for - that he must be made happy by others, must be treated in a special way Then ask: - Is their any evidence for this belief? - What is the worst that can happen if he gives up his belief? - What is the best that can happen if he gives up his belief? - Why should this be so? 340
  • 32. If you really do not know what to answer, ask : “Why do you say that?” – “Why do you want to know?” --------------- Whatever you ask, add “because”: Explaining why you want something increases compliance with up to 50% … even if you add an “empty reason”. Example: “May I use the Xerox, because I have to make some copies?” 341
  • 33. Questions for coaching The purpose of these questions is to bring forth answers from your (or your friend's, if you are coaching a friend) own store of values, experiences and abilities. They will also help you to turn your situation on its head and give you a new perspective. The Miracle question Suppose our meeting is over, you go home, do whatever you planned to do for the rest of the day. And then, some time in the evening, you get tired and go to sleep. And in the middle of the night, when you are fast asleep, a miracle happens and all the problems that brought you here today are solved just like that. But since the miracle happened over night nobody is telling you that the miracle happened. When you wake up the next morning, how are you going to start discovering that the miracle happened? ... Ask, what else are you going to notice? What else? In a specific situation, the practitioner may ask, If you woke up tomorrow, and a miracle happened so that you no longer easily lost your temper, what would you see differently? What would the first signs be that the miracle occurred? A child might respond by saying: I would not get upset when somebody calls me names. 342
  • 34. The coach wants the coachee to develop positive goals, or what they will do, rather than what they will not do--to better ensure success. So, the coach may ask the coachee, What will you be doing instead when someone calls you names? A couple of supplementary questions you can ask: 1. Who else would notice that this miracle has happened? What would tell them? This question encourages you to step outside of yourself and think about what would be different in your observable behaviour if the problem were solved. Once you're aware of this, it's a very short step to beginning to act differently. 2. Does anyone else have to change in order for this miracle to happen? Out of dozens of coachees I've asked this question, everyone has said 'no'. Of course, having just described your answer to the miracle question makes it a lot easier to realise that you are able to make the changes you need in your life. 343
  • 35. BasicBasic QuestionsQuestions forfor CoachingCoaching Basic questions  How are you doing right now … on a scale of 1 to 10?  Describe what a ten-point-level would look like.  If you were to go up by two points on the scale – how would things be different?  Which obstacles keep you from getting there today?  If you were to wake up one morning and those obstacles were no longer there, what would you think and do?  What is it that keeps your situation from being worse? Identifying goals  If you had already achieved what you wanted, what would it be like?  When do you want that to happen?  Is this really your own goal or is it someone else's? Motivational questions  What is it you will gain if you reach your goal?  What will you gain by not reaching your goal?  How would it feel to succeed?  How would it feel if you were not to reach your goal? Would it even be worth trying? Experience questions  Earlier in your life, have you been in a situation similar to the one you are in now? How did you solve it that time?  If somebody else with your experience had been in your shoes, what would you have told him or her? 344
  • 36. Identifying obstacles  If some person is involved – who is the most negative? For what reason?  What other circumstances effect you with regard to this matter? If necessary, would you be willing to have a look at these circumstances?  How determined are you to try to reach your goal? Transformation  What would be a step in the right direction?  What other possibilities do you have?  What further options are open to you?  What sort of things are there that could be done if you did not have to do them?  What more can be done?  What can you do to get yourself beyond these obstacles?  What do you first need to do/find out in order to move forward?  Who or what can help you to get what you want? Perspective questions  If you had an unlimited amount of time and money, what would you do?  If somebody else had the same problems or issues that you have, what kind of advice would you give him/her?  If your best friend were in your situation, what kind of advice would you give him/her?  If your child found himself in the same situation, then what would you advise? 345
  • 37.  If someone were sitting up on the moon and looking down on your situation, what do you think he or she would say you should do?  What would a total novice in the field do in the same situation?  What would someone with a strong sense of self do?  What would a man or woman of enormous wisdom think? Problem-solving questions  What is it that really works? Can you somehow reinforce that?  What has worked before? Can you try it again? Intuition questions  What does your gut-feeling tell you? What does your intuition tell you?  Answer within five seconds – what would you do if you knew how you should behave? Confronting your fears  What are you most afraid of?  What are you least afraid of?  What is the best thing that can happen if you make a move, even if you are scared?  What is the worst that can happen?  If you were completely without fear, what would you do?  When others are frightened, what do you tell them?  Has it ever happened that you worried about something, even after it turned out be alright in the end? Can you draw any parallels to your current situation? 346
  • 38.  What do you expect if you do nothing – how will you look at that decision when you are eighty years old?  If you let your fears control you, does it help? 1010 PersonalPersonal GrowthGrowth QuestionsQuestions toto AskAsk YourselfYourself Question # 10: How am I spending my time? We all have 24 hours each day. We cannot manage ‘time’, yet we can choose how we manage ourselves with the time we have. Time is your most valuable resource. You only have a limited supply. What is your present relationship with time? Does it give you the satisfaction and fulfillment you seek? Do you feel there are never enough hours in the day to achieve what you want? Do you sometimes feel that others are managing your time? How you choose to spend your time is how you spend your life. The way you spend your time tells you much about your priorities and what you value in life. Do you know what your core values and priorities are? Have you decided what the top ten things are that you want to spend your time on this year? If you want to make good use of your time, you've got to know what's most important and then give it all you've got. (Lee Iacocca) Take some time to reflect on the larger areas in your life, such as your work/career, health, relationships, finances, personal growth, fun and recreation. How can you manage yourself more effectively allowing you to spend more time in those areas that are most important in 347
  • 39. your life? What choices will you make? What will you say 'no' to in order to gain more balance and experience more fulfillment in life? If you choose to live a more balanced life, you must redefine your relationship with time, to shift the emphasis from quantity to quality, from frustration to fulfillment, from lack to abundance, from pressure to peace. Managing your time is a choice! Question #9: What Would I Do If I Knew I Couldn’t Fail? What if failure was not an option? The fear of failure holds us back more than anything else in all our pursuits in life. Many people don’t even set goals because they are often so afraid of failing that they do not even try. How many opportunities have you missed in the past because you lacked the courage to take a chance, to play full out, all because you were afraid you might fail? How much more pain and lost opportunities are you willing to endure by continuing to allow fear and procrastination to rule your life? Failure is a concept that only exists in your ego’s mind. If your ego would have a favorite slogan, it would probably be “Playing It Safe.” Your ego operates in the emotional comfort zone of your mind and will do anything in its power to keep you there. It is that little voice in the back of your head giving you all the reasons why you shouldn’t do this or try that … The only way to create results in your life is by taking action. Realize that, succeed or fail, you will produce results from which you will learn. Don’t be afraid of failure; be afraid of not taking action! 348
  • 40. Question #8: Who Am I becoming? How satisfied are you with the person you are becoming? What kind of person do you see yourself becoming ? Do you see someone who is becoming more stressed out or tired with an unsatisfying job or an unbalanced work/home life, or do you see someone who is enjoying a happy and fulfilling lifestyle? How do you feel about your future self? If you want to have more and experience more in life, you have to become more. What are some of the personal qualities you would like to further develop this year? Perhaps you would like to become more skillful or competent. More honest, sincere, genuine or congruent. More compassionate, accepting, forgiving or grateful. More creative or expressive. More courageous. More generous, loving or happy. More responsible. No matter how you feel about yourself right now, you can make a decision to become more of who you really are. The power to choose lies within your mind and how you think about yourself. You will become what you think about, most of the time. Your thinking process determines how you feel, the choices you make and the results you create. If you seek to attract new experiences in your life or you want to make certain changes, you need to begin the process in your mind. Focus on continuous personal development; with books, CD’s, seminars, personal coaching, studying, listening, practicing, and nourishing your mind. Become the mental architect of your own personal transformation! 349
  • 41. Change your mind and change your life! Question #7: What Am I Tolerating? What are some of the things you have been putting up with in your life? What have you been tolerating at work, at home or in your social environment in the past year? What are the things you wish would resolve themselves somehow? Sometimes tolerations show up as minor inconveniences such as a messy desk, a squeaking door or a friend who always shows up late for appointments. Other tolerations are more serious, such as mental or physical abuse or a controlling or disrespectful boss. Sometimes it is easier to ignore your 'tolerations' rather than to take the necessary action to clean them up. Allowing 'tolerations' to hang around in your life will drain your energy, try your patience and show up under the form of stress and anxiety. They can chip away at your self-esteem, confidence and enthusiasm. Here are a few life coaching tips to help with the process:  Make a list of 10 things that you are putting up with. Ask yourself what each is costing you in terms of energy, confidence and enthusiasm?  Resolve to take action. The decision to act on 'tolerations' is very liberating and will improve the quality of your life.  Set target dates and make time in your schedule to overcome your 'tolerations'.  Seek the support from friends, family or a personal coach to keep you focused and stay on track. Living a life you want not only means choosing the things you want, but also eliminating the things that are hanging around in your life that you no longer want. 350
  • 42. Now is the perfect time to do some personal housecleaning, and remove some of the clutter around your house, at work or in your relationships. When you resolve to stop putting up, you will find a renewed sense of freedom and balance in your life. Question # 6: Where Do I Focus My Attention? Your life becomes what you focus on. Your thought patterns create the texture of your everyday life. You are always focusing on something. The experiences you create in this very moment, and the next, are based on where your focus lies. What you see depends on what you look for. What you hear depends on what you listen for and what you feel depends on the experiences you seek. Your expectations, based on what you focus on, blossom into self-fulfilling prophecies. The results you create are a result of your focus. If you're not getting the results you are looking for, it is time to re- examine what you focus on. If you keep focusing on the same things and keep doing what you’ve always done, sure enough, you’ll keep getting the same results. Your mind cannot tell the difference between something you think about or focus on that you do want, and the stuff you think about that you don’t want. Your mind is a very effective goal seeking mechanism and seeks to create precisely what you focus on. The key is to direct your focus on the goals and experiences that you do want in your life. Think of your focus as a sticky boomerang. What you focus on comes back to you, with more strength that it has gathered along the way. If you send out anger, fear, negativity or jealousy, you will invite the same thoughts manifold. 351
  • 43. What you focus on expands. Focus on what is going well in your life right now and what is good for you moving forward. Focus on your innate talents and capabilities. Focus on what you believe is possible and you will see opportunities rather than constraints. Question #5: How Am I Using My Talents? When you talk with people who have achieved a high level of success in their lives, you’ll find that they have found ways to incorporate their passions and talents into their daily activities. They also experience more fulfillment and balance because they intentionally played to their talents and strengths by developing the know-how and experience through continued focus and practice. Your talents influence how you think and the way you respond to the situations in your life. Once you fully understand and acknowledge your natural abilities, you will develop a higher self awareness, which will lead to increased self confidence, a healthier self esteem, more success and personal satisfaction. Talents by themselves are not that special, it is what you decide to do with them that make them special. All too often we deny our own talents, because to acknowledge them would mean we have to use them. Why is it sometimes difficult to identify our own talents? First, it’s a question we don’t really ask ourselves. Second, our talents feel so natural to us that we tend to take them for granted. Third, we live in a culture where we tend to focus on improving our weaknesses rather than developing our talents into strengths. Do you know what your talents are? How do you go about discovering some of your talents or natural abilities? 352
  • 44. Answer the following questions and start to identify some of the common themes within your answers.  What are some activities or special interests you enjoyed growing up? What did you enjoy most about those moments and why?  What are some of the skills or abilities you developed over the years? What skills were easy for you to learn or develop?  What are some of your favorite activities or projects that give you the most satisfaction? At home? At work? What are some activities that whenever you’re doing them, everything just flows because it just feels right. It comes natural to you and you tend to lose track of time. What are some activities that you genuinely look forward to doing again?  What would you enjoy doing even when you’re not getting paid for it?  What do other people regularly ask you to do?  What are some of the qualities that other people think you have? Once you get a better understanding of your dominant innate talents and abilities, start looking for ways to incorporate them into your daily life. None of us have been dealt the perfect hand, but it is your responsibility and greatest joy to become the best you can with the cards you have been dealt. Question #4: Who Do I spend My Time With? The people you spend most of your time with have a strong influence on you. When you are surrounded by negative or angry people, you will absorb some of their negativity or anger. 353
  • 45. When you spend time with people who inspire you, support you and believe in you, their positive energy will boost your motivation, self-confidence and inner strength. Do not underestimate the power of influence of the people you surround yourself with. Make a mental note of the people in your personal and professional life with whom you most often associate and think of how they are influencing you, both positively and negatively. Perhaps you've heard the story of the little bird. He had his wing over his eye and he was crying. The owl said to the bird, You are crying. Yes, said the little bird, and he pulled his wing away from his eye. Oh, I see, said the owl. You're crying because the big bird pecked out your eye. And the little bird said, No, I'm not crying because the big bird pecked out my eye. I'm crying because I let him. I believe that the quality of your life is greatly influenced by the quality of your associations and relationships. Be cautious of the people you allow yourself to associate with in your personal life and business. Choose to surround yourself with people who will move you forward on your journey and let go of the negative influences that impede your progress. Question # 3: How Do I Honor My Core Values? Your core values express the essence of who you are. Although you may share similar values with others, you have a unique set of values. Many of the important decisions that you make, and the actions you take, are based on the values that you hold. Your values, together with the beliefs that support them, are an energetic driving force and provide meaning and direction in your life. 354
  • 46. If you commit time and energy to something that violates or neglects one of your core values, you will most likely feel resentful and frustrated. If your values are not respected at your job or in your relationships, you will feel that something is missing. While it is enormously helpful to know your core values, it is not always easy to identify them. Often these things are so much a part of who you are, that they become invisible to you. Take a moment and write down the unique qualities that define you? What are the qualities that are at the core of who you are? Create a list for yourself by thinking about the ideas and questions below. Don’t worry about getting it right and capturing all of your values. Your list will be a work in progress. Also, your values don’t have to be a single word; they could be a string of words or sentences or themes. Find the words that work best for you. Think about the following questions:  What is important to you?  What do you really care about?  What do you really want in your life?  When do you feel happiest?  Select a time from your life when you felt particular fulfilled. There may have been challenges,but you were still on a roll. It may have been a few minutes, or hours or days. What was important about that experience? What values were you honoring? 355
  • 47.  What do you react negatively to? What makes you angry or frustrated?  What value is being violated? What kinds of situations cause you to feel incongruent? When are you not being true to yourself? For each of us, there are usually values that are so much a part of us that we don’t even think to put them on a list. These are often our most dearly held values. A teacher might fail to include learning; an artist might forget to write down creativity, a business owner might overlook financial success. Question # 2: What Do I want? The quality of your life's experiences amounts to the sum of all the decisions you have ever made. The power to make decisions is what gives you freedom. The more freedom you have, the more options you can entertain. The more options you have available, the more opportunities you can create for yourself and others. Have you ever been told what to believe? Have you ever had someone tell you what you should do, how you should feel or behave? Why would you have someone else decide for you in your life? What is the cost of living that way? Life is short, and time is your most valuable resource. Letting anyone else decide for you is a waste of time! No one else knows you as well as you do. You are the expert of your own life. Think of yourself as the majority shareholder in your life. What are some of the strategic decisions that will help you grow and flourish in the New Year? What will you vote yes for in your life? What will you vote no for? Recognizing that you have a choice does not mean that there will never be any uncomfortable consequences. But not making a 356
  • 48. decision is also a decision which could have consequences that are just as negative. Peter Drucker once said that whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision! In what department of your life's organization - relationships, money, health, fun, recreation, personal growth - do you currently experience the most challenge? Where do you feel trapped? Whatever you believe is missing, it is yours, waiting to be claimed. The first step is to make a conscious decision about the things you would like to have more of and the things you will need to let go off. Some people get trapped in inaction. They have a hard time saying yes, because that would mean that they have to close off other possibilities. In economics, this is referred to as the 'opportunity cost'. The same principle is true in life. Saying yes to one thing often means saying no to many other possibilities. Don't just dwell in possibility. Dwell in reality! Choose, decide and take action. Question #1: How Am I Committed? Why is it that we tell ourselves we want certain things but we don’t take action? We might have the best of intentions to make certain changes in our lives, yet we do not follow through on our resolutions? Does that mean we are lazy or undisciplined? Are we afraid of failure? Are we holding on to limiting beliefs about ourselves? We get frustrated when we think and say we are committed to wanting something for ourselves, but no action follows that voice of commitment. 357
  • 49. When you fully commit to something, action always follows thought. There is no question, no debate, no doubt or struggle. You don’t wonder whether or not you will take action or not. Commitment goes beyond making a choice. I have never met a mother who had to think about and decide whether or not to feed her baby. People gain a mysterious strength and resolve when they make a commitment. Commitment is a unique personal experience. As a personal coach I can offer you many possible commitment strategies, yet the best personal style of commitment comes from a deep emotional awareness within yourself. Often our commitments are invisible to us and we don’t think about them as commitments, it is what we do naturally. And that’s the whole point. Recall a time in your life when you were committed to something. You were so deeply committed that there was no doubt in your mind, and taking action was almost automatic and effortless. Take some time to answer the following questions to discover the underlying structure of your own personal commitment strategy.  When and where were you committed? Was it a commitment you made to yourself or others? Were there any external influences?  What were some of the actions you took?  How did you go about taking action? What was your strategy for taking action? Did you write down your goal or commitment? Did you visualize your achievements? Did you call a friend or work with a personal life coach? What skills or capabilities did you use?  What were some of the emotional reasons why you were committed? Reflect on the values and beliefs that 358
  • 50. motivated you to take action and follow through on your commitment.  How did you benefit from taking action? What was the cost of not taking action at all?  How did you think and feel about yourself as a person? Maybe you felt like a successful individual or a compassionate person.  How did your commitment impact others? Understanding and modeling your personal commitment strategy will help you create resolve to follow through and achieve your goals. 359
  • 51. 3.3 HERON’S CATEGORIES OF INTERVENTION John Heron (1986) defines six major styles of intervention that we can use to increase the effectiveness of our communication skills in coaching relationships. In the list below, the interventions are described according to their intention rather than content. Pay attention to which of these styles of intervention you use most and least in your own communication. Notice whether you use some more than others. AUTHORITATIVE INTERVENTIONS 1 Prescriptive: A prescriptive intervention seeks to direct the behaviour of the patient/colleague, usually behaviour that is outside of the coach / coachee relationship. For example – ”I would like you to discuss this issue with your senior colleagues” 2 Informative: An informative intervention seeks to impart knowledge, information and meaning to the other person For example – “Grants are often made available for this type of work” 3 Confronting: A confronting intervention seeks to raise the awareness of the coachee about some limiting attitude or behaviour of which he/she is relatively unaware. For example – “I notice this is the third time we have talked about this – and you have still not been able to act – I wonder what is going on?” 360
  • 52. FACIILITATIVE INTERVENTIONS 4 Cathartic: A cathartic intervention seeks to enable the other person to discharge and express painful emotion, usually grief, anger or fear (Heron believed that unexpressed emotion could block development and creativity) For example – “I notice that whenever you speak about your research you look rather anxious”. 5 Catalytic: A catalytic intervention seeks to elicit self discovery, self directed learning, and problem solving For example – “Tell me about a previous time when you had to work with a colleague who you found particularly challenging … How did you deal with that?” 6 Supportive: A supportive intervention seeks to affirm the worth and value of the other person, and their qualities, attitudes and actions For example – “It sounds like you handled that in a very mature and confident way”. In developing effective coaching relationships, it is usual for the coach to rely more on facilitative interventions rather than on authoritative ones – to enable the coachee to develop their own solutions and autonomy. (Developed from John Heron ‘Helping the Coachee’ (1990) London Sage) 361
  • 53. 3.4 RESPONSIVENESS Responsiveness is defined as: “Readily reacting to suggestions, influences, appeals, or efforts” Being responsive means acting quickly, reacting to requests, suggestions, influences, appeals, or efforts. It means being able to adjust quickly to a change in situation, environment, or direction. Though not a perfect antonym, I would say that the antithesis of responsiveness is procrastination, which is the downfall of many businesses, careers, and lives. (Jeff Wilson) Responsive life coaches will gradually develop an approach and an orientation that is most relevant and useful to both them and their coachees. ( Responsive questions enable the coach to gather more information and to help the coachee discover their gifts and talents - and finds ways to bring those out. A life coach needs to be intuitive and responsive when guiding a coachee to see the value in their own unique gifts. (Patti Stafford) Some examples of responsive questions are: 1. If it were possible to satisfy and alleviate your specific concerns, would you be interested in discussing this in more detail? 2. (I can certainly appreciate how you feel.) May I ask why you feel that way? 3. What are the top three benefits you would want to realize if you were to …? 4. What do you need to see in order to feel confident that you've made the best decision? 362
  • 54. 5. Is it possible that there is another approach/solution here? 6. What else do you think may be possible? 7. I'm not sure what you mean by that. Can you say more? 8. That's interesting. Will you share with me why you see it that way? 9. What solution would motivate you enough to explore in which way you should work to realize it? 10. If a coachee says, I’m not ready for this now. “ respond with: May I ask, what might be changing in the near furture that would then make it a better time to try this solution? This question enables you to smoke out the real objection, just in case we're not ready now is not it. Moreover, you may uncover some additional information you can use that will allow you to adjust your approach. From The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cold Calling © 2004 Keith Rosen - CPW-014-009062 Visit Keith Rosen's Website: 363
  • 55. 3.5 FEEDBACK Feedback is the term used for giving people information about their performance. Sometimes as a coach you have information or a suggested course of action that you believe can help the coachee—you have a suggestion or an opinion. The motivation of suggestion and feedback is to reinforce or change a pattern of behavior, to assist the coachee in solving a problem, or to support a coachee’s development. We often offer our suggestions and feedback early in the conversation, before we have fully explored a situation with a coachee. The guidelines that follow assume that you have been in enough questioning to significantly understand the situation being presented to you. Advocacy or suggestion is used only after sufficient questioning. Key Concepts: ● To truly achieve peak performance, people must see the relationship between their behaviors, thoughts, feelings, underlying beliefs, and the result of ALL of these (intended or unintended) in their lives. ● The spirit of coaching is to offer and let go. ● For optimal success, the coach maintains an open and curious state about the coachee’s situation. If for some reason, this is not possible (ex: coach is highly invested in one alternative or action), another coach may be helpful. ● Coaching assumes that each of us knows our own needs, situation, and goals best. 364
  • 56. Issues with Feedback Although supervisors may know about feedback, they do not always have skills to give effective feedback. It takes practice as well as knowledge. Staff and volunteers often are not receptive when feedback is offered. They may get defensive, trying to justify what they did rather than listening and considering the help they are receiving. Both supervisors and their staff or volunteers should prepare for feedback sessions, and know some ground rules. Feedback should be a regular occurrence, a part of the overall strategy to improve performance. As opportunities arise for the supervisor to observe, read, or discuss work, positive and corrective feedback should be a part of the interaction. 365
  • 57. Guidelines for Giving Feedback Giving feedback is a delicate communication, because there is always the risk of people interpreting feedback as a personal critic directed against whom and how they are, instead of taking it as useful information on something they did. The best way to give feedback is to avoid “you-statements” and use “I-statements” instead: 1. Give a specific description of the concrete behavior 2. Tell how it made you feel 3. Explain why (because…) 4. Describe the desired consequence 1. Be specific and support general statements with specific examples. The receiver of feedback for both positive and negative behavior will be better able to act on statements that are precise and concise. Example: “During this month you have improved a lot.” This may be satisfying for both parties but it’s not as effective as saying, “Your reports were on time and better proofread.” 2. Describe the facts and do not judge. Describing the facts helps the receiver to understand the meaning and the importance of the feedback. It tends to focus the discussion on behavior and not on personal characteristics. Example: “Did you prepare for your meeting with the grantee? For me it looked like you did not. It was not organized.” This type of statement can bring anger, return accusations, or passive–aggressive behavior in the 366
  • 58. listener. A better sequence of statements would be: “I got confused in your presentation to the grantee. I was not clear what the presentation was meant to accomplish. A statement about that at the beginning would have helped us all focus on the information you presented.” 3. Be direct, clear, and to the point. In many cultures, it is considered more polite and educated to not be direct. But in the case of feedback, since the objective is to communicate clearly and specifically, and not leave someone guessing, we encourage people to be direct but in polite way. 4. Direct feedback toward controllable behavior. Inquire before critiquing. If an employee is continually late to work, perhaps s/he has a childcare situation that causes this. Discussing the cause and the alternatives to meet everyone’s expectations and needs would be a more constructive approach than simply criticizing the employee’s behavior. Avoid criticizing a participant’s physical characteristics. To say, “You are too short to be seen in the back of the room,” without giving or exploring with him/her some suggestions (about room arrangement, for example), is not very helpful. 5. Feedback should be solicited, rather than imposed. If a collaborative work environment is present with employees or volunteers, feedback should be expected and welcomed. It should include positive feedback on good performance to reinforce what is being done correctly or better. Feedback that helps improve performance is critical 367
  • 59. to the learning environment and be desired by employees and volunteers. 6. Consider the timing of feedback. Do not wait too long to discuss observations with staff or volunteers. Given in useable amounts and in a timely manner, it is much more effective than allowing things to build up. A person may even feel you that you were holding things over him/her, if you withhold information about behavior that you feel needs to be changed. 7. Make sure feedback takes into account the needs of both the receiver and the giver. Feedback can be destructive when it serves only one’s own needs and fails to consider the needs of the person on the receiving end. If an employee or volunteer is struggling, and there are many points that could be discussed, select some positive points and one or two behaviors to work on first. Then, as performance improves, give feedback on other areas to improve. 8. Plan your feedback. Plan what to say, and in what order. Think before you talk. As you give feedback on a regular basis it will become easier to balance your comments, and provide feedback that can be acted upon. 9. Own your feedback. Use “I” statements, so that the receiver understands that it is your opinion. Example: “Your posture of standing with your hands on your hips was very authoritarian as you talked 368
  • 60. with the group” is different than saying, “I found your hands on your hips distracting. That posture is sometimes seen as aggressive and authoritarian. Were you aware you were standing like that? What were you thinking as you stood that way?” Guidelines for Receiving Feedback 1. Solicit feedback in clear and specific areas. It’s always easier to give feedback if one is asked. It’s even easier when a specific question is asked. Example: “I often find it difficult to conclude a presentation. Will you pay particular attention to the conclusion today?” 2. Ask for clarification and make a point to understand the feedback. Listen carefully and ask for clarification, if the feedback is not clear. Example: “Are you saying that if I had given an introduction stating what I was going to talk about, that the rest of the presentation was clear?” 3. Help the giver use the criteria for giving useful feedback. Example: If the feedback is too general, ask: “Could you give me specific examples of what you mean?” 4. Avoid making it more difficult for the giver of the feedback than it already is. Strive to avoid being defensive, angry or argumentative. 369
  • 61. 5. Don’t ask for explanations. Clarification and examples are different than asking why someone did not like something. Requesting explanations beyond the facts can seem defensive and often end up in an argument. As a result the giver backs off and is discouraged from giving feedback in the future. However, the giver is not discouraged from seeing negative behavior or assessing your performance; the person simply becomes unwilling to provide the feedback. Focus on understanding the behavior and its impact. 6. Assume the sender wants to help. Related to the point above, assume that the person giving the feedback is helping you improve. It should not be seen as a way to be more powerful than you or to make you feel bad. Everyone can improve; it is a benefit to have someone reflect how your behavior appears to him/her. 7. Be appreciative and thank the observer. Express your gratitude in a sincere way, such as “Thanks. I am sure I will be clearer if I pay attention to your points.” 8. Share your improvement plan. Tell the giver what you intend to do in the future. Example: “I think I will try your idea of putting talking points on the flip chart in pencil. That should help me get rid of the notes that are distracting to me.” 370
  • 62. Remember that feedback is based on one person’s perception of another person’s behavior, not universal truth. You are receiving one person’s perceptions. Having this in mind should make you less defensive. If you do not agree with the feedback, you might check out the perceptions with others. For example, you might ask someone else to watch you for the specific behaviors you received feedback on. 371
  • 63. 3.6 REFRAMING Everyone sees things differently — knowledge often lies in the eye of the beholder. To reframe means to change the conceptual and/or emotional setting or viewpoint in relation to which a situation is experienced and to place it in another frame which fits the ”facts” of the same concrete situation equally well or even better, and thereby changes its entire meaning. (Watzlawick et al.) The reframing matrix enables different perspectives to be generated and used in coaching and management processes. It expands the number of options for solving a problem. “Wise people,” wrote M. Scott Peck, “learn not to dread but actually to welcome problems.” You know why that’s wise? Because you’re going to get problems. If you welcome them and embrace the challenge, you will be better at solving them. And you will be less upset or depressed by problems when they come along (which they will). We can learn to welcome problems by getting in the habit of framing problems as opportunities in disguise. We can learn to welcome problems by deliberately trying to see what’s good about the problem — by deciding right up front, “This is good,” and then working to make it so. Rationale Perspective is a mental view, an ingrained way of perceiving the world. Different people have different experiences and see in different ways: understanding how they do expands the range of solutions that one might devise to address a question or problem. 372
  • 64. Definition The reframing matrix is a simple technique that helps examine problems from distinct viewpoints. In other words, individuals or groups place themselves in the mindsets of different people and imagine what solutions the latter might come up with. The reframing matrix was devised by Michael Morgan. EXAMPLES OF REFRAMING Initial frame I am in a tunnel and I can’t see a way out. I am too anxious to study. I know I will never be confident. When he/she looks at me like that he/she hates me. Beggars are criminals and might kill me. He/she is out at night and that means that he/she does not love me any more. He/she is so boring, stays in all the time and does not have a mind of his/her own. Reframe Every tunnel has an entrance and exit. You need to be anxious enough to concentrate. Being confident starts with having insights about our limits. People cover up their hurt by putting a scowl on their faces. No one deliberately wants to fall on hard times. Private time away can help you to appreciate each other much more. Thoughtful people put others first and are a great port in a storm — a great source of security. 373
  • 65. Process The reframing matrix lays a question (or problem) in the middle of a four-box grid. It is then examined from four typical business perspectives • Program Perspective: Are there issues with the program (or product or service) we are delivering? • Planning Perspective: Is the business (or communications plan) appropriate? • Potential Perspective: Is the program replicable? Can it be scaled up? • People Perspective: What do the people involved think? The figure below offers one example of the so-called Four Ps Approach, with illustrative questions aimed at a new program that is not raising funds effectively. Then again, the four-box grid can be used to consider a question (or problem) from the perspectives of different groups of stakeholders, e.g., staff, coachees, suppliers, and partners, or specialists, e.g., engineers, lawyers, economists, or information technology specialists. The table 374
  • 66. below shows how one might figure out the potential perspectives of internal and external stakeholders in the context of a development agency. Even so, the problématique of independent evaluation is still more complex.2 At the request of shareholders tasked with reporting to political leadership, taxpayers, and citizens, feedback from evaluation studies has often tended to support accountability (and hence provide for control), not serve as an important foundation block of a learning organization. Some now argue for a reinterpretation of the notion of 375
  • 67. accountability. Others cite lack of utility; the perverse, unintended consequences of evaluation for accountability, such as diversion of resources; emphasis on justification rather than improvement; distortion of program activities; incentive to lie, cheat, and distort; and misplaced accent on control.3 Table 3 suggests that the two basic objectives of evaluations—accountability and learning—are generally incompatible. This is not to say that evaluation units face an either-or situation. Both accountability and learning are important goals for evaluation feedback. One challenge is to make accountability accountable. In 376
  • 68. essence, evaluation units are placing increased emphasis on results orientation while maintaining traditional checks on use of inputs and compliance with procedures. Lack of clarity on why evaluations for accountability are carried out, and what purpose they are expected to serve, contributes to their frequent lack of utility. Moreover, if evaluations for accountability add only limited value, resources devoted to documenting accountability can have a negative effect, perversely enough. However, evaluation for learning is the area where observers find the greatest need today and tomorrow, and evaluation units should be retooled to meet it. Table 5 suggests how work programs for evaluation might be reinterpreted to emphasize organizational learning. Evaluation capacity development promises much to the learning organization, and should be an activity in which centralized evaluation units have a comparative advantage. Capacity is the ability of people, organizations, and society as a whole to manage their affairs successfully; and capacity to undertake effective monitoring and evaluation is a determining factor of aid effectiveness. Evaluation capacity development is the process of reinforcing or establishing the skills, resources, structures, and commitment to conduct and use monitoring and evaluation over time. Many key decisions must be made when starting to develop evaluation capacity internally in a strategic way.4 Among the most important are:  Architecture. Locating and structuring evaluation functions and their coordination. 377
  • 69.  Strengthening evaluation demand. Ensuring that there is an effective and well-managed demand for evaluations.  Strengthening evaluation supply. Making certain that the skills and competencies are in place with appropriate organizational support.  Institutionalizing evaluations. Building evaluation into policy- making systems. Why development agencies should want to develop in-house, self- evaluation capacity is patently clear. Stronger evaluation capacity will help them  Develop as a learning organization.  Take ownership of their visions for poverty reduction, if the evaluation vision is aligned with that.  Profit more effectively from formal evaluations.  Make self-evaluations an important part of their activities.  Focus quality improvement efforts.  Increase the benefits and decrease the costs associated with their operations.  Augment their ability to change programming midstream and adapt in a dynamic, unpredictable environment.  Build evaluation equity, if they are then better able to conduct more of their own self-evaluation, instead of hiring them out.  Shorten the learning cycle. Figure 2 poses key questions concerning how an organization may learn from evaluation, combining the two elements of learning by involvement and learning by communication. It provides the context within which to visualize continuing efforts to increase value added from independent evaluation, and underscores the role in internal evaluation capacity development. It also makes a strong case for more research into how development agencies learn how to learn 378
  • 70. The Reframing Matrix A Reframing Matrix is a simple technique that helps you to look at problems from a number of different viewpoints. It expands the range of creative solutions that you can generate. The approach relies on the fact that different people with different experience approach problems in different ways. What this technique helps you to do is to put yourself into the minds of different people and imagine the solutions they would come up with. We do this by putting the question to be asked in the middle of a grid. We use boxes around the grid for the different perspectives. This is just an easy way of laying the problem out - if it does not suit you, change it. We will look at two different approaches to the reframing matrix. You could, however, use this approach in many different ways. The 4 Ps Approach This relies on looking at a problem from different perspectives within a business. The 4 Ps approach looks at problems from the following viewpoints: 379
  • 71. 1. Product perspective: is there something wrong with the product? 2. Planning perspective: are our business or marketing plans at fault? 3. Potential perspective: if we were to seriously increase our targets, how would we achieve these increases? 4. People perspective: why do people choose one product over another? The 'Professions Approach' Another approach to using a reframing matrix is to look at the problem from the viewpoints of different specialists. The way, for example, that a doctor looks at a problem would be different from the approach a civil engineer would use. This would be different from a sales manager's perspective. Here is an example of both approaches: 380
  • 72. Sources: Asian Development Bank- Metro Manila, Philippines - - Olivier Serrat, Head of the Knowledge Management Center, Asian Development Bank ( 381
  • 73. 3.7 REALITY CHECK When people come for personal life coaching, they usually feel stuck. They desperately want to change something, but they report they don’t know how to make their lives different. As they discuss the scenario, I typically note a common denominator that keeps them stuck in their unpleasant situation. Most people who want to change are caught up in a state of “denial”. As you read this, you might be saying to yourself that you don’t fall into that state because you clearly know what is wrong in your life and what you want to change. I assure you, denial is almost always part of the problem. The classic example of denial is the coachee who lives with an alcoholic and does not see the behavior as being as serious as it is. She might say, “He wasn’t as drunk as last weekend” or “Well, at least he didn’t drive” or “He couldn’t have been that intoxicated because he was able to go to work”. When a coachee comes in and wants to start a new business they typically have not researched the amount of hours they will need to devote to changing their life so dramatically. They have not created the financial support to sustain them during this transition. They are in denial about the realities of this change. They want the outcome, but they haven’t created the infrastructure to support the change. My work with coachees who are stuck usually involves moving them out of the state of denial by doing what I call a “reality check”. This is done in two steps. The first step is after the coachee makes a statement, I hit them with a dose of reality. COACHEE: I want to lose ten pounds. ME: What have you done to support the change? COACHEE: I am doing a lot of thinking about it. 382
  • 74. ME: (reality check) I haven’t heard you talk about the behaviors that support the change. The coachee is well-meaning, but they continue to avoid looking at the real picture. They stay in that state of denial, pretending they know what they need to do to improve their lives, when in essence their situation continues to have major problems because they don’t have a specific action plan that they are implementing or because they aren’t seeing the situation for what it is. I believe you will get healthier faster if you move out of the state of denial and see the total picture. When a coachee says to me, “I have been working on my spending” I do a reality check… “How much less are you spending?” They typically answer, “Well, I don’t know the exact numbers.” By not knowing the exact numbers they don’t have to change their behavior drastically. It’s a very scary thing to alter your life to support the goals you really want. It takes a lot of courage and self-determination to stop enabling others or yourself. It almost always means that you will have to let go of some familiar behavior that has not been working for you. If you want to save money, you can’t buy that new dress or that new technological toy. If you want to lose weight, you won’t be able to have that second helping. If you want to be less affected by your spouse, you will need to walk away from them temporarily and create your own life. Are you in denial about something important? To live the life you were meant to live, you must give 100% to it. Source: m 383
  • 75. 3.8. SCALING 3.8.1 SCALING OF PROBLEMS Think about something you want to achieve, or even some (minor) problem that you are currently facing. How would you rate where you are in relation to this issue on a scale of 0-10 - where 0 is the worst it's ever been, and 10 is how it's going to be when it's exactly how you want it? This seemingly simple question does a number of useful things and opens the door to even more. Let's have a look in more detail at how it works:  Unless the rating is zero, it helps you realise that not everything is bad in the current situation. When we focus on solving a problem, that tends to expand to fill our awareness until all we see is the problem. Rating the problem on a scale helps us to realise that some things are already working, and some components of the solution are already happening.  Having a scale implies that it's possible to move. If we view the current situation as 'the problem', and contrast that with our ideal solution, it can seem like there's no bridge between the two - particularly if we are prone to black and white, either/or thinking. The scale builds a bridge between 'problem' and solution - and obviously implies that we can move along it to get closer to the solution.  Do you ever give yourself a hard time about not achieving enough? As you know, that will most likely demotivate you. Instead, you can use scaling to remind you of what you have already achieved with this supplementary question: (given that you are at n on the scale now) How have you got there from n-1? Or: How do you stop yourself sliding back to n-1? 384
  • 76. Notice how these questions acknowledge and validate what you have already been doing to make the solution happen, and provide behavioural reinforcement to your unconscious mind, encouraging it to do more in that direction.  You can use scaling to begin to move towards your ideal solution, like this: (given that you are at n on the scale now) What will be different when you are at n+1? Notice that the question is not asking 'How are you going to get there?' - just 'What will be different?'. This begins to build an image in your mind of how things will be when they are just a bit closer to how you want them, and what you will be doing differently - a form of mental rehearsal which makes it more likely that you will take action. Of course, if you are using scaling to coach someone else, you can equally well use these questions to assist them in moving towards their solution. You can also ask, for any action that they tell you they are going to take: 'On a scale of 0-10, how committed are you?' For anything they expect to happen: 'On a scale of 0-10, how confident are you that this will happen?' Normally I give sources for any research that I quote. Here's an additional snippet I recall reading somewhere, but the source escapes me - so it's up to you if you believe it or not: when we assign a numerical rating to a problem, this engages the left hemisphere of the brain, which is associated with more positive emotions. So just by scaling a problem, we may start to feel better about it. If anyone is aware of the research which backs this up, do let me know! Sources: solution-focus-2-scaling.html (Andy Smith) The Solutions Focus: Making Coaching and Change SIMPLE - by Paul Z Jackson and Mark McKergow 385
  • 77. 3.8.2. Scaling Techniques For Assessing Progress Using scaling techniques in coaching can be a really useful way of helping a coachee assess their progress or their state of satisfaction in relation to their desired outcomes, or clarify their commitment to a way forward. For example (in the simplest form): On a scale of 1 -10… …to what extent have you made progress towards this goal? …how content are you in this area? …how committed are you to taking this action. This then allows the coachee to assess their position and gives a foundation on which to move forward. The use of scaling techniques in coaching forms part of the ‘Solutions focus’ approach (see further reading) and there are numerous techniques you can employ to use scaling effectively. (There are even whole day courses you can spend to improve your skills in this area!) Assessing progress One powerful benefit of scaling is to help your coachee to asess their position in relation to their ideal outcome (their 10/10). So, when you ask a scaling question remember to give a brief description of what their 10/10 might be and a brief description of their 1/10, ensuring that what you describe for the latter is well below what you know their position is: e.g. ‘On a scale of 1 – 10 where 10/10 is your perfect scenario where you are totally organised, you know what you have to do and you achieve everything you want to achieve in a day and more, and as a result you feel great… and 1/1 is where you are so disorganised that you achieve absolutely nothing in a day, you don’t know what you want to achieve and you don’t even know how to start being organised….where are you on this scale?’ 386
  • 78. In this scenario your coachee will most likely to be able to identify some midpoint between the two extremes on which you can then build with a further question such as: ‘so what do you know you are doing well which is giving you the score of 4?’ which then leads to further positive exploration. Remember, always use 1 rather than zero as your lower end of the scale as zero cannot be built upon should your coachee choose the lowest extreme. Once you have established your coachee’s current position you can then ask questions to help move them forward: e.g. so, if you are now at a 6 what things can you now do to move yourself to a 7?’ Assessing commitment Using scaling techniques in coaching is also a great way to assess your coachee’s commitment to an action. Simply asking ‘are you committed’ is a closed question and will more likely prompt a ‘yes’ rather than a ‘no’ whatever their commitment is, whilst asking ‘how committed are you’ might elicit a vague ‘very committed’ response which could mean many things. By asking a scaling question you are helping your coachee put some measure on it which you can then explore further and prompt you to ask ‘so what would bring your commitment to a 10/10?’ From experience coachees with a commitment of less than 8/10 usually require further exploration to establish underlying issues affecting their motivation and to establish what action they will be more committed to. Source: techniques-in-coaching.html 387
  • 79. 3.9 EXTERNALISING OF PROBLEMS Externalising language is used in coaching to separate the problem from the person. For example, a person may say “I am a sad person”. This implies that the person has a sad quality or characteristic of sadness rather than it just being something that affects the person from time to time. Coaches working from a narrative perspective are attuned to the language they use to represent an issue or problem in their coachees’ lives. They assume that the issue or problem is “having an effect on the person” rather than the issue or problem being an intrinsic part of who the person is. Rather than saying “you are lacking in motivation”, a coach working from a narrative perspective may ask “when did motivation leave you?” OR rather than say, “you are stressed” the coach may enquire, “when did stress get a hold of you?” Source: Consider the difference between saying ‘I’m a perfectionist’ as opposed to saying ‘Perfectionism is giving me a hard time today.’ In the latter case, you are, in language at least, separating you – the person – from the problem. The separation opens up different ways of talking about the problem and helps bring to the surface different options for responding to it. Of course, you can think of impediments to productivity as a manifestation of your basic essence, your basic nature. The impediments may be your intrinsic laziness, slow-wittedness, or clumsiness showing through. On the other hand, you can externalise these impediments, think of them as objects or agents that are distinct from you and with which you have a (sometimes troubled) relationship. When problems are externalised, it’s much more natural to think of them as coming and going, sometimes being strong, sometimes weak. It is much more natural to ask when they arrived on the scene, to ask 388
  • 80. whether they might leave, and to ask whether and how you might change your relationship with them. Naming problems If something is holding you back, you can seek to find a name or other means of referring to the problem, a means that makes it separate from you. Sometimes just putting a ‘the’ in front of it will work, e.g. ‘The Perfectionism’ or ‘The Block’. There are no right answers here. The point of the technique is to find a name that means something to you. And if your first couple of tries for a name don’t feel right, you can always try others. Names people have shared with me for problems that have interfered with achieving their goals in a sustainable way include: ‘The Critic’, ‘Perfecto Man’, ‘The Pressure Cooker’, ‘The Boulder’ and so on. Having a name for your particular problem, one that means something to you, helps create the separation between you and the problem. For some people, the business of naming a problem can seem daft. And for very many people naming a problem can be both fun and a helpful first step in loosening its grip. Finding out more about a problem Once you have a name for your problem – and even if you do not – you can find out more about it. How does it like to operate? When is it most active? Does it have a gender? Does it have a colour and a shape? When is the problem in charge and when are you in charge? What aspirations does the problem have for you in the short and in the long term? What do you like about it and what do you dislike? What positive intentions does the problem have (even if, overall, it does not play a positive role for you)? What consequences does the problem tend to bring about? 389
  • 81. Exceptions and unique outcomes Problems and the problem-talk that they promote, often like to generalise recklessly. They are very fond of words such as ‘always’, ‘never’, ‘not once’, ‘every time’ and so on, e.g. ‘Every time I start to write I get blocked. I will never finish this report.‘ If this is your experience, it’s worth gently probing your history to see whether such statements really stand up to scrutiny. You might, for example, get curious as to whether there are any occasions where the problem has not got its way. What was different on such an occasion? Can you find a common thread that links together a series of occasions where the problem did not interfere in a way that you would rather it had not? This line of inquiry is not about denying the power of the problem. It’s not about pretending that it is not an issue. Rather, it’s about opening up some space for another story thread. If, as can sometimes happen, the dominant story thread is one of being stuck – ‘I have terminal writer’s block, I’ll never get finished‘ – then this can sometimes drive out exceptions. Learning more about the exceptions, especially if you get stuck a lot, can be a route to renegotiating your relationship with a problem. At the same time, adopting different and richer ways of describing your relationship to a problem, can help prepare the path for changing the manner of that relationship, e.g. ‘On Tuesday morning, The Block started to work on me just as I was making coffee and didn’t let go for the rest of the day. But on Friday, after lunch with Emily, The Block was just absent. I didn’t even think about its presence or absence until now.’ You are not the problem, the problem is the problem Externalising emphasises that you are not the problem. Rather, the problem is the problem. Getting some distance from the problem can help you see your abilities and competencies, can help you see the differences between what you want for yourself and what the problem wants for you. Having this space can often help you renegotiate terms 390
  • 82. with the problem or, in some cases, break off relations with the problem altogether. Externalising has it origins as a subtle technique that is used by narrative therapists. For the best DIY results, read up more about it and work with another person who has also read up. If what you try works, keep on with it. If it doesn’t, stop and try something else. Origins and understandings Narrative therapy, and the technique of externalising, was developed by Michael White and David Epston. Generalising recklessly is a topic addressed within Transactional Analysis therapy in relation to the concepts of ‘discounting’ and ‘grandiosity’. References  What is Narrative Therapy?: An Introduction. Extracts of the book are available at site, o What is Narrative Therapy?: An Easy to Read Introduction  Brief Counselling: Narratives and Solutions. The authors’ have a great slogan – ‘if it works do more of it, if it doesn’t do something different’ . o Brief Counselling: Narratives and Solutions Source: (Matthew Elton) 391
  • 83. 3.10 CREATING RAPPORT A coach gives his coachee his full attention. By doing so, you make it easier for the coachee to tell his story and enables him to look at he could handle his problem better or even solve it. Giving attention you also do by listening actively, by being genuine and by showing respect, in other words by totally being there for the coachee. As coach you tune into your coachee. You tune into his use of language, words, intonation, attitude, movements and emotions. Do this unobtrusively. If you tune into your coachee, it will become easier for you to imagine what it would be like being him and having his problem. Your coachee will also feel more at ease with you. This can be called mirroring. Coaching is a very special learning and development relationship. Rapport is one of the active ingredients of coaching that makes it work. More rapport between the coach and coachee will typically make the coaching go more quickly. Less rapport will make it less effective. What this means is that more time spent by the coach and their coachee up front will lead to less effort later to produce results. Less effort up front to create rapport will mean more effort is needed later to stimulate the coachee to right action. If you have a coaching role and you have a new coachee, who will be a challenge, taking the time to establish rapport will make the coaching more successful. In extreme circumstances the rapport building might need to be 99% of the coaching relationship. So what is rapport. The dictionary definition speaks of mutual trust. My favourite definition of trust is ‘an absence of vulnerability.’ So rapport could be considered a ‘mutual absence of vulnerability.’ How is that developed from the coach’s side of the relationship. Here are five ideas. 392
  • 84. 1. Be curious. Ask a lot of questions. People trust people who are interested in them. The reason for this is that people tend to feel isolated as life gets more complicated. And when someone pays attention to us we feel safer and less isolated. Think of the car buying situation with the car salesperson as the coach. The salesperson who focuses on finding out the customer’s needs before trying to close the sale will do much better than the salesperson who focuses on the product. When someone tries to sell us something, whether a car or an idea, if we feel they know us, we will feel safer and be more open to what they have to say. As a coach the more you use curious information gathering to build rapport the more likely it is that your coachee will trust you and be coachable. 2. Be an open space listener. When you ask a question deliberately pause to let the person you’re asking answer. This is a sign of respect, which builds feelings of safety and trust. Imagine if you had an audience with the Pope. Would you ask a question and then jump in while he was answering. No, not at all. You would respectfully wait for the answer. It is the same in building rapport. To build trust you must patiently provide an empty space for the answer to fill. Patient open space listening produces respect, an absence of vulnerability and rapport. 3. Be a flexible mirror. To make someone you’re talking to feel comfortable it is helpful to mirror their demeanour. If they are slow and deliberate they will feel most comfortable if you are the same way. If you’re in a hurry they will feel uncomfortable and less safe. 393
  • 85. When trying to mirror someone look for their language pattern. Is it deliberate or fast? Try to measure their breathing pattern in the same way. Is it fast or slow? Reflect it. Watch out for their body language. If they are relaxed, don’t lean in aggressively. Being flexible in how you act around your coaching coachees will help you to be a better coach. It will help you build rapport, their feelings of safety and their receptiveness to your coaching. 4. Be charismatic. When coaching act as if your coachee is your whole world. Focusing intently on them will build rapport. It will make them feel important and make it easier for them to trust you and this trust will make them more sympathetic to your coaching. In order to focus intently on them get into a quiet space to coach. This should be away from distractions. Make it easy on yourself to focus. For example, don’t coach somewhere where there is a lot of action going on behind your coachee. If necessary, face a wall with your coachee in front of you to make it easy on yourself. If you are distracted during the coaching session it is like saying your coachee is of less importance than what is distracting. What does it say to answer a phone while listening to another person? 5. Be understanding. One other way to build rapport is let your coachee know that you understand where they are coming from. When you acknowledge them, that is you say and demonstrate that you understand, it doesn’t mean you agree it just means that you have heard them. This creates an absence of vulnerability because people want to know that they have been heard. That makes them feel important and makes it easier to trust. To demonstrate that you understand let them know that their words make sense to you and, when possible, that you have had similar experiences and thoughts. This might be done by telling them about a 394
  • 86. personal experience that is like theirs. If that is not possible say that you understand or ask them to explain further in a way that lets them know you are interested in their experience. Being heard is a building block of trusting. So building rapport is taking steps to create trust by creating an absence of vulnerability. This is done by helping the coachee to feel safe. Steps to take include being curious, creating an open space for answers to questions, mirroring the demeanour of the coachee, giving the coachee your total attention and acknowledging that they are being heard. It’s all about being an excellent listener. Rapport is the ultimate tool for producing results with other people and thus it is so vital for effective communications. Whether you know the person or not, there are 6 main steps to establishing rapport with anyone. When you bear in mind that 93% of all communication is down to the tonality of your voice and your body language, building rapport is far more than just talking about common experiences. It's an important point to remember but people like people when they are like themselves and when they are not it so much more difficult to have any sort of relationship with that person never mind an effective one! Have you ever had times in your past when building rapport was so easy? I bet you've also had times when you thought, Oh, what am I going to do and say next? We have all been there! We have also all been there when you've wanted to be quiet and relaxed when all of a sudden a friend or colleague comes jumping in and full of energy, wanting to talk your head off? How did you feel? 395
  • 87. I bet there have also been times when you've been full of energy and the other person wants to relax! You go arrggghhhhh! Ok, so let's get to the 6 things you need to do to build rapport. 1. Match the persons sensory modality What I mean here is to match and mirror the way that they think and talk. Remember when we were talking about visual, auditory and kinesthetic modalities? Well, this is about putting it into practice. Listen for the indicator words that the person is using and use words/phrases from the same modality. Also, look out for eye movements to spot thinking patterns. 2. Mirror the persons Physiology By copying the persons posture, facial expressions, hand gestures, movements and even their eye blinking, will cause their body to say unconsciously to their mind that this person is like me! 3. Match their voice You should match the tone, tempo, timbre and the volume of the person's voice. You should also make use of matching the key words that they use a lot. Examples of this may be: Alright, Actually, You know what I mean 4. Match their breathing You should match the persons breathing to the same pace. Matching the in and out breath. 5. Match how they deal with information You should match persons CHUNK SIZE of how they deal with information. For example are they detailed or do they talk and think in big pictures. 396
  • 88. If you get this wrong you will find it very difficult indeed to build rapport as the detailed person will be yearning for more information and the big picture person will soon be yawning! 6. Match common experiences After all, what are you going to talk about! This is all about finding some commonality to talk about. Matching experiences, interests, backgrounds, values and beliefs. One point to bare in mind is that you need to be subtle when you are matching and mirroring. Don't go over the top! Typically however, the other person will be focussing so much on what they have to say that they will not even notice. Calibration is one way of determining whether you are in rapport with someone. This basically means that you need to develop your ability to notice to such an extent that you can begin to see people's reactions to communications. If the person seems to be comfortable with what you are doing, more than likely you are building rapport. Look at for their eye movement, the muscles around the eyes, their lip movement, and twitches or changes in breathing. Some extra tips that may come in very useful: Smile I know that this one’s obvious, but we’re much more approachable when we smile. Alternatively, a greeting without a smile lacks warmth and makes it difficult for us to connect with others. A solid handshake A good handshake isn’t very memorable, but a bad one is. Make sure that your handshake is firm (without breaking fingers) and doesn’t go on for too long. 397
  • 89. Hanging your hand out like a dead fish comes across as insipid and lacking in confidence, a bad start to any relationship and to be avoided. Whilst you may have used the same handshake for your whole life so far, it’s never too late to change, so if you’re conscious that you sometimes don’t come across well in this area, start practicing. Get, and use, their name To assist you to build rapport with others, getting their name early in the interaction is crucial. It’s just as important to use it a few times, making the conversation more personal and increasing the likelihood that you’ll remember it the next time you meet them. Be conscious of your body language When meeting people for the first time, it’s obviously important that you appear relaxed and open in your stance and that you make good eye contact. As the conversation goes on, it can also help to mirror the body language of the person you’re speaking to, not in an obvious way, but in a way that gives the impression that you’re “in synch” with each other. Make sure as well that you’re focused on the person that you’re talking to, not looking around the room, which can give the impression that you’re looking for someone more interesting to talk to. Find common interests, but keep it about them People like people who share interests with them, so asking questions about their family, work, background, even favourite sporting teams can assist you to find common ground with the other person. However, when you’ve found one or two points of affiliation, don’t take that as permission to talk too much yourself. Ask questions to get the other person talking, enabling them to feel more comfortable and confident with you. 398
  • 90. Increasing levels of rapport Matching Modalities Matching the persons physiology Matching their voice Matching their breathing patterns Matching how they deal with information Chunk Size Matching common experiences MEGA RAPPORT LEVELS!!!!!!!! Sources: The Coaching Clinic: Jerome Shore - tel 416-787-5555 or ( building-rapport/ Darren Poke, is a husband and father of three from Melbourne, Australia. He is also an accredited and experienced Life Coach who currently works as a Network Pastor at CityLife Church 399
  • 91. 3.11. COLLABORATION BUILDING How to develop collaboration building 1 : Prepare to compromise. When working with a team, it is impossible for everyone to get their way, so compromise is imperative. Don't consider it a blow to your ego, simply a necessity when you develop collaboration skills and put them to use. 2 : Avoid taking it personally. When collaborating with a group, there is always a chance of getting your feelings hurt by insensitive team members or group decisions. Remember that decision-making should not be personal, it is just a natural part of the process. 3 : Focus on the well-being of the project. In order to fully develop collaboration skills, it is important to keep your eye on the task at hand. Focusing your efforts on the success of a project removes the urge to get your own way and helps a group stay on task. 4 : Communicate effectively. Without communication all sorts of problems are likely to pop up. By communicating in thoughtful ways and remaining mindful of others' feelings and motivations, you will be more likely to collaborate successfully. 5 : Identify challenges. If you have trouble developing collaboration skills, take some time to reflect on your difficulties. By pinpointing the hurdles in your way and the causes of your discomfort, you can map out ways to overcome them. 6 : Participate in team building activities. There are a number of team building workshops and activities that are easily accessible online or in person. Take the time to participate in team building activities as a way to quickly and efficiently develop collaboration skills. Read more: How to Develop Collaboration Skills | skills.html#ixzz1qbT2HejN 400
  • 92. A-to-Z strategies for building collaboration Most people agree that effective collaboration is more important than ever in today’s turbulent environment. In a “do-more-with-less” reality, it takes ongoing teamwork to produce innovative, cost-effective, efficient and targeted solutions. In fact, the ultimate success of the coaching process may depend on how well coach and coachee can combine their potential and the quality of the information they possess with their ability (and willingness) to share that knowledge . So, what’s to be done? Here, from A to Z, are the most successful strategies to tear down fences, reduce conflicts and increase collaboration. A. Find ways to ACKNOWLEDGE collaborative contributors. Recognize and promote people who learn, teach and share. And, penalize those who do not. In all best-practices companies, those hoarding knowledge and failing to build on ideas of others face visible and serious career consequences. In those top companies, employees who share knowledge, teach, mentor, and work across departmental boundaries are recognized and rewarded. B. Watch your BODY LANGUAGE. All leaders express enthusiasm, warmth and confidence – as well as arrogance, indifference and displeasure through their facial expressions, gestures, touch and use of space. If leaders want to be perceived as credible and collaborative, they need to make sure that their verbal messages are supported (not sabotaged) by their nonverbal signals. C. Focus on the CUSTOMER. Nothing is more important in an organization – whether it’s a for-profit company or a non-profit group – than staying close to the end-user of the service or product you offer. When you build collaborative relationships with your customers, you give them power and co-ownership of your organization’s success. D. DIVERSITY is crucial to harnessing the full power of collaboration. Experiments at the University of Michigan found that, when challenged with a difficult problem, groups composed of highly adept members 401
  • 93. performed worse than groups whose members had varying levels of skill and knowledge. The reason for this seemingly odd outcome has to do with the power of diverse thinking. Group members who think alike or are trained in similar disciplines with similar knowledge bases run the risk of becoming insular in their ideas. Instead of exploring alternatives, a confirmation bias takes over and members tend to reinforce one another’s predisposition. Diversity causes people to consider perspectives and possibilities that would otherwise be ignored. E. ELIMINATE the barriers to a free flow of ideas. Everyone has knowledge that is important to someone else, and you never know whose input is going to become an essential part of the solution. When insights and opinions are ridiculed, criticized or ignored, people feel threatened and “punished” for contributing. They typically react by withdrawing from the conversation. Conversely, when people are free to ask “dumb” questions, challenge the status quo and offer novel – even bizarre – suggestions, then sharing knowledge becomes a collaborative process of blending diverse opinion, expertise and perspectives. F. To enhance collaboration, analyze and learn from FAILURE. The goal is not to eliminate all errors, but to analyze mistakes in order to create systems that more quickly detect and correct mistakes before they become fatal. G. Collaboration takes GUIDANCE by managers who know how to harness the energies and talents of others while keeping their own egos in check. Successful organizations require leaders at all levels who manage by influence and inclusion rather than by position. H. Eliminate HOARDING by challenging the “knowledge is power” attitude. Knowledge is no longer a commodity like gold, which holds (or increases) its worth over time. It’s more like milk – fluid, evolving and stamped with an expiration date. And, by the way, there is nothing less powerful than hanging on to knowledge whose time has expired. 402
  • 94. I. Focus on INNOVATION. Creativity is triggered by a cross-pollination of ideas. It is in the combination and collision of ideas that creative breakthroughs most often occur. When an organization focuses on innovation, it does so by bringing together people with different backgrounds, perspectives and expertise – breaking down barriers and silos in the process. J. JOIN the social media revolution and utilize Web 2.0 technologies – tools and processes that allow people to share opinions, insights, experiences and perspectives in order to collaborate and to self organize. K. Realize that there are two kinds of KNOWLEDGE in your organization: Explicit knowledge can be transferred in a document or entered in a database. Tacit knowledge needs a conversation, a story, a relationship. Make sure you are developing strategies to capture both. L. LEADERS at all levels of an organization can nurture collaboration within their own work group or staff. And the most successful of these leaders do so by taking the time and effort necessary to make people feel safe and valued. They emphasize people’s strengths while encouraging the sharing of mistakes and lessons learned. They set clear expectations for outcomes and clarify individual roles. They help all members recognize what each of them brings to the team. They model openness, vulnerability and honesty. They tell stories of group successes and personal challenges. And most of all, they encourage and respect everyone’s contribution. M. MIX it up by rotating personnel in various jobs and departments around the organization, by creating cross-functional teams, and by inviting managers from other areas of the organization to attend (or lead) your team meetings. N. Employees with multiple NETWORKS throughout the organization facilitate collaboration. You can accelerate the flow of knowledge and information across boundaries by encouraging workplace relationships and communities. Use a tool like Social Network Analysis (SNA) to 403
  • 95. create a visual model of current networks so you can reinforce the connections and help fill the gaps. O. Insist on OPEN and transparent communication. In an organization, the way information is handled determines whether it becomes an obstacle to or an enabler of collaboration. Employees today need access to information at any time from any place. P. Collaboration is a PARTNERSHIP. As one savvy leader put it, “To make collaboration work, you’ve got to treat people the way you want to be treated. It’s pretty simple, really. Treat all employees as your partners. Because they are.” Q. Ask the right QUESTIONS. At the beginning of a project, ask: What information/knowledge do we need? Who are the experts? Who in the organization has done this before? Do we have this on a database? Who else will need to know what we learn? How do we plan to share/hand off what we learn? R. The success of any organization or team – its creativity, productivity and effectiveness – hinges on the strength of the RELATIONSHIPS of its members. Collaboration is enhanced when employees get to know one another as individuals. So, when you hold offsite retreats, organization- wide celebrations or workplace events with “social” time built in, be sure to provide opportunities for personal relationships to develop. Taking time to build this “social capital” at the beginning of a project increases the effectiveness of a team later on. S. Collaboration is communicated best through STORIES – of successes, failures, opportunities, challenges, and knowledge accumulated through experience. Find those stories throughout your organization. Record them. Share them. T. TRUST is the foundation for collaboration. It is the conduit through which knowledge flows. Without trust, an organization loses its emotional “glue.” In a culture of suspicion people withhold information, hide behind psychological walls, withdraw from participation. If you 404
  • 96. want to create a networked organization, the first and most crucial step is to build a culture of trust. U. Combating silo mentality requires UNIFYING goals. Business unit leaders must understand the overarching goals of the total organization and the importance of working in concert with other areas to achieve those crucial strategic objectives. V. The incentive to collaborate is the VALUE of the exchange to both the organization and the individual. When the assets and benefits of productive collaboration are made visible, silos melt away. W. Your WORKPLACE layout encourages or impedes the way the organization communicates. To facilitate knowledge sharing, you need to create environments that stimulate both arranged and chance encounters. Attractive break-out areas, coffee bars, comfortable cafeteria chairs, even wide landings on staircases – all of these increase the likelihood that employees will meet and linger to talk. X. Take a tip from XEROX. It discovered that real learning doesn’t take place in the classroom – or in any formal setting. In fact, people were found to learn more from comparing experiences in the hallways than from reading the company’s official manuals, going online to a knowledge repository or attending training sessions. Y. Collaboration is crucial for YOUR success. We’ve witnessing the death of “The Lone Ranger” leadership model, where one person comes in with all the answers to save the day. We now know that no leader, regardless of how brilliant and talented, is smarter than the collective genius of the workforce. Z. Forget about reaching the ZENITH. Collaborative cultures are learning cultures – and knowledge sharing is an ongoing process, not an end point. 405
  • 97. Source: building-collaboration Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D., is a keynote speaker and author of 10 business books. Her latest is “The Nonverbal Advantage: Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work”. Contact: 406
  • 98. Practical collaboration building 'It's amazing how much can be done when it doesn't matter who gets the credit'. (attributed to George C. Marshal) This page contains principles that when put into practice will produce results. Principles, Philosophy and Practice Start with a unifying purpose * The purpose may need to be broad enough to bring in enough people with energy, imagination, commitment, resources, and creativity, to generate success. (For example, a community council interested in family and children issues or a business opening a new market.) * Sometimes the purpose may also be very specific and narrow when the energy, imagination, commitment, and creativity, are sufficient. Start with two or three or a small group of people who have passion for the purpose. (For example, drug prevention.) * This apparent conflict between broad and specific or narrow collaborations can sometimes be resolved by creating an umbrella committee with a more broad purpose and mission and subcommittees with more narrow and specific missions and purposes. (For example, a community council supporting family and children issues and a subcommittee dealing specifically with drug prevention or a committee working on absentee issues and a subcommittee dealing specific with drug prevention and/or treatment or even a business trying to recreate itself with a number of subcommittees.) * Start with the End in Mind 407
  • 99. Create, maintain, and update, simple and practical Mission and Vision statements. * Create short and concise Mission and Vision Statements, and possibly a strategic plan. * Be willing to update and change as the need arises. * Keep the Mission and Vision statements in full view of all of the participants at every meeting. Some organizations place their mission and vision statement at the top of each agenda. * Stick with it........however, * If it doesn't fit any more, change it. * Do it by consensus (unless a specific and different level of authority has been clearly communicated. * Sometimes it can be helpful to create by-laws. Be careful that you do not get caught in the minutia and loose track of the prize (goal). * Consider creating and displaying a value statement. Set goals and objectives. Goals are where you want to go. Objectives are how you are going to get there. * Goals should be measurable and observable. They should have specific achievable steps (objectives) with built in accountability for accomplishment. * Goals should be built upon a consensus and can develop and adapt as the process matures. * Some goals should be met quickly and easily, others should stretch you and the organization. 408
  • 100. * Celebrate and advertise success. * Emphasize both process and product. * Document baselines to which you can compare. * Evaluate how your results compare with the results of others working on similar goals. Be willing to learn from the success of others. * Always strive for improvement, evaluate, solicit feedback, and adjust your course as needed. Believe in what you are doing and the people who are doing it. If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right. (Henry Ford) * Radiate and speak Optimism. * Expect Success * Expect the best from people that you are working with. Leadership What you are thunders so loudly in my ears that I cannot hear what you say. (Emerson ) * Someone needs to be responsible for facilitating, moderating, and managing the meeting and discussion. * Value-based dedicated leadership is essential for anything lasting, significant, and positive, to be accomplished. * Be supportive, consistent, and dependable. * Set high standards of excellence. * True collaboration requires shared leadership. Cultivate leadership in others. 409
  • 101. * Leadership must value an inclusive, collaborative, process. Coordinate - Organize * Seating can be very important. Sitting behind tables can have the advantage of giving people a place to write and providing emotional protection. It also creates an atmosphere conducive to getting down to business and working. Preferably, tables should allow everyone to see each other (circle, semicircle, rectangle, or square). Very small groups can often do well sitting on something comfortable such as two or three couches and/or other comfortable chairs that face each other. Very large groups can sit in a circle or semicircle. These formats will increase communication. Avoid rows of people. This cuts down on interaction and communication. * Hold regular, consistent (same place and same time), mutually beneficial, constructive, profitable, informative, and brief meetings. * Take notes from the meeting and provide them to everyone in the collaboration. When there is a discussion, write down what is said. Writing on a board or flip chart where everyone can see is often preferred. (In some settings, writing on a board or flip chart can seem pretentious.) Accurately write what people say. * Always have an agenda. In most cases it is better to send it to everyone ahead of time. Stick to the schedule. Respect everyone's time. * When someone brings something up that is not on the agenda, write it down where they can see it. Be sure and address it at a later time, such as at the end of the meeting, after the meeting, or during another meeting. Let everyone know ahead of time what the process will be for addressing items brought up during the meeting, but not on the agenda. Occasionally in some urgent situations, items will need to be addressed immediately, this 410
  • 102. should be rare. * Stick to your mission statement. * For community collaboration regularly nominate and vote for officers or set a system for rotation. Even when this is a committee, within a single organization, this can have value. * Small subcommittees or groups can often accomplish specific technical work or complete projects more quickly than a larger group, committee, or collaboration. These smaller groups can receive direction or report to the larger group. Remember to keep Levels of Authority clear. Show Respect for People and Time. * Ask for help. Say please and thank you. Demonstrate common courtesy. Apologize when warranted (know when it's warranted, be humble enough to appologize, at times, even when it's not.) * 8 a.m. is often a good time for meeting with participants from Agencies and Schools. Lunch time can also be a good time. Evenings and weekends are usually best for Church, Family, Neighborhood, and General Community Meetings. I am aware of one community coalition which meets at 4:30 P.M., to make it easier for teachers to attend. If your goal is to involve youth, be sure to meet at a time and place convenient to youth. * When there is a meeting for a work group with different organizations/agencies who have a mandate for the collaboration, the time is usually more flexible. * Always start and end on time. * Be consistent. Consider logistical needs of others 411
  • 103. * Consider parking, transportation, acoustics, and child care, when required. * Access and comfort should also be considered. Accommodate needs of individuals with disabilities. * Be sure there are adequate restrooms, water, et. etc. Be Open-minded * Share Ownership. * Empower others * Share Leadership. * Be willing to accommodate others, when possible and appropriate. * Concentrate on the areas that you have in common with others who are involved. A lifetime of good may be accomplished in the areas that you agree. Sometimes working together towards positive goals can be more important than your specific agenda. As you work together and develop relationships you will likely come to a greater unity of purpose. * Encourage and help your organization to grow and change as the need arises. * When others feel ownership and empowerment in the organization, they become more committed, creative, and loyal. * For many people the process is as important, and sometimes even more important, than the results. Everyone needs to be heard. * Manage/Lead the process, don't control it. (The process does not belong to any one individual, and usually does not belong to any one organization, or agency). * Allow for conflict and disagreement. Create a healthy atmosphere for disagreement and discussion. As much as possible, resolve conflict and support the solution. * Members/Participants need to clearly understand and respect 412
  • 104. each other's values, knowledge, and skills. * Knowledge needs to be shared in order to increase the capacity of all the members, which in turn extends the capacity of the organization/collaboration. Knowledge shared is more powerful than knowledge kept. * Enthusiastically support other people's successive or intermittent approximations of the goal. (As much as possible, let it be someone else's idea.) If their bandwagon is headed in the general direction of where you want to go, jump in and cheer it on. * Use genuine compliments and recognition. At times it is wise to put it in writing and make it public. At times it is wise to make it private. Be specific about the behavior that you are complimenting. * When appropriate encourage volunteers. * Provide everyone who wants it, something meaningful to do. Remember that what is meaningful to you may not be meaningful to another. When ever possible, encourage and support others in their interests. * Share and rotate leadership responsibilities. Support and encourage leadership in others whenever possible. * Learn and practice critical thinking skills...without being critical. Build relationships * Allow time before and after meetings for visiting. This can often be as important as the meeting itself. Take time to build friendships with members of the organization outside of the meeting times. * Serving light refreshments or snacks can help to build relationships and ease conversation. * Occasionally you may want to send a simple greeting card or thank 413
  • 105. you note to participants. This can help to build relationships. Sometimes a hand written note is greatly appreciated. * Get to know and as much as possible understand the needs, issues, and passions of all the members of the coalition and stake holders in and out of the coalition. * You are more likely to have positive influences over a friend, than an enemy. * Emphasize both process and product. Communicate * For many people the process is as important, and sometimes even more important, than the results. Everyone needs to be heard. * Serving refreshments or light snacks can open help to relax people and open communication. * Use common language. One of the most important building blocks of collaboration and consensus is communication. Sometimes our differences are magnified in the words we choose when we come together. At times this is because we get used to using certain words, phrases, or acronyms (words formed from the first letter of each word in a phrase such as USA), with our peers, because these words save time and helps us feel like we fit into a group. When we come together with other people from different backgrounds, we sometimes forget that others may not understand some of the language that we use. Sometimes, some people may use words, phrases, or acronyms, that others may not understand on purpose. This can be a way to appear superior to others or to hide behind language as a way of self-protection. It is important to understand that we all have fears and concerns and that part of the purpose of this process is to overcome and move beyond fears and concerns together. When meeting together, use words, and phrases that all will 414
  • 106. understand. Avoid acronyms. (Common language can include words, phrases, examples, and stories, which are familiar.) * Sometimes people don't feel comfortable sharing ideas in a group. Take time to solicit opinions and ideas one on one. Use surveys. Break into smaller groups to increase participation. Go around the group asking each person for an idea or their opinion. As people become more comfortable and feel safer with each other, participation will likely increase. Let everyone know that their opinion and contribution is valuable. Promote and encourage open dialogue. * Remember that language is more than just the spoken or written word. It is also the way words are spoken, timing, body language, and the way silence is used. * Use the media and other communication tools to communicate with stake holders outside of the collaboration. Some times members of the media are great additions to the collaboration/coalition. * Send letters, e-mails, agendas, notes, flyers, et. Etc. to other members of the coalition on a regular basis. Make phone calls and when possible personal visits to other members of the coalition to build relationships, keep people involved, and communicate. * Maintain strong and consistent communication with stake holders outside of the coalition/collaboration. Real listening shows respect. It creates trust. As we listen, we not only gain understanding, we also create the environment to be understood. And when both people understand both perspectives, instead of being on opposite sides of the table looking across at each other, we find ourselves on the same side looking at solutions together. (Stephen R. Covey) 416
  • 107. Motivate * Find the commonalities and common passions. * Find out what motivates the members of the coalition/collaboration and the stake holders. Remember that what motivates you, may not motivate them. Appreciate and respect the differences. Understanding each other's Love Languages may be helpful. Take responsibility and give credit. * Give credit for success to everyone else involved with that success. Take responsibility for mistakes, and when they occur, failures that you have any part in. * Find and take opportunities to compliment and celebrate the success of others. * As collaboration matures, both responsibility and success will be shared more evenly. Stick with it...Persevere..Work. The only place you'll find success before work is in the dictionary. Mary B. Smith That which we persist in doing becomes easy to do. Not that the nature of the thing has changed, but the power to do had increased. Heber J. Grant * Building Collaboration requires substantial and sustained effort, often without recognition or equal distribution of responsibility. * Keep your passion alive. * Help others to find and harness their own passions. * Complete and encourage the completion of assignments, provide 417
  • 108. accountability. Let Go, Forgive. * Be willing to let go, forgive, and look past the shortcomings in others. When you do this, they will be more likely to do it for you. Sometimes you have to hear before you will be heard. (This does not mean that you allow yourself or anyone else to be abused.) * Everyone must be treated with dignity and respect. * Allow for mistakes and even failure. Look for feedback from failure. * Don't worry too much about perfection. Participation is sometimes more important then perfection. * Let go of preconceptions. Continuity – Consistency - Dependability * Even though the organization or collaboration may evolve over time, it is important to demonstrate consistency and dependability in values and character. * There should be a continuity in programs and message. Changes in direction should be openly discussed, understood, and consensual. * Be honest and trustworthy. Your influence will be greatly dependent upon how dependable and trustworthy you and the organization are over time. Evaluate - Feedback * Develop ongoing evaluations, feedback, and course correction, for continuous quality improvement. * Collect and present data which is accurate, relevant, and easily understood. 418
  • 109. * Find the feedback in failure when it occurs. Eliminate (or at least decrease) Financial Dependancy * Stable resources are essential for anything enduring. * Consider creating an endowment fund. * Sometimes extraordinary results can be accomplished through volunteer efforts and limited funds. * Keep good, clear, financial records. * Create sustainability. Celebrate Success * Look for success. * Learn to recognize success. * Celebrate small successes. * Celebrate big successes. * Celebrate publicly and privately. * Acknowledge and reward success. * Don't go overboard, find out what people really appreciate, make it genuine. Be flexible * Remember that there are often exceptions. Show gratitude * Show gratitude for gifts of every kind. 419
  • 110. One last piece of information for this page. There are times when a more formal process can be helpful and times when it can be an encumbrance and times in-between when some formality might help. When some or a lot of formality might be helpful you may want to consider incorporating all or some of Robert's Rules of Order. Underlying these rules, always remember three fundamental principals. 1. Everyone needs to be treated with dignity and respect. 2. Everyone needs to be heard. 3. All of the information needs to be clear for everyone. 420
  • 111. 3.12. SAYING “NO” Do you have difficulty saying “no”? Are you always trying to be nice to others at the expense of yourself? Well, you’re not alone. Lots op people are not good at saying “no”, because they do not want to hurt the other person’s feelings. Whenever they get requests for help, they attend to them even though they have important work to do. Sometimes, at the end of the day, forcing them to forgo sleep to catch up on their work. Mostly, they realize that all these times of not saying “no” (when they should) are not helping them at all. They are spending a lot of time and energy for other people and not spending nearly as much time for themselves. This is so frustrating, especially since they bring it upon themselves. Realities of NOT Saying No While saying yes seems like an easy answer for the reasons above, it’s not necessary the best answer all the time. Just like saying no has its implications, NOT saying no *has* implications too. Every time we say yes to something, we’re actually saying no to something else. Think about it:  When you say yes to something you don’t enjoy, you say no to things that you love  When you say yes to a job you don’t love, you say no to your dreams  When you say yes to someone you don’t like, you say no to a fulfilling relationship  When you say yes to working overtime, you say no to your social life  When you say yes to Quadrant 3/4 tasks, you say no to your Quadrant 2, high value activities To learn to say “No”, we have to first understand what’s resisting us about it. Below are common reasons why people find it hard to say no: 421
  • 112. 1. You want to help. You are a kind soul at heart. You don’t want to turn the person away and you want to help where possible, even if it may eat into your time. 2. Afraid of being rude. I was brought up under the notion that saying “No”, especially to people who are more senior, is rude. This thinking is common in Asia culture, where face-saving is important. Face-saving means not making others look bad (a.k.a losing face). 3. Wanting to be agreeable. You don’t want to alienate yourself from the group because you’re not in agreement. So you confirm to others’ requests. 4. Fear of conflict. You are afraid the person might be angry if you reject him/her. This might lead to an ugly confrontation. Even if there isn’t, there might be dissent created which might lead to negative consequences in the future. 5. Fear of lost opportunities. Perhaps you are worried saying no means closing doors. For example, one of my clients’ wife was asked to transfer to another department in her company. Since she liked her team, she didn’t want to shift. However, she didn’t want to say no as she felt it would affect her promotion opportunities in the future. 6. Not burning bridges. Some people take “no” as a sign of rejection. It might lead to bridges being burned and relationships severed. If you nodded to any of the reasons, I’m with you. They applied to me at one point or another. However, in my experience dealing with people at work and in life, I realized these reasons are more misconceptions than anything. Saying “No” doesn’t mean you are being rude; neither does it mean you are being disagreeable. Saying “No” doesn’t mean there will be conflict nor that you’ll lose opportunities in the future. And saying no most definitely doesn’t mean you’re burning bridges. These are all false beliefs in our mind. At the end of the day, it’s about how you say “no”, rather than the fact you’re saying no, that affects the outcome. After all, you have your own priorities and needs, just like everyone has his/her own needs. Saying 422
  • 113. no is about respecting and valuing your time and space. Say no is your prerogative. 7 Simple Ways To Say “No” Rather than avoid it altogether, it’s all about learning the right way to say no. After I began to say no to others, I realized it’s really not as bad as I thought. The other people were very understanding and didn’t put up any resistance. Really, the fears of saying no are just in our mind. If you are not sure how to do so, here are 7 simple ways for you to say no. Use the method that best meets your needs in the situation. 1. “I can’t commit to this as I have other priorities at the moment.” If you are too busy to engage in the request/offer, this will be applicable. This lets the person know your plate is full at the moment, so he/she should hold off on this as well as future requests. If it makes it easier, you can also share what you’re working on so the person can understand better. I use this when I have too many commitments to attend to. 2. “Now’s not a good time as I’m in the middle of something. How about we reconnect at X time?” It’s common to get sudden requests for help when you are in the middle of something. Sometimes I get phone calls from friends or associates when I’m in a meeting or doing important work. This method is a great way to (temporarily) hold off the request. First, you let the person know it’s not a good time as you are doing something. Secondly, you make known your desire to help by suggesting another time (at your convenience). This way, the person doesn’t feel blown off. 3. “I’d love to do this, but …” I often use this as it’s a gentle way of breaking no to the other party. It’s encouraging as it lets the person know you like the idea (of course, only say this if you do like it) and there’s nothing wrong about it. I often get collaboration proposals from fellow bloggers and business associates which I can’t participate in and I use this method to gently say no. Their 423
  • 114. ideas are absolutely great, but I can’t take part due to other reasons such as prior commitments (#1) or different needs (#5). 4. “Let me think about it first and I’ll get back to you.” This is more like a “Maybe” than a straight out “No”. If you are interested but you don’t want to say ‘yes’ just yet, use this. Sometimes I’m pitched a great idea which meets my needs, but I want to hold off on committing as I want some time to think first. There are times when new considerations pop in and I want to be certain of the decision before committing myself. If the person is sincere about the request, he/she will be more than happy to wait a short while. Specify a date / time-range (say, in 1-2 weeks) where the person can expect a reply. If you’re not interested in what the person has to offer at all, don’t lead him/her on. Use methods #5, #6 or #7 which are definitive. 5. “This doesn’t meet my needs now but I’ll be sure to keep you in mind.” If someone is pitching a deal/opportunity which isn’t what you are looking for, let him/her know straight-out that it doesn’t meet your needs. Otherwise, the discussion can drag on longer than it should. It helps as the person know it’s nothing wrong about what he/she is offering, but that you are looking for something else. At the same time, by saying you’ll keep him/her in mind, it signals you are open to future opportunities. 6. “I’m not the best person to help on this. Why don’t you try X?” If you are being asked for help in something which you (i) can’t contribute much to (ii) don’t have resources to help, let it be known they are looking at the wrong person. If possible, refer them to a lead they can follow-up on – whether it’s someone you know, someone who might know someone else, or even a department. I always make it a point to offer an alternate contact so the person doesn’t end up in a dead end. This way you help steer the person in the right place. 7. “No, I can’t.” 424
  • 115. The simplest and most direct way to say no. We build up too many barriers in our mind to saying no. As I shared earlier in this article, these barriers are self-created and they are not true at all. Don’t think so much about saying no and just say it outright. You’ll be surprised when the reception isn’t half as bad as what you imagined it to be. Learn to say no to requests that don’t meet your needs, and once you do that you’ll find how easy it actually is. You’ll get more time for yourself, your work and things that are most important to you. I know I do and I’m happy I started doing that. Tips: 1. Be firm -- not defensive or overly apologetic -- and polite. This gives the signal that you are sympathetic, but will not easily change your mind if pressured. 2. If you decide to tell the person you’ll get back to them, be matter-of- fact and not too promising. If you lead people to believe you’ll likely say yes later, they’ll be more disappointed with a later no. 3. If asked for an explanation, remember that you really don’t owe anyone one. “It doesn’t fit with my schedule,” is perfectly acceptable. 4. Remember that there are only so many hours in the day. This means that whatever you choose to take on limits your ability to do other things. So even if you somehow can fit a new commitment into your schedule, if it’s not more important than what you would have to give up to do it (including time for relaxation and self care), you really don’t have the time in your schedule. Sources: Celes Chua, The Personal Excellence Blog Get her free ebook “101 Things To Do Before You Die” at Elizabeth Scott, M.S., 425
  • 116. Now, do you know how to say NO? Of course you do. It’s a simple word. But do you have trouble saying NO to the numerous requests that come your way and take your time? Then at the end of a well-planned week you find you have said “YES” so often to the needs of others and have done very little of what you really wanted to get done for yourself. Time to learn some good Ways to say NO. In all types of Coaching Jobs and situations from personal life coaching to business and executive coaching, being able to educate clients on the importance of being able to say NO is paramount. So lets' discuss some ways of how to say NO to yourself (yes yourself) and others, avoid overwhelm and up your refusal skills. There are ways of saying NO that can put the 'asker' offside. Or and there are ways of saying NO so elegantly to requests, that the requester doesn’t even realize they have been refused. If you have a favorite that I haven't mentioned or an experience to share, I'd love you to contribute using the invitation at the foot of this page Take your time in answering a request: If the response “YES” to a request is automatic for you, practice substituting it with something like “I’m not sure if that will work, can I get back to you in a couple of hours/days?” Be careful not to give the impression that your answer will be most likely be favorable so the person asking goes away feeling it is more or less a done deal. 426
  • 117. They will then feel more let down and maybe annoyed if it turns out to be NO. Keep your tone neutral or even veer on the side of a refusal. This “get back to you” time will allow you to ponder on the following and make a wise decision:  What is the real benefit I will get personally/professionally if I agree to do this (especially if it is a voluntary project)?  How will doing this extra task affect my focus on doing the really important things I need to do in around Setting and Achieving Goals for myself?  If I agree to this, will I be giving up precious time that could be spent on my goals, with my family or on leisure activities and renewing my energy? This set of questions is about making it OK to make your needs and what you want to do, at least as important as the needs and requests of others. Ways How to Say NO! So you've come to the conclusion that saying YES to the request is not the way to go. It’s time to practice how to say NO graciously and without giving offense. Try these generally successful strategies:  'I'd love to help you and I’m really busy: Tell me about the project and if I think of something or someone who can help, I’ll get back to you  'It just doesn’t work for me to do that just now, but can I suggest…’: (and come up with someone else who may be able to help). If asked why it doesn’t work, avoid getting drawn into a long explanation which could lead to counter arguments and your giving in and saying YES. Keep repeating “It really just doesn’t work for me right now” 427
  • 118.  I’d love to help but I have a lot on at the moment:I really couldn’t do justice to what you need. Overloaded at work? It can seem almost impossible to know how to Say NO in a work situation, especially if you are really good at juggling multiple tasks. These strategies may help you say NO and avoid overwhelm and burnout. Say something like, I can’t see how I can fit this in addition to what you have already requested. Where would you prefer I direct my attention? Delegate responsibility: If you are working for more than one person, and they all want to be your priority, throw the requests back to them to sort out the priorities or delegate to someone else. You might even want to master the The Art of Delegation yourself. I once worked in a PR company as a secretary to two of the busiest consultants who always wanted everything in a hurry. There were other consultants not nearly as busy and their secretaries would often sit reading and knitting whilst I was in overwhelm often working through my lunch hour. Yes, the other secretaries could have offered to help, but they didn't, and in those days, I didn't have the skills or the confidence to stand up for myself and say NO elegantly or insist I got some help. When You Really Want to Say Yes - But Not Overcommit: Sometimes you are asked to do something you would really like to get involved with but don’t have the time. When this happens, suggest or ask how 428
  • 119. you can contribute in a way that works for you time-wise. This will keep you involved but on your terms. Be sympathetic but firm: In all your newly acquired ways of how to say NO, be sympathetic but firm. Don’t over apologize for your NO. Show empathy for their situation but in a way that lets them know your mind will not be changed. The bottom line is that learning to say NO confidently can move you forward towards having work life balance and achieving your goals faster than saying YES to everything. How to say no is just one of the strategies in my book Ready Set Goal! to help you and your coaching clients achieve their goals faster and with less stress. Finally, if you find the idea of saying NO to someone in a particular work or relationship situation sends you into a tizz and makes you anxious, then it could be time to assess whether this is an environment or relationship that really works for you to stay in. Source: Wendy Buckingham: http://www.all-about-becoming-a-life- 429
  • 120. 3.13 I-MESSAGES You can make a huge difference in your self-esteem as you learn to use assertive “I” messages instead of hurtful “you” messages. It may be hard to re-train yourself to speak in self empowering “I” messages instead of negative “you” messages, but the effort is ever-so worth it. “You” messages are often heard as blaming, hurtful communications that tend to put people on the defensive, and make them want to attack or withdraw. “I’ messages are more easily heard by others. This increases the chance that we can work with others to get what we need. Examples of “You” Messages: “Turn the TV down. You’re so inconsiderate.” “You just wear me out. Now you’ve really made me mad.” “You better call the doctor right now.” Example of an “I” Message. Using the example above, “You better call the doctor right now” we can see that an “I” message would be easier to hear and more likely to result in the hearer taking the desired “When I see you having trouble breathing I feel so scared because I think you may not call the doctor and you may die and leave me.” HOW TO CONSTRUCT AN “I” MESSAGE Write out a sentence using the 4 steps below. As you become more familiar with the process, you can just think it out before speaking. 1. Describe the behavior that is troubling you – specifically, without blaming or sounding judgmental. Limit the area of behavior that concerns you (instead of globalizing) by starting with “When”: “When I see you having trouble breathing…” 2. State your feelings about the possible consequences of the behavior: “I feel so scared…” 430
  • 121. 3. State the consequences of the behavior: “… beause I think you may not call the doctor and you may die and leave me.” 4. Explain what you would like to happen instead: “so please, make an appointment with the doctor!” The order in which the 4 parts are expressed is usually not important. Example: 1. I feel _________________ (express your feeling) 2. when you _____________ (describe the action that affects you or relates to the feeling) 3. because _______________ (explain how the action affects you or relates to the feeling) 4. that’s why I would like you to _______ (state your preference for what you would like to take place instead.) HOW TO DECODE A “YOU” MESSAGE What a difference it would have made in your self esteem if your parents used this principle. What if you had heard “I don’t want to hurt you” instead of “You’re too sensitive.” But it’s not too late. You can translate hurtful “you” messages back to “I” messages. 1. Start with writing something painful that your parents or another has said to you about you. 2. Remember how you felt when you heard it? How did it affect your self esteem? 3. What did you want to do when you heard it? 4. Now translate the parent’s or other’s message into an “I” message 5. How do you feel when think of the “I” message? 431
  • 122. 6. What do you feel like doing when you think of it? As you can see, the end result of consciously speaking with assertive “I” messages about your own feelings, thoughts, and desires is much more effective than talking about the other person. More self empowerment to you! THERE ARE FOUR BASIC TYPES OF I-MESSAGES 1. DECLARATIVE I-MESSAGES The declarative I-message is used when we simply want to express a need, desire, opinion or inner reality. We are not necessarily in conflict with someone, but are simply letting our feelings and needs be known by the others. Doing this wards off many potentially unpleasant situations in which we do not express our feelings and thoughts, and then feel others do not take us into consideration. Learning to make declarative messages makes a relationship much more equal and alive. Suppressing our needs and emotions leads to feelings of resentment, abandonment and neglect. When our negative feelings accumulate, we are likely to lose our temper about some small insignificant event. Let us avoid these two extremes of suppression and aggression, and learn to be assertive about our needs, desires and opinions. 2. RESPONSIVE I-MESSAGES When we are asked to do something with or for someone else, it is time for a responsive I-message. We must first decide very clearly whether we actually want to respond to what is being asked of us or not. It may be to lend something, to help someone, to go to dinner, to talk to someone for some time on the telephone, to take a position in an organization, or to donate money. We must decide whether we want to do what we are being asked, and why we do or do not want to do it. Then we must express our decision and why we have come to that decision. Some examples might be 432
  • 123. «I thank you for your invitation to dinner, but I am extremely tired and prefer to get to bed early.» «I am sorry, but I have decided that I cannot help you on Saturday because I feel my children and family need me more.» «You know I really do not enjoy social activities very much anymore, so I don't think I will come this evening. Perhaps we can get together just the two of us some other time and have a deeper communication.» «Yes, I would be glad to help you this weekend because I really love you very much and would like to express that love through my actions.» Thus, the first step in making a responsive I-message is to clearly understand what we want to do and then to honestly express it. It may be possible that we will have mixed feelings. An example might be: «I find myself in a dilemma because, on the one hand, I love you and would like to sit and listen to your problem right now, but on the other, I am exhausted and quite tense myself. Let me rest for a few hours and I will call you back.» We have learned to avoid saying no at all costs; for fear the other will stop loving us or reject us. When we do something with or for someone out of fear of rejection, it is of no real value. It is better to offer less but with love rather than do something out of fear or a sense of obligation and build up feelings of resentment. Being able to say yes because we love is a higher human quality and can be developed in three basic ways: a. Diminishing our own personal needs as much as possible so they do not require much time, energy or thought. b. Keeping our energy level up through exercises, breathing techniques, relaxation, meditation and proper dietary habits. c. Developing a feeling of love and compassion for others. Of course, this yes must be used with discrimination. 433
  • 124. a. We should avoid doing for others what they can actually do for themselves. (Unless there are important reasons, why at this time we should do this for them.) By taking on the others' responsibilities, we might hold them back in their growth process. As long as they depend on others, they will not develop the inner self-confidence, strength and responsibility necessary for their natural maturity as human beings. b. We will also need to say not when what is requested from us is in conflict with our sense of morality, such as telling a lie. c. And, of course, we will have to say no when we are asked to do something that is harmful to ourselves or others. 3. PREVENTIVE I- MESSAGES When we have observed that a problem has developed in the past and we want to avoid the same or worse happening in the future, it is time for a preventive I-message. We hope to prevent a more serious conflict by expressing what is happening within us or what we need or will need, do or will do. The steps are: a. We take responsibility for what we are feeling inside us, which is a result of our programming. b. We identify what emotions and sensations we are feeling. c. We identify what programs, needs, desires or beliefs are creating those feelings. d. We identify the behavior of the other person that stimulates this program and the consequent unpleasant and separating feelings. An example: « I have a childhood conditioning that one shouldn't eat in front of others without offering them a portion. When you eat in front of me and do not offer me any, I feel disrespected and unloved. I realize that it is my problem, but I thought I should explain it to you because sometimes it affects my behavior toward you.» 434
  • 125. Now it is time for active listening to see how the other feels. The other may have been completely unaware of the problem, or he she may have sensed it but have feared being rejected if he offered the food. Another example: «Dear, you know I am beginning to have negative feelings toward you lately, and I would like to discuss the problem. As you have probably realized, I have a need to be reassured of your love though affection and attention. Lately, it seems that you have been very tired or preoccupied with other things, and haven't been paying very much attention to me. Sometimes I talk to you and you do not even answer. When this happens, I feel rejected, unloved, bitter and angry toward you. I sometimes also fear that you have found someone else. I am trying to think positively and find strength within myself, but I do still need some more affection and attention from you. Can we discuss this? I would be very interested in what has been going on inside you all this time. I think our relationship needs this communication.» And then we switch to active listening to understand what the other is feeling. No one has been blamed or accused of being unloving or insensitive. No feelings have been suppressed. We have a deep open communication between two responsible adults. 4. CONFRONTIVE I- MESSAGES When a situation is causing us strong negative emotions and we have made some attempts to create understanding and cooperation without response, we may need to make a confrontive I-message. In addition to all the aspects of the preventive message previously mentioned, we might assertively add that we are determined to have our needs met in this situation. In some cases, when repeated communication has brought about little attention or cooperation from the other party, we may have to inform him of what we plan to do if the behavior is not changed. For example, in the previous situation, the communication may end with this message: 435
  • 126. «And after considering all the possibilities and all of our previous attempts to solve this problem, I have come to the decision that if we cannot find a solution now and you cannot understand my needs, I have decided to leave the relationship for the time being and try living on my own.» Sources: Dr. Jane Bolton, a marriage and family therapist, master results coach and contemporary psychoanalyst is dedicated to supporting people in the fullest self expression of their Authentic Selves. This includes Discovery, Understanding, Acceptance, Expression, and Self Esteem. Call 310.838.6363 or visit . Read more: Communication-Using-The--i--Message- Technique/202278#ixzz1qbeHXwf9 Under Creative Commons License: Attribution No Derivatives Robert Elias Najemy : Robert E. Najemy, life coach and author of 25 books has trained over 300 life coaches and now does so over the Internet. Become a life coach. There are over 600 free article and lectures at - new site: 436
  • 127. 3.14 ADVISING Coaching is a professional service that attracts clients who want to make big changes in their lives or overcome obstacles. Many clients assume that they are going to work with someone who can give answers or solutions. Persons who seek help in improving their life or business might then believe that they will be receiving advice from a professional. When we begin to have coaching conversations with prospective clients or contracted clients, we as trained professional Life Coaches (aka personal and professional coaches) must really be clear that giving advice is not really part of the coaching paradigm. Advising (the act of giving advice) according to the Webster's collegiate dictionary is to make a recommendation regarding a decision or course of conduct, and it implies real or presumed knowledge and experience . Coaching is to empower, to motivate, to enrich, to co create with our clients. In fact, I believe that effective coaching is even more than problem solving or being solution focused. Coaching is about the creative process of designing one's life to be more like they really want it to be. That is creation — bringing into being what does not now exist. Problem solving is about symptoms and fixing, not creating. The trouble with advice is that you cannot tell if it is good or bad until you've taken it. — Frank Tyger Advising then, should be omitted from the coaching conversation and as coaches, we also need to train our clients to not expect advice, even though we might be capable of some very good advice. Many of us as coaches would also qualify as advisors or consultants, which are focused more on giving direction and recommended action. Part of the joy I experience as a coach is that I do not have to wear the expert hat — my job is to evoke the brilliance of each of my clients 437
  • 128. and the creativity that comes from a conversation that if it had not occurred would not have lead to the same result. Coaching is creativity. My friend and mentor, and outstanding author, Dave Ellis has created a Coaching Continuum in which he outlines the role of the coach from least intrusive to the most intrusive coaching response. In this continuum, as printed below, the dotted line indicates the boundary between classic coaching and advising. It is a line for all coaches to be cognizant of. Listen fully and affirm Listen fully and feed back the problem (or desire) Ask the client to generate a few new possibilities Ask the client to generate many possibilities Add to the client's list of possibilities Present at least 10 possibilities ( some contradictory) Present at least three possibilities Teach a new technique Offer an option Give advice Give advice by sharing or questioning Give the answer Listen to your coaching, maybe even tape record your conversations for awhile to see if you slip into the realm of advising. We all do it so naturally, but as coaches we need to be intentional to eschew advice giving. (The reader can find this explained in detail in Ellis's book Life Coaching which can be ordered at .) I believe that the beginning of the coaching continuum is most useful early in the coaching relationship. Even though I am very much a possibility thinker with my clients, I never offer my possibilities until I have drawn out my clients creative thinking first. And sometimes, the powerful questioning we utilize from our coaches toolbox, can be disguised advice if we are not careful. There is a difference in the kind of questions you ask and why you ask them. Powerful questions should 438
  • 129. open up possibilities, inquiry, and creativity — not lead it to a known or preconceived response. When I was a clinical psychologist, taught of course to not give advice, there were times that I simply had some good advice to give my clients. When I delivered it, I said, Now I am going to give some advice here, but remember it is just my best thinking in this moment — it does not mean it is the best or right thing to do, but it might help you consider options to this advice or adaptations for your situation. I say something very similarly to my coaching clients or students. Even when words from me sound like advice, I frame it as my best thinking in the moment and offer it as a possibility, not a requirement. Coaching is, after all, about increasing clients choices which lead to creating what they really want to develop, or bring into existence in their personal or professional life. For coaching to be transformational, we want to reinforce self-discovery. Coaching is a process to help people maintain and develop an internal locus of empowerment. Advice, even great advice, inherently leads the client to look for and external locus of influence. Remember coaching is an art form not a science and it works best when creativity is the process present in every coaching conversation. My advice, (I mean my request) is for all coaches to be an artist, not an advisor. © Copyright, Dr. Patrick Williams. So, what you do if a coachee turns to you for advisc? One of the most common mistakes in coaching is giving advice rather than helping the coachee find their own answers. This is an easy mistake to make because most of us are so keen to help (and show that we are helpful) and because many coachees are used to being given advice and they expect it. From my personal experience of coaching, observing others coaching and being coached, I am convinced that most advice-giving in coaching is nowhere near as powerful and effective as eliciting the answers from the coachee. Eliciting the answers takes more skill and it also takes 439
  • 130. deep trust in the process of coaching, to believe that it is worth taking a bit more time and to make the space for the coachee to be creative. Recently I learned a very simple and helpful process that simplifies my job in supporting my coachees to come up with their own answers so that I don’t have to give them advice. Here’s how it works: Let’s say my coachee asks me something like this: “How can I … ? or “What can I do to …? My coachee is seeking an answer to some question or problem he is facing. My options in that moment are to: 1) Give an answer, 2) Ask another question that helps him think further about what the answer might be, or 3) Suggest that we brainstorm possible solutions together. Obviously Option 1 is giving advice and not recommended. In the past I have often used Option 2 and asked my coachee something like “What do you think you could do?” There’s nothing really wrong with this question, but asking a question like this does have some risks. If my thinking is not clear enough, I might frame the question too tightly and restrict the coachee’s responses. For example I might say “What do you think you could do to discover the root causes of this problem?” when in his mind there are no answers in the root causes and this is simply a distraction from the real question. Also, there is an implication that there is one ‘right’ answer, and this limits creativity. Another risk with following Option 2 is that it may seem like I am throwing the difficult question back to him and withholding my own experience, wisdom and support. Option 3 has some clear advantages. I could start by saying, “How about if we brainstorm some possible solutions together?” Immediately I am asking permission from the coachee to follow this next step. It is a way of checking the importance of the question and keeping the coachee in control of the process. I am open to the coachee saying, “Actually, I 440
  • 131. know what I need to do.” !! But often the coachee will agree and I will say, “How about if you come up with two possible solutions, then I’ll add two, and we’ll carry on until we have a whole bunch?” Depending on the confidence of the coachee in this problem, I could also ask him to come up with a whole bunch of possibilities and then I’ll add some more afterwards. A coachee is often not aware that there are any possible solutions to his problem, so he will find it encouraging to think that together we will find many. It is up to the coach to provide this confidence: essentially the trust that coaching will work and that there are always possibilities and choices in any situation. Here are some of the other advantages of this approach: By focusing on creating possible solutions rather than solving the problem, you temporarily stop the judgment and critical thinking that often blocks creativity. Your goal is to collect all the solutions first, and then evaluate them later. Doing this unleashes creativity and in itself will help the coachee think of things they haven’t thought of before. Coachees often mistakenly believe that the solutions coming from the coach are more valuable than those they generate themselves. You can counteract this assumption by collecting the ideas together so that they have more equal weight. It’s also possible to generate contradictory ideas to make it clear that the coachee has to choose based on his own evaluation of what will work best for him. Sometimes this process works so well that the coachee immediately comes up with an excellent solution that he knows is perfect for him and that he is excited to implement. Other times we generate a long list and feel safe with an abundance of choices for actions to take. This is what coaching is all about: creating new ways of thinking that change people’s lives. Most people are not very experienced at being coached. This fact makes it even more important that coaches trust the coaching process and let the power of coaching reveal itself to coachees. The ‘aha’ moments that 441
  • 132. they experience as a result will let them realize the true power of coaching. Source: you-really-want-to-give-advice/ But nothing is ever completely black or white in life. Here is what Thomas Leonard has to say about this issue : Many of the newer clients hiring coaches are hiring that coach not only for their coaching skills set but also for the coach's situational knowledge and solutions set. Traditional/purist coaching will be around for a long time, but the market is asking for coaches with solutions, not just coaches who are good at evoking or supporting. Both are important. The definition of coaching is expanding because the marketplace is demanding it. So here are some Tips for Giving Advice in a Coaching Relationship Posted on October 13, 2009 at 11:10 am by Stephan Wiedner 442
  • 133. Have you ever tried giving advice to a teenager? If you haven’t, you can imagine that everything you say is going to go in one ear and out the other. Of course rebellious teenagers are an extreme case but most people don’t respond to unsolicited advice. It’s a waste of good intentions. In order to save you some effort, here are 3 tips for giving advice when you are coaching someone. Just to be clear, at a fundamental level, coaching is not about giving advice. It is about asking questions and engaging the coachee in discovering their own solutions. But coaching doesn’t always work that way. Every now and again, you will have a nugget of information that can really help a client and here are some helpful tips to get your message across. Tip 1: Switch between a coaching “hat” and an advisor “hat” As previously mentioned, coaching is primarily focused on asking questions and wearing your coaching “hat”. When the conversations leads to a great opportunity for you to share advice, it helps to be clear that you are going to switch to an advice- giving “hat”. Make sure you know the difference. When you switch to an advice-giving hat, the coachee may no longer be using their active thinking and will zone out. Look for signs that the coachee is not really listening or paying attention. If they are not engaged in what you are saying, it will be a waste. Tip 2: Be transparent when you are switching “hats” If you are going to be switching “hats” and giving advice, it never hurts to be completely transparent with the coachee. Say things like “I am going to take off my coaching hat for a minute. I want to share a 443
  • 134. personal experience with you.” Being transparent like this gives the coachee the ability to ready themselves for your story or advice. For fun, you can actually switch hats, for real. You may have a sun hat that is perfect for coaching and a scholarly hat for giving advice. Whatever hats work for you. Have fun with it. Tip 3: Give advice from your own experience Nobody likes a know-it-all. If you are going to give advice, try to limit your advice to your personal experiences, good or bad. Avoid quoting a $100 text book you barely read in University 15 years ago. For example, consider saying things like “I haven’t done what you are trying to do but I did try something similar and here’s what I discovered” or “When I tried that, here’s what I learned”. Bonus Tip: Notice when you are working too hard If you are working really hard for the coachee to get your brilliant advice and they just don’t get it, take off your advice-giving hat. Don’t bother. Switch to your coaching hat and engage their active thinking brain. Ask some simple questions like:  What do you want?  What do you think are the next steps? or  What are you learning? Let the coachee do all the hard work. Surprisingly, they’ll get more value from it. 444
  • 135. 3.15 CREATIVE THINKING By: Vadim otelnikov Inventor and Founder Ten3 Business e-Coach 1000ventures, InsBeCo, Success360, See the Big Picture 3 Pillars of Inspiration Entrepreneurial Creativity Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. – Scott Adams 445
  • 136. Creative Thinking Tips  Break out of self-imposed limitations.  Look for wider solutions, 'think outside the box’.  Think sideways; explore the least likely directions; abandon step-by-step approach and thinking 'to one side' and master the 'lateral thinking' approach.  Sharpen your brain – communicate and exchange ideas with other creative people as often as you can. This is useful not only for stimulating idea generation but also for giving you an opportunity to validate your ideas through professional colleagues.  If you are thinking along a certain line and nothing happens, stop. Step out of your Shoes, analyze the problem again and see if you can come up with a new approach. 454
  • 137.  If you are working on a problem and getting nowhere, leave it for a while and let your subconscious – your depth mind – to take over. Soon, new ideas and facts will inspire new associations and innovative combinations. Creativity Defined A new idea is often a combination of old elements. Being able to devise new combinations depend on your ability to discern relationships between seemingly disparate items. Creativity is the juxtaposition of ideas which were previously thought to be unrelated.' It is your ability to combine ideas in a unique way or to make useful associations among ideas. There is virtually no problem you cannot solve, no goal you cannot achieve, no obstacle you cannot overcome if you know how to apply the creative powers of your mind , like a laser beam, to cut through every difficulty in your life and your work, says Brian Tracy. An Important Pre-Condition Although creative people come from varied backgrounds, they all seem to have one thing in common – they love what they are doing. Practice Every Day How often should you practice if you wish to win the World Tennis Cup: once a month? once a week? every day? How often should you exercise your right brain's creative muscles if you wish to master your creative skills: once a month? once a week? every day? Take a Different View Be different and make a difference! 455
  • 138. It was by taking a different view of a traditional business that major innovations were achieved. To find a better creative solution to the current practice, force yourself to reframe the problem, to break down its components and assemble them in a different way. Ask Searching Questions Creativity requires an inquisitive mind. Unless you ask lots of Why? and What If? questions, you won't generate creative insights. To avoid this most common of creative errors, be sure to peek under all carpets, including your own. Don't take anything for granted. Especially success. Try looking at the world through more inquisitive eyes; try getting ideas in motion; try asking the all-important: Why? See what happens!7 Why Should You Ask Searching Questions? Searching questions can help you discover new opportunities, uncover the roots of a problem, and find creative solutions to it. Open your mind to what is possible. Asking searching questions starts with challenging assumptions. If you do not check assumptions you cannot be good at asking searching questions. Don't ask one or two questions and then rush straight towards a solution. With an incomplete understanding of the problem it is very easy to jump to wrong conclusions. Ask open-ended questions that elicit a wide rage of answers:  'Why' questions to discover the roots of the problem  'How' questions to discover different routes to significant improvement. Boosting Your Creativity Creativity requires an inquisitive mind. Unless you ask lots of Why? and What If? questions, you won't generate creative insights. 456
  • 139. To avoid this most common of creative errors, be sure to peek under all carpets, including your own. Don't take anything for granted. Especially success. Try looking at the world through more inquisitive eyes; try getting ideas in motion; try asking the all- important: Why? See what happens! says Alexander Hiam, the author of Creativity, Triggering Great Ideas A major stimulant to creative thinking for business problem solving is focused questions. A well worded question often penetrates to the heart of the matter and triggers new ideas and insights. To trigger more and better ideas, you, first, must be be very clear about exactly what it is that you are trying to do. Write it down and describe it as if it were already achieved. And, second, question your assumptions continually. What if there were a better way? Be willing to try something completely different. Case in point : GOOGLE We run the company by questions, not by answers, says Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google. So in the strategy process we've so far formulated 30 questions that we have to answer. I'll give you an example: we have a lot of cash. What should we do with the cash? Another example of a question that we are debating right now is: we have this amazing product called AdSense for content, where we're monetizing the Web. If you're a publisher we run our ads against your content. It's phenomenal. How do we make that product produce better content, not just lots of content? An interesting question. How we do make sure that in the area of video, that high-quality video is also monetized? What are the next big breakthroughs in search? And the competitive questions: What do we do about the various products Microsoft is allegedly offering? You ask it as a question, rather than a pithy answer, and that stimulates conversation. Out of the conversation comes innovation. 457
  • 140. Innovation is not something that I just wake up one day and say 'I want to innovate.' I think you get a better innovative culture if you ask it as a question.... Getting the most out of knowledge workers will be the key to business success for the next quarter century. Here's how we do it at Google. At Google, we think business guru Peter Drucker well understood how to manage the new breed of knowledge workers. After all, Drucker invented the term in 1959. He says knowledge workers believe they are paid to be effective, not to work 9 to 5, and that smart businesses will strip away everything that gets in their knowledge workers' way. Those that succeed will attract the best performers, securing the single biggest factor for competitive advantage in the next 25 years. At Google, we seek that advantage. The ongoing debate about whether big corporations are mismanaging knowledge workers is one we take very seriously, because those who don't get it right will be gone. We've drawn on good ideas we've seen elsewhere and come up with a few of our own. What follows are ten key principles we use to make knowledge workers most effective. As in most technology companies, many of our employees are engineers, so we will focus on that particular group, but many of the policies apply to all sorts of knowledge workers. 1. Hire by committee. Virtually every person who interviews at Google talks to at least half-a-dozen interviewers, drawn from both management and potential colleagues. Everyone's opinion counts, making the hiring process more fair and pushing standards higher. Yes, it takes longer, but we think it's worth it. If you hire great people and involve them intensively in the hiring process, you'll get more great people. We started building this positive feedback loop when the company was founded, and it has had a huge payoff. 458
  • 141. 2. Cater to their every need. As Drucker says, the goal is to strip away everything that gets in their way. We provide a standard package of fringe benefits, but on top of that are first-class dining facilities, gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts, carwashes, dry cleaning, commuting buses – just about anything a hardworking engineer might want. Let's face it: programmers want to program, they don't want to do their laundry. So we make it easy for them to do both. 3. Pack them in. Almost every project: at Google is a team project, and teams have to communicate. The best way to make communication easy is to put team members within a few feet of each other. The result is that virtually everyone at Google shares an office. This way, when a programmer needs to confer with a colleague, there is immediate access: no telephone tag, no e-mail delay, no waiting for a reply. Of course, there are many conference rooms that people can use for detailed discussion so that they don't disturb their office mates. Even the CEO shared an office at Google for several months after he arrived. Sitting next to a knowledgeable employee was an incredibly effective educational experience. 4. Make coordination easy. Because all members of a team are within a few feet of one another, it is relatively easy to coordinate projects. In addition to physical proximity, each Googler e-mails a snippet once a week to his work group describing what he has done in the last week. This gives everyone an easy way to track what everyone else is up to, making it much easier to monitor progress and synchronize work flow. 5. Eat your own dog food. Google workers use the company's tools intensively. The most obvious tool is the Web, with an internal Web page for virtually every project and every task. They are all indexed and available to project participants on an as-needed basis. We also make extensive use of other information- 459
  • 142. management tools, some of which are eventually rolled out as products. For example, one of the reasons for Gmail's success is that it was beta tested within the company for many months. The use of e-mail is critical within the organization, so Gmail had to be tuned to satisfy the needs of some of our most demanding customers – our knowledge workers. 6. Encourage creativity. Google engineers can spend up to 20 percent of their time on a project of their choice. There is, of course, an approval process and some oversight, but basically we want to allow creative people to be creative. One of our not-so- secret weapons is our ideas mailing list: a companywide suggestion box where people can post ideas ranging from parking procedures to the next killer app. The software allows for everyone to comment on and rate ideas, permitting the best ideas to percolate to the top. 7. Strive to reach consensus. Modern corporate mythology has the unique decision maker as hero. We adhere to the view that the many are smarter than the few, and solicit a broad base of views before reaching any decision. At Google, the role of the manager is that of an aggregator of viewpoints, not the dictator of decisions. Building a consensus sometimes takes longer, but always produces a more committed team and better decisions. 8. Don't be evil. Much has been written about Google's slogan, but we really try to live by it, particularly in the ranks of management. As in every organization, people are passionate about their views. But nobody throws chairs at Google, unlike management practices used at some other well-known technology companies. We foster to create an atmosphere of tolerance and respect, not a company full of yes men. 9. Data drive decisions. At Google, almost every decision is based on quantitative analysis. We've built systems to manage information, not only on the Internet at large, but also internally. We have dozens of analysts who plow through the data, analyze 460
  • 143. performance metrics and plot trends to keep us as up to date as possible. We have a raft of online dashboards for every business we work in that provide up-to-the-minute snapshots of where we are. 10. Communicate effectively. Every Friday we have an all-hands assembly with announcements, introductions and questions and answers. (Oh, yes, and some food and drink.) This allows management to stay in touch with what our knowledge workers are thinking and vice versa. Google has remarkably broad dissemination of information within the organization and remarkably few serious leaks. Contrary to what some might think, we believe it is the first fact that causes the second: a trusted work force is a loyal work force. Of course, we're not the only company that follows these practices. Many of them are common around Silicon Valley. And we recognize that our management techniques have to evolve as the company grows. There are several problems that we (and other companies like us) face. One is techno arrogance. Engineers are competitive by nature and they have low tolerance for those who aren't as driven or as knowledgeable as they are. But almost all engineering projects are team projects; having a smart but inflexible person on a team can be deadly. If we see a recommendation that says smartest person I've ever known combined with I wouldn't ever want to work with them again, we decline to make them an offer. One reason for extensive peer interviews is to make sure that teams are enthused about the new team member. Many of our best people are terrific role models in terms of team building, and we want to keep it that way. A related problem is the not-invented-here syndrome. A good engineer is always convinced that he can build a better system than the existing ones, leading to the refrain Don't buy it, build it. Well, they may be right, but we have to focus on those projects with the 461
  • 144. biggest payoff. Sometimes this means going outside the company for products and services. Another issue that we will face in the coming years is the maturation of the company, the industry and our work force. We, along with other firms in this industry, are in a rapid growth stage now, but that won't go on forever. Some of our new workers are fresh out of college; others have families and extensive job experience. Their interests and needs are different. We need to provide benefits and a work environment that will be attractive to all ages. A final issue is making sure that as Google grows, communication procedures keep pace with our increasing scale. The Friday meetings are great for the Mountain View team, but Google is now a global organization. We have focused on managing creativity and innovation, but that's not the only thing that matters at Google. We also have to manage day-to-day operations, and it's not an easy task. We are building technology infrastructure that is dramatically larger, more complex and more demanding than anything that has been built in history. Those who plan, implement and maintain these systems, which are growing to meet a constantly rising set of demands, have to have strong incentives too. At Google, operations are not just an afterthought: they are critical to the company's success, and we want to have just as much effort and creativity in this domain as in new product development. 462
  • 145. Table 1: Stimulus to extend perspectives to approach a problem  List the elements that would bring on success.  List the elements that we visualise as failure. 463
  • 146.  Visualise success seen from the viewpoint of fifty years from now.  Visualise success seen from the perspective of one hundred years ago.  Look for impossible and desirable ideas.  Create analogies with other things that have been successful.  Imagine and write down ideas that are wild, illegal, crazy, etc.  Insert the problem from its present scenario to a totally different scenario.  Return from the fantasy scenario to the present scenario and try to associate the ideas generated in the fantasy scenario, with ideas that might apply to the real problem.  Imagine what people we admire would say.  Search for pairs of ideas that are apparently unconnected and that can be associated by a third.  Imagine that everything exists and all we have to do is find it.  Change the level on which the problem is approached. Source: European Commission, Innovation Management Techniques in Operation, European - Commission, DG XIII, Luxembourg, 1998. Table 2: Osborn’s Checklist PUT TO OTHER USES? New ways to use as is? Other uses if modified? ADAPT What else is like this? What other idea does this suggest? Does past offer parallel? What could I copy? Whom could I emulate? MODIFY New twist? Change meaning, colour, motion, sound, odour, form, shape? Other changes? 464
  • 147. MAGNIFY What to add? More time? Greater frequency? Stronger? Higher? Longer? Thicker? Extra value? Plus ingredient? Duplicate? Multiply? Exaggerate? MiNIFY What to subtract? Smaller? Condensed? Miniature? Lower? Shorter? Lighter? Omit? Streamline? Split up? Understate? SUBSTITUTE Who else instead? What else instead? Other ingredient? Other Material? Other process? Other power? Other place? Other approach? Other tone of voice? REARRANGE Interchange components? Other pattern? Other layout? Transpose cause and effect? Change sequence, pace or schedule? REVERSE Transpose positive and negative? How about opposites? Turn it backward? Turn it upside down? Reverse role? Change shoes? Turn tables? Turn other cheek? COMBINE How about a blend, an alloy, an assortment, an ensemble? Combine units? Combine purposes? Combine appeals? Combine ideas? Source: J.M. Higgins, “Innovate or evaporate: creative techniques for strategists”, Long Range Planning, Vol. 29, No 3, pp. 370-380, 1996 (reprinted from Alex Osborn, Applied Imagination, Charles Scribner’s Sons, Inc., New York). 465
  • 148. How to Be More Creative ? Having the ability to come up with creative ideas can help you each and every day. Creativity is not the sole domain of the arts-whether it's painting, theater, music, architecture, dancing, literature, and so on-but is important in any field, from medicine to business, and from engineering to economics. Being creative can involve cooking a meal from scratch, creating a novel marketing campaign, making up a bedtime story for your child, finding ways to cut costs, or even developing a creative solution to a negotiation impasse. Whatever you do, creativity helps you do it better. Some people believe creativity to be the result of an abnormal chromosome that causes a muse-like effect, or of a neurological quirk. Others associate it with psychosis, temporal lobe seizures, or childhood trauma. And then there are those who believe it's about winning the genetic lottery: you're either born creative or you're not. However, as most creativity experts hold - including Jack Foster, Roger von Oech, Edward de Bono, and many others - creativity is a process that can be learned, practiced, and perfected. Being More Creative Will Help You with All of the Following:  Solve everyday problems more efficiently and effectively.  Turn problems into opportunities.  Create new products, processes, and services.  Make creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial thinking part of your everyday work life.  Generate ideas for creative pursuits such as writing, drawing, photography, and so on.  Find creative ways to generate more income. Four Steps to Unleash Your Creativity To be more creative, start by following these four steps, roughly modeled after the five step technique set forth in the creativity classic, A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young: 466
  • 149. 1. Gather Information on Your Subject Matter 2. Digest the Information and Apply Creativity Techniques 3. Take Time for Incubation 4. Refine the Idea and Make it Real 467
  • 150. These four steps are described in more detail below. Schedule a regular time to practice your craft --whether it's writing or anything else -- and show up, even if you're not feeling creative. Step One: Gather Information on Your Subject Matter The first step in unleashing your creativity involves gathering information about the topic at hand. Read everything you can on your subject matter: - Go to the library and check out books; - Go to your neighborhood bookstore and browse through interesting reading material; - Read magazine articles; - Subscribe to a newsletter; - Surf the internet for information; - Subscribe to blogs dedicated to your topic. You can also talk to people who have knowledge on the topic and ask them lots of questions, go to a lecture, enroll in a seminar, and even take an online class. The more you know about a topic, the more likely you are to come up with creative ideas for that subject matter. (Working it all out . . . , courtesy of Lost in Scotland). Creativity Tip: Play Baroque Music Baroque music-such as Vivaldi's The Four Seasons and Pachbel's Canon-has been shown to synchronize brain waves at about 60 cycles per second, a frequency associated with increased alpha waves. In turn, alpha is a frequency of mind associated with enhanced creativity. Step Two. Digest the Information and Apply Creativity Techniques The second step involves digesting and working with the raw material that you gathered in the previous step. 468
  • 151. There are many books on creativity which offer the reader different creativity techniques to help in the generation of ideas, and at this point you can begin applying these techniques to your problem. Basically, there are creativity techniques that are expansive and open our mind, and there are creativity techniques that force your mind to focus. Creativity Techniques that Open Your Mind Some creativity techniques are intended to open your mind and encourage free thinking, such as idea generation and brainstorming sessions, guided imagery, and other expansive techniques. For example, you can begin by releasing all of the preconceived ideas and assumptions you have about the topic and disregard fixed lines of thinking and rigid behavior patterns. Creativity Techniques that Force Your Mind to Focus Other techniques create constraints and force your mind to focus, such as setting time deadlines and other methods that force you to converge on a particular course of action. For example, in problem-solving contexts, the random word creativity technique has been shown to produce great results for those who apply it. Basically, a person confronted with a problem is presented with a randomly generated word and is told to make associations between the word and the problem as a creativity goad. By combining expansive and constraining creativity techniques you can come up with several different alternatives to choose from for solving the problem at hand. (Ball of Whacks, courtesy of kevmaguire). Creativity Tip Read one page of the dictionary every day and write down any words that catch your attention in a notebook. When you need inspiration, look through the words you have written down. Step Three: Take Time for Incubation The third stage is letting go. You just drop the subject entirely, go do something else, and let the unconscious mind deal with the problem. 469
  • 152. Incubation is needed to handle complexity - during this relaxing period, people unconsciously and consciously combine ideas with a freedom that denies linear and rational thought (Boden 1990). After a period of intense concentration, Albert Einstein would take a nap or find another way to detach from whatever he was working on. He found that during these mental breaks his unconscious mind would go on thinking about the challenge and surprise him with an insight when he least expected it. Isaac Asimov was quoted as saying that when he got stuck writing a book he would simply put the project aside and start writing a completely different book. When he returned to the original project he would find that his unconscious mind had figured things out and the ideas would just flow. Seymour Cray, the legendary designer of high-speed computers, used to divide his time between building the next generation super computer and digging an underground tunnel below his Chippewa Falls house. He would immerse himself in his work, and then he would walk away from it and let the ideas percolate. Thomas Edison, a man with over 1,000 patents to his credit, would go down to the dock and fish. Therefore, after a period of thinking hard about a problem, the next step is to either work on something entirely different, or to relax: practice deliberate frivolity, go to a museum, go to the movies, or go for a twenty minute walk. Many people have reported Eureka moments while taking time for incubation. (Artist Under Bridge, courtesy of Randy Son Of Robert). Step Four: Refine the Idea and Make it Real The final stage is where you use trial and experimentation to test, edit, refine and polish the idea. In addition, at this step you need to make your idea real. 470
  • 153. In her inspiring book, A Creative Companion: How to Free Your Creative Spirit, Sark tells the story of an Australian artist named Ken Done who created a painting he thought would look great on bed sheets. He took the idea to a sheet company but they turned him down because they just couldn't visualize bed sheets with his painting on them. Ken then went home, took a white bed sheet, painted his painting on it, and took it back to the sheet company. The bed sheet he painted looked so fabulous that the sheet company immediately placed a large order. It's not enough to come up with great ideas, you have to act to turn those ideas into reality. In this lens you will find more information on how to apply these steps to become more creative. What Does It Mean to Be More Creative? A Definition of Creativity Dr. Edward de Bono is a leading authority in the field of creative thinking and is the originator of the term lateral thinking. He explains that creativity is a skill that everyone can learn. He adds that even if some people may be better at being creative than others, like some people are better at playing tennis than others, when specific techniques are applied it becomes possible for anyone to generate new ideas in any field. While Dr. de Bono emphasizes creativity techniques, Rice Freeman- Zachery, author of Living the Creative Life: Ideas and Inspiration from Working Artists, has this to say about how to be more creative: Instead of looking at the world as it is, look at everything as being full of possibilities. Instead of seeing what is, look for what could be. If you're an artist, you look at everything as a possibility and inspiration because you know that ideas can come from anywhere. Psychotherapist and creativity coach Dr. Eric Maisel, Ph.D. has been working with creative and performing artists for over twenty years and has written many books teaching others to be more creative, including 471
  • 154. Coaching the Artist Within, Fearless Creating, A Writer's Paris, The Van Gogh Blues, and others. He explains that everyone wishes to create, but some people nurture and honor this desire, while for others the urge to create is dimmed. Dr. Maisel encourages poets, filmmakers, human resource specialists, biochemists, and everyone else to make creativity their religion. There are also those, such as Dr. Caroline Myss-a pioneer in the field of energy medicine and human consciousness-who argue that creativity is not just an artistic or intellectual inclination; instead, working with your creative energy is as essential to your health and overall well- being as breathing and eating. She has this to say about the creative energy: Creative energy is a basic survival instinct; it motivates us to become part of society, to become productive, bring things to life, and to distinguish ourselves from others by what we make, the crafts we pursue, the skills we develop in business or in cultivating friendships, the entrepreneurial ideas we conceive, the problems we resolve, and the children or communities we birth and nurture. (This was taken from the introduction of my ebook, How to Be More Creative - A Handbook for Alchemists). Create Mindmaps Write down the issue at the center of the paper. Now draw branches leading out from the central issue which represent the main associations that come from thinking of this issue, and smaller branches leading out from these for sub-associations. Use lots of colors pictures. Follow Pablo Picasso's lead: first learn the rules, and then break them. creativity tip Ask Yourself Lots of Questions Increase Your Happiness With a Solution-Focused Mindset 472
  • 155. Whenever you have a problem, there are two approaches that you can take: You can focus on the proble... Writing Tips: Stop Waiting for Your Muse and Get to Work Be More Creative by Stealing, Re-conceptualizing, and Recombining Ideas That Already Exist How many times have you heard the following: ?There?s nothing new under the sun.? It turns out that... Creativity Tip Go Back to Basics Pick up a pen or pencil and paper. There's something about a good old- fashioned pen and a stack of papers, or a brand new notebook, that gets the creative juices flowing. Return to Basics The simplicity of the typewriter is alluring to writers who may be overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) by increasingly elaborate technology. A typewriter is also appealing in its transparency - whack a key, and watch the typebar smack a letter onto a piece of paper. Try figuring that out with a laser printer. Many people also find typewriters charming ambassadors of a bygone era. Important! Awaken your sense of wonder. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way suggests that once a week, for at least an hour, you take yourself on some small festive adventure. Explore something new, try something you've always wondered about. The Basic Tools Creativity Tip Remember there is more than one right answer. One of the worst aspects of formal education is the insistence it places on finding the correct answer. 473
  • 156. Important! Edward de Bono Dr. Edward de Bono is a leading authority in the field of creative thinking and is the originator of the term lateral thinking. Lateral thinking involves approaching problems from diverse, unexpected angles and from different perspectives. Dr. de Bono meant to differentiate lateral thinking-in which you nudge the mind to make sudden turns- from vertical thinking, which is logical and sequential thinking. He has written over 50 books in the field of creativity and thinking. Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats 1. White Hat - State the facts and figures 2. Red Hat - State the emotions. 3. Black Hat -State the negatives. Use judgment and caution. 4. Yellow Hat - State the positives. 5. Green Hat - Ideas that come by seeing things in a new light. Suggest alternatives, proposals, provocations. 6. Blue Hat - Sum up what has been learned. It controls the debate. To see it in action. Creativity Tip Stop second-guessing yourself and try not to focus on how others will perceive your work. Creativity Tip Study and experiment with several forms of media: music, photography, writing or drawing. You can often learn concepts from all of these media which you can apply to other disciplines. Important! 474
  • 157. The state of mind of the photographer while creating is a blank . . . [But] It is a very active state of mind, ready at an instant to grasp an image, yet with no image pre-formed in it at any time. Creativity Tip Create a swipe file. This is basically a collection of items of interest which you found noteworthy and which you can refer to in order to help jump-start your creativity. Important! Borrow Ideas From Others but Make the End Product Your Own Michael de Meng has the following to say about creativity: In my view, creativity is a rampant thievery mixed with reinterpretation . . . I see the act [of creativity] as being like a martini shaker, in which you add all those ingredients that you like or admire. Three parts Picasso, two parts Joseph Cornell, seven parts Mexican Folk Art, a splash of abstract expressionism, and garnish with a twist of Daidism. Creativity Tip Be curious about everything. You never know when random, seemingly unrelated ideas will come together to form a new idea. Important! Curiosity is looking for lots of possibilities. Albert Einstein illustrated this point when asked what made him different from other people. He responded: most people stop looking when they find the proverbial needle in the haystack. I would continue looking to see if there were other needles. “Art is work. It is not inspiration. Twyla Tharp” Twyla Tharp - The Creative Habit Discipline is essential to the flourishing of one's creativity. 475
  • 158. Twyla Tharp, one of America's greatest choreographers, began her career in 1965, and in the ensuing years has created more than 130 dances for her own company as well as for the Joffrey Ballet, the New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, London's Royal Ballet, and American Ballet Theater. She writes about the creative process in her book, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life. Creativity is not a gift from the gods given to select individuals, says Twyla Tharp. She maintains that it's the product of preparation and effort, and it is within reach of everyone who wants to achieve it. All it takes is the willingness to make creativity a habit, an integral part of your life: In order to be creative, you have to know how to prepare to be creative. (Ballerina Resting, courtesy of Ruth Christie). The Creative Habit Creativity Tip Exercise during your lunch break. Important! Abraham Maslow The key question isn't What fosters creativity? But it is why in God's name isn't everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be not why do people create? But why do people not create or innovate? We have got to abandon that sense of amazement in the face of creativity, as if it were a miracle if anybody created anything. 476
  • 159. 100 Simple Ways to Be More Creative html I cheerfully present to you Idea Champions' time-tested, easy-to-read, highly compelling, imminently practical 100 Ways to Be More Creative on the Job. 1. Find the most creative people at work and ask for their ideas. 2. Brainstorm daily with a co-worker. 3. Tape record your ideas on your commute to and from work. 4. Present your biggest challenge to a child. 5. Take your team off-site for a day. 6. Listen more carefully to your inner muse. 7. Play music in your office. 8. Go for a daily brainstorming walk. 9. Ask someone to collaborate with you on your favorite project. 10. Exercise during your lunch break. 11. Turn on a radio at random times and listen for a message. 12. Invite your customers and vendors to brainstorming sessions. 13. Think of five other ways to define your challenge. 14. Assign a fun fairy to each of your meetings. 15. Reward yourself, in specific ways, for small successes. 16. Introduce odd catalysts into your daily routine. 17. Get out of the office more regularly 18. Play with fun toys in your office whenever you get stuck. 19. Take more naps. 20. Take the train, instead of driving to work. 21. Work in cafes. 22. Transform your assumptions into How can I? questions. 23. Write down as many ideas as you can think of in five minutes 24. Redesign your office. 25. Take regular daydreaming breaks. 26. Dissolve turf boundaries. 27. Initiate cross-functional brainstorming sessions. 477
  • 160. 28. Arrive earlier to the office than anyone else. 29. Turn a conference room into an upbeat think tank room. 30. Read odd books -- having nothing to do with your work. 31. Block off time on your calendar for creative thinking. 32. Take a shower in the middle of the day. 33. Keep an idea notebook at your desk or in your briefcase. 34. Decorate your office with inspiring quotes and images. 35. Create a headline of the future and the story behind it. 36. Choose to be more creative. 37. Recall a time in your life when you were very creative. Feel it. 38. Wander around a bookstore while thinking about a challenge. 39. Trust your instincts more. 40. Immerse yourself in your most exciting project. 41. Open a magazine and free associate off of a word or image. 42. Write down your ideas when you first wake up in the morning. 43. Ask yourself what the simplest solution is. 44. Get fast feedback from people you trust. 45. Conduct more experiments. 45. Ask yourself what the market wants or needs. 46. Ask What's the worst thing that could happen if I fail? 47. Pilot your idea, even if it's not completely ready. 48. Work in the cracks -- small bursts of creative energy. 49. Incubate (sleep on it). 50. Test existing boundaries -- and then test them again. 51. Schedule time with the smartest people at work. 52. Visit your customers more frequently. 53. Benchmark your competitors -- then adapt their successes. 54. Enroll your boss or peers in your most fascinating project. 55. Imagine you already know the answer. What would it be? 56. Create ground rules with your team that foster new thinking. 57. Ask stupid questions. Then ask some more. 58. Challenge everything you do. 59. Give yourself a deadline -- and stick to it 60. Look for three alternatives to every solution you originate. 61. Write your ideas in a notebook and review them regularly. 478
  • 161. 62. Make connections between seemingly disconnected things. 63. Use creative thinking techniques. 64. Play with the Free the Genie cards. 65 Use similes and metaphors when describing your ideas. 66. Have more fun. Be sillier than usual. 67. Ask How can I accomplish my goal in half the time? 68. Take a break when you are stuck on a problem. 69. Think of how your biggest hero might approach your challenge. 70. Declare Friday afternoons a no-email zone. 71. Ask five people how they would improve your idea. 72. Create a wall of images that inspires you. 73. Do more of what already helps you be creative off the job. 74. Laugh more. worry less. 75. Remember your dreams -- then write them down. 76. Ask impossible questions. 77. Eliminate all unnecessary bureaucracy and admin tasks. 78. Create a compelling vision of what you want to accomplish. 79. Work on hottest project every day, even if only 5 minutes. 80. Do whatever is necessary to create a sense of urgency. 81. Go for a walk anytime you're stuck. 82. Meditate or do relaxation exercises. 83. Take more breaks. 84. Go out for lunch with your team more often. 85. Eat lunch with a different person each day. 86. Ask for forgiveness, not permission. 87. Invite an outside facilitator to lead a brainstorming session. 88. Take more risks outside of the office (i.e. surf, ski, box etc.) 89. Ask for help when you need it. 90. Know that it is possible to make a difference. 91. Find a mentor. 92. Acknowledge all your successes at the end of each day. 93. Create an idea piggy bank and make deposits daily. 94. Have shorter meetings. 95. Try the techniques in Awake at the Wheel 96. Don't listen to or watch the news for 24 hours. 479
  • 162. 97. Make drawings of your ideas. 98. Bring your project or challenge to mind before going to bed. 99. Divide your idea into component parts. Then rethink each part. 100. Post this list near your desk and read it daily. Ebook: How to Be More Creative - A Handbook for Alchemists by Marelisa Fábrega Here's more praise for How to Be More Creative - A Handbook for Alchemists : The word 'alchemist' - what does that mean? A person who turns something common into something special. In this ebook, you'll find a myriad of ways in which to creatively apply this in your life - and really become an alchemist! Marelisa has created a fantastic ebook which is a resource on many, many ways to get the creative thought process really revved up in your life! And what truly makes this great is both the number of different methods on being creative, and the easy to follow understanding of each of these. If you're looking to really increase your creativity factor, then this is just what you can use! Marelisa has created an amazing resource on creativity techniques that everyone can apply to all areas of their life right away! (Lance from The Jungle of Life, Wisconsin, USA) Creativity Tip Constantly ask: What if . . . Why not . . . How else can this be done? How can this be improved? What other alternatives are there? Important! “I didn't fail 10,000 times. I successfully eliminated 10,000 combinations that wouldn't work.” 480
  • 163. Thomas Edison Edison was awarded a total of 1,093 patents. Among his most famous inventions were the phonograph, the mimeograph, fluoroscope, alkaline storage battery, dictating machine and motion picture cameras and projectors. Where do ideas come from? A + B = C To have a creative idea simply connect two unrelated things; that is, A+B= C. How to Unleash Your Creativity? In a discussion with Scientific American Mind executive editor Mariette DiChristina, three noted experts on creativity, each with a very different perspective and background, reveal powerful ways to unleash your creative self. The most potent muse of all is our own inner child. - Stephen Nachmanovitch” Cultivate Your Creativity: Connect With Your Inner Child Charles Baudelaire described genius as no more than childhood recaptured at will. Creativity is also something that you can recapture at will by getting in touch with your inner child. If it's been a long time since you invited your inner child out to play, you can reconnect with him or her by doing the following: 1. Color. Buy crayons and a coloring book-the big thick kind filled with all kinds of images that you loved as a child--and sit down for an afternoon of coloring. It's OK if you color outside the lines. 2. Play. Spend some time thinking about what you loved to play with as a child. Did you play jacks, draw with chalk on the sidewalk, build a fortress with Legos, or create baked goods with Play-Doh. 3. Go to the playground. Play hopscotch, jump rope, climb on the swings, and climb on the jungle gyms. 481
  • 164. 4. Draw your goal. Grab some crayons, markers or colored pencils. Imagine a goal that you'd like to meet, and draw a picture of what it will look like when you've reached this goal. 5. Go for a walk.Go on a nature walk and look at everything with wonder like a child would. Be curious and aware. Gather leaves, feathers, rocks, and flowers and take them home with you. 6. Make a cootie catcher. Did you forget how? Go here. 7. Read Dr. Seuss' books. Few things will help you reconnect with your inner child as much as sitting down and rhyming along with the magical Dr. Seuss. (Little Artist, courtesy of bo_gazi). Creativity Tip Disrupt your habitual thought patterns. Take a different route to work, try food you've never eaten before, listen to a music genre you normally don't listen to, and so on. Important! Creativity Technique: Play When we engage in what we are naturally suited to do, our work takes on the quality of play and it is play that stimulates creativity. -- Linda Naiman Tim Brown, CEO of Ideo Look at Some of the Things They Do at Google These are some of the things they do at Google--a company known for innovation--to stimulate their employee's creativity: Creative Workspaces How to Make Your Desk a More Creative Space 482
  • 165. Do you consider yourself a creative person? Find out how to make your workplace desk a creative workspace that will inspire and amplify your creative talents. This video is funny, informational, and inspirational. Make your common desk, uncommonly special and unique Creative Cubicles Every office has one. From the desk that looks like a tropical oasis to a workspace that would make Martha Stewart blush -- we want to see the creative cubicles that occupy Your office. Writer's Rooms Take a look at the rooms in which some of the world's best literature has been written. Make Your Workspace More Creative One of the best things you can do to increase your creativity is to create an environment which gets your creative juices flowing. In order to help inspire you in putting together a workspace you can look forward to entering each day, below you'll find pictures of creative cubicles from CNN's iReports, as well as photographs of the spaces in which some of the world's most famous writers have created some of their best work. Challenge Your Assumptions Creative Technique Farmers in Japan figured out how to grow square-shaped watermelons. A fat, round watermelon takes up a lot of room. Instead of just assuming that watermelons had to be round, they began inserting melons in square glass cases while they were still growing on the vine. The end result was a square watermelon which fits conveniently in the refrigerators in which they're transported. What assumptions are you making that are stopping you from finding a solution to your problem? (Source.) 483
  • 166. Learn to notice patterns. The genius, said American painter Ben Shahn, is merely the one able to detect the pattern amidst the confusion of details just a little sooner than the average man. Lincoln Steffens Nothing is done. Everything in the world remains to be done or done over. The greatest picture is not yet painted, the greatest play isn't written, the greatest poem is unsung. There isn't in all the world a perfect railroad, nor a good government, nor a sound law. Physics, mathematics, and especially the most advanced and exact of the sciences are being fundamentally revised. . . Psychology, economics, and sociology are awaiting a Darwin, whose work in turn is awaiting an Einstein. Tell the World: I'm an Artist Creativity Tip Strive for Excellence, Not Perfection Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough . . . that we should try again. (Julia Cameron) “You are in an ecstatic state to such a point that you feel as though you almost don't exist.” Creativity and Flow Flow can happen in any domain or activity. The main requirement is that your skills so perfectly match the demands of the activity that all self-consciousness disappears. If your skills are not up to the challenge, you experience anxiety; if your skills are too great, you experience boredom. One of the greatest benefits of the flow state is that it's the most creative state to be in. Here's a quote about the flow state: 484
  • 167. Being in the flow is definitely worth striving for. I know when I'm there. I'm tapped into something that is far beyond my ability. - Aleta Pippin (painter) Jack Foster: The key message is that all of us are very creative. If we simply allow ourselves to be more creative we will be more creative. Most of the time we hold ourselves back, but if we can convince ourselves that we are a fountain of good ideas we will become a fountain of good ideas. The same is true in all facets of life, certainly in all facets of our personality. We make ourselves. We invent ourselves. Creativity Tip Break it down. Break a problem down into its smallest components and rebuild it from the ground up, questioning at every step whether that's the best way to do it. Use Visual Thinking Learn to Draw Create Mandalas Mandalas-from the Sanskrit for circle-have been used for thousands of years in many cultures around the globe as a tool for spiritual growth, creativity, and physical and emotional healing. Constraints and Limitations Composer Stephen Sondheim once said: If you ask me to write a song about the ocean, I'm stumped. But if you tell me to write a ballad about a woman in a red dress falling off her stool at three in the morning, I'm inspired. Stimulating Creativity with Constraints and Limits While thinking outside the box is often used as a synonym for creativity, thinking inside the box with limitations of time, money and other resources often helps the mind to focus and respond with 485
  • 168. innovative solutions to problems. Composer Stephen Sondheim once said: If you ask me to write a song about the ocean, I'm stumped. But if you tell me to write a ballad about a woman in a red dress falling off her stool at three in the morning, I'm inspired. Two examples of how you can allow your creativity to soar by setting limits are the Three Units for a Good Tragedy explained below and The Houdini Solution explained in the next text module.: The Three Unities for A Good Tragedy In an interview published on Heads up! on Organizational Innovation, creativity guru Roger von Oech explains that constraints force the innovator to think and look more deeply for opportunities. As an example, he explains that he was watching a Roman Polanski's 1962 film titled Knife in the Water. One of the DVD's special features had an interview with Polanski and his screenwriter in which they both stated that they forced themselves to stick with Aristotle's three unities for a good tragedy: - All action takes place within 24 hours; - All action occurs in the same place; and - There is a limited number of characters This made them think more deeply about plot and character rather than taking cinematic shortcuts. That is, these three limits helped them create a much better film than they would have put together had they not set any limits. The Houdini Solution This lens by Ernie Schenck, author of The Houdini Solution, explains that creative breakthroughs occur because of limitations, not in spite of them. 486
  • 169. To Be More Creative, Think Within the Box Ernie Schenck is an advertising and creative director, as well as the author of the book The Houdini Solution. He argues that the best way to come up with great ideas is not to think outside of the box, but instead to think within the box. He explains this concept in his squidoo lens, houdinisolution, and quotes psychologist and creativity expert Rollo May as follows: Creativity requires limits, for the creative act arises out of the struggle of human beings and against that which limits them. Schenck argues that you don't need to wait for the muse to appear or for your life circumstances to change; instead, work with the circumstances in which you currently find yourself and use any existing parameters or limitations as a vehicle to give your creativity direction. He adds that by the time you finish reading The Houdini Solution you'll understand the following: The biggest secret of truly productive creative people is that they embrace obstacles, they don't run from them. In their mind, every setback is an opportunity, every limitation is a chance. Where others see a wall, they see a doorway. One of the examples used by Schenck to illustrate his point is that of Jack White, a guitarist and songwriter and the leader of the Grammy Award-winning rock band, White Stripes. These are some of Jack White's self-imposed restrictions: * No computers. * No digital recording technology. * No bass guitars. * No studio equipment invented after 1968. * No clothes that aren't red, white or black. This forced creative captivity nurtures innovation and results in music that is more centered on talent than on technology. 487
  • 170. How many of us are waiting for something to happen or for some obstacle to be removed before embarking on our creative endeavors? Start using any limitations in your life as a way to mold your creativity, instead of using them as excuses for not getting started. Small Spark of Insight v. Sudden Blast of Inspiration An Excerpt From How to Be More Creative - A Handbook for Alchemists Here's an excerpt from my ebook, How to Be More Creative - A Handbook for Alchemists, which did not actually make it into the ebook, simply because I wanted to limit the size of the document (it ended up being 123 pages long). Excerpt: R. Keith Sawyer, Washington University psychologist and author of Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation, argues that the sudden creative flash is a byproduct of doing the work. In an interview for Time magazine he explains that researchers use cleverly designed experiments to study the creative flash. In one experiment, subjects were asked to look at words that came up one at a time on a computer screen and to think of the one word that was associated with all of them. After each word they had to give their best guess. Here's an illustration: red - nut - bowl - cup - basket - jelly - fresh - cocktail - candy - pie - baking - salad - tree - fly Although most of the test subjects indicated that they had no idea what the answer was until about the twelfth word, their guesses got progressively closer to the correct solution: fruit. That is, even when an idea seems sudden, our minds have actually been working on it all along. He admonishes that we should get to work instead of waiting for that one full-blown moment of inspiration. As we work-by gathering data, letting the ideas ferment, conducting experiments, and gradually 488
  • 171. modifying our approach-we begin to get those tiny little sparks of insight, one after the other. “Includes enough fun and informative resources to take your creativity as far as you want to take it.” Creative Thinking Technique: The Idea Box You can overcome routine thinking and stimulate creative thought by using specific techniques that will help both stimulate and constrain your mind so that it can solve problems more effectively and generate more ideas. The Idea Box is one of the most interesting creative techniques that there is. Idea Box - A Morphological Analysis Idea Box is a Morphological analysis technique developed by Fritz Zwicky in the 1940's and 50's as a method for systematically structuring and investigating the total set of relationships contained in multi-dimensional problems. It's an extension of attribute listing. Variations of this technique are described by Arthur VanGundy in his book Techniques of Structured Problem Solving and Michael Michalko in Thinkertoys. You choose the number of parameters for your challenge and list variations for each parameter. By combining different variations of the parameters you create new ideas. The box is a matrix in which you insert all of the different parameters so that you can see them clearly. If you choose 10 elements with 10 possible variations for each, there will be 10 billion possible combinations, so keep this in mind so that you're idea box isn't too complex. The general procedure to implement this technique is the following: Step 1. List all the major elements involved in the issue or problem. For example, the major elements of a product you're trying to improve could be the material, the shape, and added features. Step 2. Each variable is then listed under each element. So under material the variables could be wood, steel, plastic, and so on. 489
  • 172. Step 3. Start combining the variables together to try to come up with some novel ideas. Step 4. Analyze the ideas and decide which one to pursue. Creativity Tip Hang a sign in a prominent place where you'll be sure to see it every day that says Create or die!. The Big Dip Idea Sandbox has a free problem solving tool called The Big Dig. You just click to scoop suggestions, such as: Consider double-checking that you're solving the right problem. Is there a more significant one you're overlooking? Gator Break Take a Gator Break. Here's one: If at first an idea is not absurd, then there's no hope for it. - Albert Einstein Reconsider the old. Redesign something you see all the time (a stop sign, a penny, etc.). This forces you to look at old things in a new way- and challenges you to try different design approaches. Creativity Tip Follow Ernest Hemingway's advice: Write the truest sentence you know. Writer's Block More Ways to Get Unblocked Mixing It Up Down Under: Creativity Unblocked When I can't begin or when I can't progress it is usually my inner perfectionist raising her ugly-but-well-maintained head. I have become too precious about the project, sometimes it is just an idea but already I see it as sooooo wonderful that I could not possibly do it justice. I become blocked. 490
  • 173. Good To Know Issue What is your biggest stumbling block to creativity (or expressing yourself artistically) and what works for you in overcoming these setback(s)? Important! There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. Mind Maps: Everything You Need to Know A mind map is a whole-brain method for generating and organizing ideas which is largely inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's approach to note- taking. Creativity Tip Feel the fear, and then do it anyway. “I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life -- and I've never let it keep me . . .” Source: Marelisa Fabrega blogs at http://abundance-blog.marelisa- 491
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  • 175. 3.16 TURNING PROBLEMS INTO OPPORTUNITIES One of the most insidious, unproductive, icky ways we use time is complaining about our problems—especially when we should be thinking about them as new opportunities. The Difference Between Problems and Opportunities A problem is just a problem because we think of it that way. Stuff happens. If we don’t like the stuff, we label it a problem and try to jam the world back into the way it was going before. If we do like the stuff, we label it an opportunity and try to take advantage of it. The difference between a problem and an opportunity is what we do with it, not what it is to begin with. How to Turn Problems into Opportunities Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. Write “problems” in the left-hand column. Write “opportunities” in the right. List your problems down the left. Now comes the fun part. Go down the right column and write down how each problem could be some kind of opportunity. How to Find the Opportunity: What New Abilities Does It Bring? This takes some thought. One way of finding the opportunity is: ask yourself what new capabilities your problem gives you. If the problem is that your car broke down, it gives you the ability to sell car parts on eBay. It also gives you the chance to learn to use public transportation, which could give you a lot of time to read and relax while you travel. Though you may or may not want this capability, your problem does give it to you. Use a New Opportunity to Eliminate Old Behaviors Your opportunity may lie not in new capabilities, but in the chance to eliminate old behaviors. If your problem is a dead car, you’re saved 493
  • 176. from having to keep the tank full, having to take it in for regular maintenance, and having to explain to your friends why going “Vrrruuum” when you start your Toyota Corolla really does make it seem like a Porsche 911 Turbo-S. To you. Only to you. New Opportunities Give You Excuses to Make Changes The difference between a problem and an opportunity is what we do with it, not what it is to begin with. Sometimes a problem gives you excuses. When your leg gets torn off in a unfortunate rice picking accident, you can no longer be expected to take out the trash. “I have no legs” is really hard to argue with. Then you can hire housecleaners and spend your time finally writing that book you always wanted to write. (Just don’t call it Get-it-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More. That’s my book, coming from St. Martin’s Press in September 2010. Order it now!) If your house burns down and you’re well insured, at last you have an excuse to build your dream home… as long as you were insured with replacement value insurance. A friend of mine was diagnosed with AIDS. He used that as an excuse to quit his job and start doing things he loves. It’s about ten years later. He’s still in great spirits, and has spent the last ten years doing all the things in life he never previously let himself do--and finding ways to get paid for them at the same time. As bad as his problem was, it gave him the push to revolutionize his life. New Opportunities Lead You to New People and Places Often, problems bring you to new communities and causes. Hair loss problems? You can join a hair loss support group. You and your new friends will have lots to talk about. Just not hair. Some people turn problems into activism. My friend Carl was frustrated with the policies his local congressman was voting for in his district. With no prior political experience, he ran for office and won. Now he’s a full-time state senator. His problem led to a whole new career! 494
  • 177. Turn a Problem into a New Career Opportunity If your problem is one you think others may share, you can think about solving it for everyone, and it could turn into a huge opportunity. That is how many entrepreneurs get started. Scott Cook was frustrated with the poor quality of software designed to help him balance his checkbook. He decided to start a software company to fix the problem. His company Intuit is now a multi-billion-dollar success story. Sometimes the Opportunity is Surrender The opportunity a problem can bring is surrendering to the inevitable. I did the Get-it-Done Guy episode on not giving up your dreams because I’d been bitten by the musical theater bug but never had the courage to follow it. I visited New York, met several actors, producers, and directors, and realized the competition would be brutal. The dancing alone would be a challenge (ask me to tell you the story about the bone saw someday when we have more time). Dancing, a challenge? I love a challenge! I hired an acting coach to help me prepare audition monologues. At our first meeting, she explained that pretty much no one, no matter how talented, actually makes a living at acting, so I should get that notion out of my head immediately. FREEDOM! Once I discarded the idea that this had to be a career, the possibilities for musical theater as a hobby opened up. Stay tuned for the Get-it-Done Guy one-man musical. And no, I’m not joking. Sometimes surrendering to the inevitable leads to the very thing you thought was impossible. Now it’s time for me to turn a problem into an opportunity. The problem: I’m staring at a picture of Bernice and Melvin in wet, clinging clothes, at a water park. There must be an opportunity here. Somewhere. Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life! 495
  • 178. SAMPLE EXAMPLE: Problem Opportunity I look younger than my age and geeky enough that no one takes me seriously. Craft my image around fun, humor, and a younger generation. People don’t take me seriously when they first meet me. Develop public speaking skills so they have no choice but to sit and listen to my ideas long enough to realize that if they close their eyes, I’m worth taking seriously. I have way too much writing to do every week and it’s driving me bonkers. I retain rights to most of the writing, so it can form the basis for another book, or a series of white papers, or an animated series starring Nicholas Cage as the pile of stationery. I haven’t yet recorded my episode this week. Get back on a wake-up-at-6:30-am schedule and record before my workout. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Albert Einstein Trouble is only opportunity in work clothes. Henry J. Kaiser Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Thomas Alva Edison Life's up and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals – Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want. Marsha Sinetar 496
  • 179. We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations. Charles R. Swindoll Six Powerful Tips 1. Start to believe you can. Think positively. Most people simply do not get what they want because they have no courage to believe that they can achieve it. 2. Shift your focus. Don't focus on the problems, focus on finding opportunities. Don't talk about a problem; talk about an opportunity. When you see a problem as a problem you only attract more problems. If you wish to attract opportunities instead, see the problem as an opportunity. There is an old saying that goes like this: There are no problems, only opportunities. 3. Think of what it is you really want to achieve. Write a statement in a form Wouldn't it be nice if.... Commit to it to engage your subconscious mind. 4. Think about how you can accomplish your goal. When you think of possible solutions you force your mind and subconscious mind to find opportunities that will help you achieve the desired results. 5. Take different views of the situation. Having looked at the scene from your view, look at it from different perspectives, try each of these views: opportunist, entrepreneur, dreamer, optimist, child, strategist, architect. 6. Make it a habit. See every problem as an opportunity. As you regularly start to look for opportunities in a problem, as you continue to think of finding opportunities you will begin to attract more opportunities. 497
  • 180. 498
  • 181. Sources: Stever Robbins, author of Get-It Done Guy's 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More dream.aspx Turning obstacles into opportunities, sample worksheet – obstacles m_2opportunities.html es.html 499
  • 182. 3.17 SUMMARIZE, EVALUATE AND WRAP UP In line with paraphrasing, when we reflect the content of a message, there are moments when it is essential to summarize the content of a complete story, conversation or session. Such logical moments are: - at the start or end of a session - at the transition point to a new phase - when we want to encourage coachee by highlighting what he has already achieved.. - before evaluating a conversation, session, series of sessions, phase or project What is summarizing? Why is it useful and how best do it? I am sure you have experienced the frustration of walking away from a conversation with your head spinning and you're thinking:  What on earth did we discuss?  What is expected from me?  What did I agree to do?  When am I supposed to do this?  When, how and to whom do I report about this?  Where did we say we would meet?  Etc… The skill of summarizing is an essential yet often overlooked step in the communication process. It allows you to avoid all post conversation confusion and to make that none of the parties involved walk away from a conversation hoping they can remember all the important things discussed and in particular any agreements made. You need to be completely confident that you and the person you have been communicating with are both 100% clear on where to from here! 500
  • 183. In terms of verbal communication, a summary is a brief rundown covering the main points covered in your conversation, made to:  Check each person's understanding of what has been said to that point  Note any important points from the conversation that you feel need to be highlighted  Bring the conversation to a close  Restate any contracts or agreements made during the conversation  Refresh each others memory of what has been discussed It is vital when summarizing that you are as concise as possible! However, there are 3 ELEMENTS that a summary MUST contain: o Important FACTS obtained from the other person o Important INFORMATION given to the other person o Any CONTRACTS or AGREEMENTS made with the other person THE THREE STEP PROCESS OF SUMMARIZING STEP ONE: Introduce the summary. To do so, you could say: So Tom, let's just review what we have discussed today……… STEP TWO: Summarize the discussion. Only mention those things that are critical and necessary and make sure you include the 3 ELEMENTS that must be included in a summary, i.e. Facts, Information and Agreements. 501
  • 184. STEP THREE: Check the other persons understanding. This is vital to a successful outcome. In order to be sure you have summarized correctly, check that the other person agrees that your summary is indeed an accurate account of what has just been discussed. You could do this simply by asking: So Tom, does that sound OK to you? Summary Examples -1- Well John, it's been great talking with you today, I've really enjoyed our discussion and having this opportunity to explore this business with you. Just to wrap up I'd like to review what we covered and make sure we are both clear about where to go from here. Firstly, thanks for taking the time to tell me about your short and long term goals. You mentioned that you would like to …. within the next 6 months, and within 12 months you would like to …, so that you can …. In response to hearing your goals I have … We have discussed today so that you can review this over the next 2 days. We have agreed that we will meet at my place next Thursday 10.00 am with the view to … How does that sound John? 502
  • 185. -2- Well Karen, it's been great chatting - thanks for calling me about … We've covered a bit in our conversation this morning, so I thought it might be helpful if I just recap quickly so we are both clear about where to go from here. You told me that you have been looking for …. In response to this I have referred you to 2 websites that I believe will provide you with all the information you need to complete your research and assist you to determine if … . We have agreed that I will phone you on Monday at 7.30PM so that we can chat further. At this time I can assist you … How does that sound Karen? -3- Hey Francis, it's been great catching up today and working through your action plan. You are always such a pleasure to work with as you really show a strong commitment to... As is always the case, we have covered a lot of information in session, so I think it might be a good idea to quickly recap so we are both clear about what we've covered and what we both now need to do. Firstly, thanks for updating me on your progress with … of your plan and for providing supporting evidence of the tasks you've completed. It is great that you have demonstrated competence in all the skills on level one of this plan and you are starting to see the results of your growing skill level translated into specific results in your life. 503
  • 186. Now that you have completed level one, I have provided you with the competency framework for level two, so you can start to familiarize yourself with this over the next week. I have also given you the next level of your coaching workbook so you can start to work on this. We have agreed that we will have your next coaching appointment in one week, on Tuesday at 8.00PM at my house as you are anxious to make a start on level two of your action plan. How does that sound Francis? A summary presents to the coachee a brief synopsis of his story, coming from someone else, making it clear to him at what point he is at the moment and/or how far he has come. A good summary is short and gets to the essence of what the coachee has said. In the discussion there are a few logical moments to summarize, such as at the beginning and at the end of a session. But it can also be during a session, when moving from one phase to another in the counselling process. The summary should serve to evaluate the situation and it can stimulate the coachee to add to your interpretation or to correct or change it. Summarizing can have a positive effect on the coachee, who can hear how far he has gotten up to then, and also that he has been heard and understood. Paraphrasing, summarizing and evaluating follow one another naturally. With paraphrasing you give the essence of what has just been said in a few sentences. Summarizing or evaluating can concern a whole session or even several sessions. You use it to clarify the situation is and to determine together how your coachee can proceed. It is also possible to have your coachee summarize what has been discussed. This shows the vision of the coachee, what has stuck in his mind, what is going on for him right now, or what he simply 'forgets'. 504
  • 187. At the start of a session. For example: Harry, let's have a look at how we are doing so far. Three weeks ago you came to see me for the first time because you noticed you couldn't concentrate at work anymore and you are afraid you will get fired. During our sessions we established that the relationship with your girlfriend influences your work substantially. Since you started living together you both really have had to get used to the new situation. Is there anything you would like to add to that? Another example: You've come to the conclusion that the last few years you've mainly put your energy in taking care of your children, in addition to the household. You got a lot of satisfaction out of that. But since your youngest has gone to school, you've got a lot of energy left and you have no real outlet for it , you feel you're going around in circles. What aspects should we still look at before we start looking for new goals or things to do? Another example: Bill, we've come a long way. We talked about your problems. What lies at the heart of the matter is that you start a lot of things, but you never really finish anything. The goal you set yourself was to begin something and this time finish it, no matter what, so you can get a sense of accomplishment. We devised an action plan for this. When could you start putting this plan into action? Keep track of time, preferably unobtrusively. Reserve five to ten minutes to round off the discussion. Look for a good moment to work towards ending the conversation. 505
  • 188. A possible end of a session could go as follow: This seems a good moment to summarise what we have done this session. To briefly summarize the session, you told me about .... and you had the insight that you... Then we explored some possible actions. Is there anything you would like to add to that? How did you experience the session? I suggest you let the session sink in for a while. Do reflect on it and see where that gets you.... Next time we could continue with this or else focus on what seems most relevant then. All right, shall we make an appointment for the next session. I suggest we meet again next week. Would the same day and time be ok for you? That is taken care of, then. I look forward to seeing you next week. At the end of the coaching process, one could conclude as follows: Let's see where you are now.. Five sessions ago you came to see me because you.... We discussed your situation thoroughly and you set yourself some new goals, we also made an action plan to achieve these goals. You are now well on your way with putting your plan into action and hearing you today gives me the impression you are fairly back on track. How do you see things? I am under the impression that you are now capable of continuing under your own steam with the action plan you set for yourself. I suggest we don't set anymore appointments right now and that you continue as planned. Of course, if at some stage you feel the need to come and see me again, then you could contact me and we could have another appointment. Thank you for trusting me and I wish you all the best! 506
  • 189. By suggesting the coachee think further about the session and that this might produce further insights, you encourage the coachee to take responsibility for what happens next. Remember, no matter how much coachees think (and often really believe) they are powerless and depending on you, everyone is in fact responsible for his own life and for his day-to-day choices. You're only guiding the coachee, never directing. Note that nobody can help what's being done to him by others (to a certain extent because sometimes you can let things happen), but everybody is responsible for how and when they deal with the consequences of other people's acts. Experience shows coachees often wait too long to come and see you again. So you can also make an appointment with the coachee for six months on, this could be a maintenance appointment. You can always point out that they could cancel the scheduled appointment sufficiently ahead of time, if they wouldn't have a need for it then. It maybe a good idea to give coachees you have worked well with, a few business cards which they could give to relatives, friends or colleagues, if they want to. A satisfied customer is the best advertising you can have. Evaluation is often looked at from four different levels (the Kirkpatrick levels) listed below. Note that the farther down the list, the more valid the evaluation. 1. Reaction - What does the learner feel about the coaching? 2. Learning - What facts, knowledge, etc., did the learner gain? 3. Behaviors - What skills did the learner develop, that is, what new information is the learner using on the job? 4. Results or effectiveness - What results occurred, that is, did the learner apply the new skills to the necessary tasks and, if so, what results were achieved? Although level 4, evaluating results and effectiveness, is the most desired result from training, it's usually the most difficult to 507
  • 190. accomplish. Evaluating effectiveness often involves the use of key performance measures -- measures you can see, e.g., faster and more reliable output from the machine after the operator has been trained, higher ratings on employees' job satisfaction questionnaires from the trained supervisor, etc. This is where following sound principles of performance management is of great benefit. Evaluation Questions 1. As you went through the coaching journey, how did it change things for you? 2. Did you get what you hoped to get from coaching? Were your expectations met? 3. What new strengths can you see you have developed from the experience? 4. Is there a way I could have been a better coach for you? 5. How did you surprise yourself through the coaching series? 6. What was the thing you benefited from and/or enjoyed the most? 7. What do you see as the major insights or breakthroughs you made through coaching? 8. What will you now do differently? 9. Are you comfortable writing a testimonial for me (the coach) on the overall experience and how could you word this? 10. If you are willing to endorse and recommend my coaching, but are stuck on how to write a testimonial, would you like me to help you with this? 11. Do you have an interest in adding coaching to your portfolio of skills or becoming a Life Coach yourself? Coaching and development activities can be evaluated before, during and after the activities.: 508
  • 191. Before the Implementation Phase  Will the selected coaching and development methods really result in the coachee's learning the knowledge and skills needed to perform the task or carry out the role? Have other coachees used the methods and been successful?  Consider applying the methods to a highly skilled coachee. Ask the coachee of their impressions of the methods.  Do the methods conform to the coachee's preferences and learning styles? Have the coachee briefly review the methods, e.g., documentation, overheads, etc. Does the coachee experience any difficulties understanding the methods? During Implementation of Coaching  Ask the coachee how they're doing. Do they understand what's being said?  Periodically conduct a short test, e.g., have the coachee explain the main points of what was just described to him, e.g., in the lecture.  Is the coachee enthusiastically taking part in the activities? Is he or she coming late and leaving early. It's surprising how often learners will leave a course or workshop and immediately complain that it was a complete waste of their time. Ask the coachee to rate the activities from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest rating. If the coachee gives a rating of anything less than 5, have the coachee describe what could be done to get a 5. After Completion of the Coaching  Give him or her a test before and after the coaching and development, and compare the results?  Interview him or her before and after, and compare results?  Watch him or her perform the task or conduct the role?  Assign an expert evaluator from inside or outside the organization to evaluate the learner's knowledge and skills? 509
  • 192. Sources: Wendy Buckingham: http://www.all-about-becoming-a-life- training.htm The Art of Counselling / De Kunst van het Counselen © Copyright Owner: Academy for Counselling and Coaching - The Netherlands - Paul van Schaik 510
  • 193. 3.18 ENACTING 3.18.1 Visualization and imagery Mental imagery, sometimes know as visualization, is the method used to recreate experiences in the mind using information from real events. This information is stored in our memory. Dreaming is a scattered form of imagery and the imagery. The visualization of interested here is structured imagery, where the athlete uses his or her imagination in a controlled fashion to recreate specific images for a precise goal. There is a difference between visualization and imagery. Imagery is full body sensation, i.e. see, feel, smell, and touch the experience. Visualization is only “seeing” the experience. It has been found that imagery is the more powerful of the two. There a three main ways of imagery. 1st person, you see and experience the event thorough your eyes as you are the competitor. 2nd person, you’re watching from the standpoint of a spectator or coach, and 3rd person, it’s like you’re watching a movie, detached from the entire event. Research has shown that the most effect perception to use is 1st person. In addition, research also shows that the more able an athlete is to control his or her imagined movements, emotions, sounds etc, the greater the potential performance enhancement. As for hypnosis, there’s nothing mythical about it…all hypnosis is self- hypnosis. The process of hypnosis is nothing more then getting the brain into the Alpha state. This is a state where there is direct access to the sub/un-conscious mind. Basically this is simply a method of inducing a state of heightened relaxation and awareness. And when achieved, provides an ideal mental environment in which to practice imagery. Indeed, the effects of imagery can be even more powerful when practiced in an Alpha state (hypnotic). 511
  • 194. How Imagery Works Research has shown that visualizing a specific muscle movement (in the mind) can create electrical activity in that same muscle even though there’s no actual movement in the muscle itself! In addition, the specific pattern of muscle activity closely resembles that seen during actual movement. So what does this mean?  Detailed and controlled imagery can stimulate electrical impulses in the desired muscles, and then those ‘primed’ muscles are ready for the physical activities that follow.  Physical skills can be maintained or even improved by proper imagery when practice isn’t possible, i.e. injury, off season, etc. Evidence also suggests that using imagery can even accelerate rehabilitation and recovery after injury. As for the best type of imagery to use, until recently evidence suggested it depends on what you’re trying to achieve. For the acquisition or improvement of sports skills, it was thought that using an external perspective (i.e. that of spectator) was best for learning or retaining those skills. For ‘psyching yourself up’ or priming yourself for an event, an internal perspective (i.e. imagining the feelings in the muscle) produced better results. Now, new research indicates that the best results are archived when using first person or internal perspective, although there are benefits from the second person perspective as well. Combined with other techniques, such as the use of music, imagery can enhance performance or enter the Alpha state. Combining both mental imagery practice and physical practice can be more effective than physical practice alone. Data from various studies have also shown that mental imagery conducted in a state of hypnosis (Alpha) results in far more vivid and realistic imagery than without. 512
  • 195. The practical use of imagery while in hypnotic (Alpha) state is numerous. It can be used for skill learning, preparation for an event, injury healing and what if scenarios. Imagery involves creating or recreating an event or a scene in one’s mind. For example, an athlete can use imagery to create a perfect swim performance, or he or she can call to mind a past successful performance. Imagery involves all the senses. When athletes are using imagery they should try to not only see but also to hear, feel and smell all that is going on in the imagined situation. For maximal benefits, the image needs to be as close to reality as possible. Research shows that imagery, if used purposefully, is a skill that enhances performance. But if the imagery becomes negative it can be a detriment to performance. Make athletes aware of the numerous ways that imagery can be used to help performance. Having this understanding will enable them to obtain the maximal benefits from imagery and will also enhance their motivation to practice and use imagery. Specifically, athletes can use imagery to do the following:  To see and feel success. Athletes can use imagery to see and feel themselves achieving goals and performing as they are capable of doing. Imagery also helps enhance self-confidence.  To motivate. Images of past and future competitions can be called upon to maintain persistence and intensity level while training and competing. This type of imaging provides an incentive for continued hard work.  To manage arousal. Athletes can use imagery to increase or decrease arousal. For example, athletes can visualize a peaceful, relaxing scene to decrease arousal whereas motivating images can be used to increase arousal as needed.  To learn skills and techniques. Athletes can use imagery as an additional form of practice to help them master a skill. For example, athletes can visualize themselves doing a perfect flip turn prior to actual execution. 513
  • 196.  To refocus. During practice and competition, many distractions and situations arise that prevent an optimal focus. Athletes can refocus themselves by using specific images to achieve the focus needed for optimal performance.  To prepare for competition. Athletes can use imagery to familiarize themselves with the competitive environment and to rehearse their performance or key elements of their performance. In addition, they can use imagery to prepare for various situations that may arise so they can develop strategies to cope with these stressors. If the situation does arise they will have rehearsed it in their minds and will know how to deal with it. Imagery is best learned and practiced in a quiet environment when the athlete is relaxed. It may be beneficial, therefore, to first discuss simple relaxation skills so that athletes learn how to relax their minds and bodies prior to learning how to use imagery. It is helpful to develop imagery skills by initially using non-threatening, non-stressful images. For example, direct athletes to imagine being on a beach: encourage them to see, smell, hear and feel the scene. The athlete can then progress to visualizing swimming skills and, finally, to imaging competitive situations. With a little forethought, imagery training can be easily incorporated into physical training instead of making it a separate component of preparation. For example, coaches can direct athletes to visualize the technique they are working on prior to executing the drills, to imagine hard repeats to help prepare them for the challenge, or to visualize upcoming competitions to enhance practice motivation. Athletes need to work on the following two components of imagery: control and vividness. Teach athletes to control their imagery (for example, seeing and feeling a perfect start as opposed to visualizing the slow start that has plagued them in past races) and to make their images clear, vivid, and as close to reality as possible (for example, smell the chlorine, hear their parents in the stands, and feel the muscle 514
  • 197. fatigue in the last 50 meters). With continued practice athletes can manipulate images to see and feel the perfect race and see and feel themselves responding to any adverse situations. They should be able to incorporate performance cues into their visualization to create a vivid image of how they want to perform. Visualization and imagery is powerful. Our brains do not know the difference between real and imagined success. We can convince ourselves that we have already successfully done something, if we are consistent in “reprogramming” our memory. And when it is backed up by the physical, for lack of a better word right now, preparation, it becomes almost magical in its applications. But you have to believe, you have to want to believe, need to believe. It doesn’t work if you only “sort of” want it to happen. You need the fire in your soul, hunger, call it whatever you want, to make the visualizations take hold and you must spend time at it every day. Old old principles of psycho-cybernetics and psycho-prophylaxis. Spend 21 days at this and you can set new patterns of behaviour and results. It really does work but it gets ignored a fair bit. You cannot measure it, attach a diode to it, track it with a machine that goes ping, so those of us who are used to taking measurements in scientifically quantifiable terms get a bit uncomfortable with the principles involved at times. The thing is: Once we have done something successfully the first time, it is far easier to repeat that thing. Our brains are pretty incredible. As long as you do not try to convince yourself that you will wake up on Day X to discover you have suddenly lost 20 pounds, grown 6″ and have been awarded a Nobel Prize for breathing, it will work. The goal still has to be believable and humanly achievable. Sources: 515
  • 198. as=RainbowLang=enmid=7901ItemId=4959 Michele Greb (http::/ Gregg Swanson ( me/) ( imagery-and-personal-success/) 516
  • 199. 3.18.2 Psychodrama Psychodrama is the use of action techniques to explore an individual's private and public world in a multi-dimensional way. It is also useful in helping the individual to express unexpressed feelings and to find and practice new ways to change unsatisfying situations in life. It is a safe environment for people to explore issues and concerns in a gentle, non confrontational manner. For non-therapists, this method of psychotherapy allows participants to view their conflicts experientially from a different perspective and thus resolution is faster and long lasting. For therapists and counselors, action methods can be incorporated into an existing therapeutic model providing a new theoretical framework to increase the effectiveness of clinical skills and facilitate spontaneity and creativity in the therapeutic process. Psychodrama explores an individual's world through action incorporating various modalities such as music, art, roleplay, story telling etc. to facilitate personal growth. Through enactment, clients enter the world of their issues in a safe non judgmental environment. During the enactment, they experience their world instead of talking about it. After each enactment, all participants share their stories. The power of the group sharing aids in the healing process. Psychodramatic interventions are designed to encounter people where they are, in the present and assist them in contacting and developing the best that is within themselves, whatever their functioning level. Psychodrama reinvests power in people. Source: Psychodrama Training Association 517
  • 200. Tips and Techniques Listed below are a few tips for using action and experiential methods in one to one therapy. An excellent resource is Stein, M.B. Callahan, M.L. (1982). The use of psychodrama in individual therapy. Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Psychodrama and Sociometry, 35, 118-129. WARM-UP, ACTION CLOSURE Each individual session will have a warm-up, action and a closure segment. During the warm-up, the client (re)gains, rapport with the therapist, discusses what issues will be the focus of the session, and readies him/herself for action. The action phase is the actual psychodramatic portion. The closure is the time succeeding the action when the client de-roles and cools down from the role playing. Occasionally, the therapist shares from his own life experience to assist the client in normalizing, in reducing isolation, or in presenting new possibilities for further thought and integration. If you choose to share with the client, remember that the sharing is directed toward the client's therapeusis. Sometimes directors and clients are skittish about moving into psychodrama in individual therapy. Here are some ways to gently warm yourself and the client up to action. 1) As the client is talking to you, shift your seat to the client's double position, explaining to the client that you want to be sure you understand fully what she means and feels. Once in the position, note that you'll be speaking as the client and that if what you say is correct the client is to repeat it; if incorrect, to change it. 2) As the client discusses a significant person in his life, ask him to imagine the person sitting in an empty chair in your office. Ask the client to describe the person in detail so that you can have a sense of him/her. Then ask the client to step over into the seat so that you can ask a couple of questions, again to better understand what the person is like. You can ask the client to choose a scarf or prop to symbolize the role. 518
  • 201. 3) When a client is recounting a story vividly and is saying first what she said and then what the other person said, ask her to shift her body position when she shifts roles. 4) If you have used artwork with a client, ask him to hold the work and speak from one of the elements of the drawing. You can interview him as the drawing. 5) When a client is uncertain about the future, ask her to imagine that there is an imaginary clock face on the floor, each of whose numbers represents a month in the future. Let's say it's currently April. Ask the person to stand at 3 (months from April), and tell you what's happening to her in July. 6) Time line: When a client begins to describe a long chain of events, ask him to stand and begin at a spot on the floor and walk forward (or around the perimeter of the space) and stop at specific, important times and tell you what happened on that date. You can use objects in the room, scarves, or labeled pieces of paper to mark off the times. When the exercise is complete ask the client to stand back and see if he can see any patterns; what sense he makes of all the events when considered from this perspective; or if any specific time is more crucial than the others. This may also be done at the beginning of treatment when taking a history from a client. 7) If a client remarks about or is drawn to an object in your office, ask her to reverse roles with the object and interview her in the role of the object. 8) When working with a client whose spontaneity or creativity are blocked, concretize the Canon of Creativity, marking out areas on your floor for Creativity, Spontaneity, the Conserve and the Warming Up Process. Ask the client to walk the Canon focusing on the issue (conserve) in relation to their spontaneity or creativity or where they are in the warming up process. SOCIAL ATOM Make the social atom a regular and routine part of the one-to-one experience. Remember the therapy maxim, Treat the 519
  • 202. individual as a group and the group as an individual. Think systemic. Assess, intervene and evaluate within the client's social network. Other useful tools are the Food Atom, Addictions Atom, Future Atom. HERE AND NOW Most of the session should be focused on the here and now. Remember that all enactment takes place in the here and now. Remember that scenes from the past, when enacted, take place in the present of that time; e.g., a client re-enacts an event that occurred when he was 22. In the scene, he is 22; not his current age of 40. SET UP THE SCENE As in a group psychodrama enactment, you will want the client to identify the time and place of the scene. You will also want the client to describe the other (e.g., three characteristics of the other) before proceeding with the action. You may also want to interview the client in the role of the other to gain more information. This is contra-indicated if the client is very angry at the other or if the other is a perpetrator. Take your time and do a thorough and complete warm-up. Use empty chairs for the characters so that the client can do the role reversals and sit in the other person's chair. Two or three characters are plenty. SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT Where abuse and/or trauma form the base of the client's issues, the majority of the action phase of the session should be conducted with others who support and encourage the client. Create and bring the positive other (someone who is in the protagonist's corner) into the room prior to bringing in the negative actor. Create a balance, so that the positive energy is at least as potent as the negative energy. Sometimes it is necessary to have more than one positive figure available. Also it is helpful to ask the client to define some area of the room as a safe, time-out space, where she can go if the action seems overwhelming at any point. She might use pillows, scarves or props to define the area. COACHING Clients can frequently derive much help from interacting with wise and caring figures. These can be intrapsychic roles like one's own inner guide, inner counselor, inner friend, one's future self. The 520
  • 203. coach can be a supportive figure from the client's past and present: best friend; loving grandparent; caring youth group leader. Coaches can also be transpersonal guides whom the client has never met, such as a fantasy or historical figure. An all-purpose figure that embodies many energies is very useful: the Goddess, god, Buddha. Archetypal energies can also be useful, but each has its own limitations (e.g., the Lover will always say the solution is to love, while the Warrior will always tell you the solution is to fight). DOUBLE Start and end the action phase with doubling the client. Doubling is one of the most important and client satisfying actions to take in any one to one session. Use a variety of doubling techniques (e.g., cognitive, containing, expressive, etc.) The deepening double is especially useful with timid clients, those who have difficulty accurately labeling feelings, and with those who have difficulty tapping into the depth of feeling. With the deepening double the client becomes her own double. To utilize the deepening double, do the following: After the client makes a statement to her significant other in the empty chair, place another empty chair behind the client in her own double position. Ask her to sit in the chair and make another statement on the same subject to the significant other. Then place another chair behind the double chair. Ask the client to sit in that chair and speak from this deeper place inside herself. If necessary, place still another chair in the double position behind the other ones and reverse the client into that seat to make a statement. You can put pillows, stuffed toys or scarves in the empty chairs to hold the spot for the client. After the client has said all she needs to say from the deepest double spot, move her gradually forward to the outer self, first making another statement from each double position and ending with a statement from her outer self to the significant other. Another wonderful aspect of this technique is that you can double for the client in each of the double positions, providing support and encouragement for expression. 521
  • 204. For example if Bob is speaking to his wife about an affair she just concluded, he may say, That really irritates me, from his outer position. From his first double position, he may say, How could you do this to me, you bitch? From his second double position, he may say, I feel so betrayed. I feel so helpless. From his third position, he may say, I'm heartbroken. How can we ever repair this? Doubling is especially useful if a client is overtly angry at the therapist. Simply evacuate your seat and move to the client's double position. Assist the client in fully expressing whatever he feels. In this way, the client feels supported and is often able to unravel the transference that may be at the base of his feelings. (Certainly, if the therapist has made an error that deserves an apology, e.g., double booking a client, it is important to acknowledge the error and make a sincere apology. Obviously, this is not simply the client's transference operating, although that may indeed be in the mix). ROLE REVERSAL Role reversal is the sine qua non of psychodramatic intervention techniques, and it is used differently in individual therapy sessions. The director rarely, if ever, assumes the role of the other. The director can repeat a last line of the other, but it is wise to do so either from your chair or from behind the chair of the other, and not sitting in that chair. You can speak from the client's role when the client is in the role of the other, either from the double position, or from the client's seat. Playing the role of the other can lead to negative transference and premature termination from therapy. Role reversal can be used effectively with a client when a client asks you for advice. Reverse roles with the client and have him answer his own question. FUTURE PROJECTION Psychodrama provides the wonderful option of time travel since everything takes place in the present in psychodrama. A scene from 1956 happens in the now' of 1956 and a scene from 2010 takes place in the now of 2010. When clients feel their present problems are unresolveable, it is helpful to place them into some future time when their problem has been solved. This works well also when the client is holding a grudge and wants to move toward forgiveness of the wrong. Place him into some future time when he has forgiven the 522
  • 205. wrong. Ask him what steps he took to move toward forgiveness. One can also ask the solution-focused therapy miracle question: If some miracle happened and your life were as you wished (or your problem solved), what would it look like? Place the client into that future of life as desired, interview them, and ask them what they did to get there. Continue with dialogues mentioned above, role reversing the present and future selves. HUMANIZE RATHER THAN DEMONIZE The ultimate goal in therapy is for the client to experience everyone in the universe humanely. The key is compassion for self and others. Psychodramatists believe that people do the best they can at the time of action. Hampered spontaneity and creativity create inadequate judgment, inflexibility, and inadequate action. CHANGE AGENT The goal of psychodramatic therapy is to help the individual change how he/she is in the world and in so doing, change the world. Challenge the client to make the world a bigger place by thinking outside him/herself and incorporate the thoughts and feelings of others. One of the exciting areas of opportunity in psychodrama is in the realm of atonement. Sometimes we have regrets, though at the time we acted as best we could. Psychodrama provides us with the opportunity to re-enact a past situation and practice how to better complete it, so that we can go forth in our lives and make the necessary amends. It also provides us with the opportunity to re-enact the past with people who are no longer available (through death, for example) and finish unfinished business that would otherwise have no outlet. ADVICE GIVING The desire to give advice is often a signal of counter- transference. When the urge to give advice hits, breathe, refrain and say nothing. After the session, process your desire to give advice. HOMEWORK Make behavioral homework assignments a regular and routine part of the session. The obvious purpose is to re-enforce empowerment outside the session and integrate and further the work of the session in the client's general life experience. Our most difficult job is to help the client chunk down here and now goals that are 523
  • 206. RUMBA (realistic, utilitarian, measurable, behavioral and achievable). Unattained goals may result in shame, hopelessness and premature termination from therapy. ADAPT A VARIETY OF GROUP TECHNIQUES TO INDIVIDUAL WORK There are many sociometric and psychodramatic intervention tools that can be adapted to psychodama a deux: spectrograms, behind-the- back, high chair, metaphors, myths, magic shop, trial scenes, dream re- enactment, locograms, etc. DIAMOND OF OPPOSITES The Diamond of Opposites was created by Linnea Carlson Sabelli and Hector Sabelli. The method moves from linear sociometry (A chooses B) to a multidimensional sociometry (A chooses and rejects B). The method allows for the illumination of both positive and negative feelings that individuals have about a person, situation or thing. It also illuminates the degree to which a person experiences those feelings. It is very useful for exploring ambivalence, for example, the degree of positive feelings towards dating (or a particular person) and the degree of negative feelings towards dating (or a particular person). The model postulates that conflict comes from having equal and high tensions between positive and negative forces. Let's say that Mary wants to get a new job, but she fears leaving her old job because her position is secure and familiar. If she has a 90% desire to leave and a 10% desire to stay, she will leave. However, if Mary has a 100% desire to leave and a 100% desire to stay, there will be high tension and no resolution. The director's job is to help her increase or decrease the tension on one end of the diamond so that she is released from the ambivalence and can move toward choice. We have also noticed that sometimes people feel conflicted and tell themselves they feel equally about two options, but when they concretize their ambivalence on the Diamond of Opposites, they realize that in fact they feel, say, 60% that they do want to do something and 40% that they don't. When working with the Diamond, an additional question we like to ask clients who seem constitutionally ambivalent, is, Whose voice is speaking the message 524
  • 207. from Pole A and whose voice is speaking the message from Pole B? Frequently it is the voice of each of the client's parents. DIFFERENTIAL DIRECTION John Raven Mosher and Brigid Yukman have written on the need for differential directing styles, and they have identified four primary styles: caring leader, emotional stimulator, director, and meaning attributor. When clients are dealing with abandonment and telling stories of lovelessness, the director needs to be caring (e.g., protective, genuine, encouraging, providing unrequested unconditional acceptance for being, etc.). When the client is dealing with issues of betrayal and stories of joylessness, the director needs to be an emotional stimulator (e.g., charismatic, playful, intimate, creative and emotionally available and transparent). When the client is disempowered and telling stories of disempowerment, the director needs to be challenging (e.g., setting limits, norms and direction, challenging current behavior, asking the client for answers, etc.). When the client is in chaos and telling stories of meaningless, the director needs to provide structure (e.g., interpreting reality, naming, normalizing and identifying emotional states and experiences, teaching cognitive techniques, providing a framework for change, identifying experiences). EVALUATION From time to time with some regularity it is helpful to ask your clients to evaluate you as a therapist and take stock of their own progress. Encourage positive and negative expressions. This helps to keep the process on track. It helps the client and therapist to look at the work, see what goals have been accomplished and which ones haven't so that objectives can be revised if appropriate and new plans can be made. 525
  • 208. 3.19 THE MIRACLE QUESTION The miracle question The miracle question is a method of questioning that a coach, therapist, or counselor uses to aid the client to envision how the future will be different when the problem is no longer present. Also, this may help to establish goals. A traditional version of the miracle question would go like this: Suppose our meeting is over, you go home, do whatever you planned to do for the rest of the day. And then, some time in the evening, you get tired and go to sleep. And in the middle of the night, when you are fast asleep, a miracle happens and all the problems that brought you here today are solved just like that. But since the miracle happened overnight nobody is telling you that the miracle happened. When you wake up the next morning, how are you going to start discovering that the miracle happened? ... What else are you going to notice? What else? Whilst relatively easy to state the miracle question requires considerable skill to ask well. The question must be asked slowly with close attention to the person's non-verbal communication to ensure that the pace matches the person's ability to follow the question. Initial responses frequently include a sense of I don't know. To ask the question well this should be met with respectful silence to give the person time to fully absorb the question. Once the miracle day has been thoroughly explored the worker can follow this with scales, on a scale where 0 = worst things have ever been and 10 = the miracle day where are you now? Where would it need to be for you to know that you didn't need to see me any more? What will be the first things that will let you know you are 1 point higher. In this way the miracle question is not so much a question as a series of questions. There are many different versions of the miracle question depending on the context and the client. In a specific situation, the counselor may ask, 526
  • 209. If you woke up tomorrow, and a miracle happened so that you no longer easily lost your temper, what would you see differently? What would the first signs be that the miracle occurred? The client (a child) may respond by saying, I would not get upset when somebody calls me names. The counselor wants the client to develop positive goals, or what they will do, rather than what they will not do--to better ensure success. So, the counselor may ask the client, What will you be doing instead when someone calls you names? Four Questions: 1. When would a clinician use the Miracle Question? The Miracle Question is a goal setting question that is useful when a client simply does not know what a preferred future would look like. It can be used with individuals to set the course for therapy, with couples, to clarify what each person needs from each other and with families, who too often see one person as the culprit. By using the Miracle Question and asking each person what a better life would look like, the system sees perhaps for the first time, what others need from each other. 2. What does it look like? Suppose tonight, while you slept, a miracle occurred. When you awake tomorrow, what would be some of the things you would notice that would tell you life had suddenly gotten better? The therapist stays with the question even if the client describes an impossible solution, such as a deceased person being alive, and acknowledges that wish and then asks how would that make a difference in your life? Then as the client describes that he/she might feel as if they have their companion back, again, the therapist asks how would that make a difference? With that, the client may say, I would have someone to confide in and support me. From there, the therapist 527
  • 210. would ask the client to think of others in the client's life who could begin to be a confidant in a very small manner. 3. How does it help the client? It catapults the client from a problem saturated context into a visionary context where he/she has a moment of freedom, to step out of the problem story and into a story where they are more problem free. But, more importantly, it helps the therapist to know exactly what the client wants from therapy...and this is what makes Solution Focused Therapy so efficient and brief. 4. What makes the Miracle Question a cool intervention? It helps the therapist see where the client wants to go. Too often, therapists assume that a client needs to grieve, leave their spouse, quit their job, after the client describes why he/she has come to therapy. The Miracle Question helps the client and therapist to address exactly what the client wants, not what the therapist thinks is best. Follow up Questions: FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS TO THE MIRACLE QUESTION THAT HELP THE CLIENT DEVELOP WELL-FORMED GOALS  How will you know the miracle happened?  What will be the first thing you notice that would tell you that a miracle happened; that things are different?  What else would tell you that things are different/better?  What might others (mother, father, spouse, partner, siblings, friends, work associates, teachers, and etcetera) notice about you that would tell them that the miracle has happened, that things are different or better?  How would they react?  Then what would you do? 528
  • 211.  What would they do next?  If I had a “before miracle” and an “after miracle” movie of you shown sideby-side, what differences would I see in your looks, your behavior?  Have there been times when you have seen pieces of this miracle happen? Alternative approach: Prof Miller maintained that people are often able to give themselves excellent advice but often lack the framework and objectivity to do so, so he taught me this little assignment... Imagine that it is two years from now and everything in your life has worked out well and the problems you are currently facing have been successfully resolved. Everything is okay, your dreams have come true and you are enjoying your life. Write yourself a letter from the future you to the you of today not only explaining how you overcame various difficulties, but just as importantly giving yourself encouragement, praise and tips for how to deal with things. It is an assignment that I have used many, many times and always provokes a positive response. It can be given as a homework style assignment or worked on live in a Life Coaching session. Both ways work equally well. The assignment encourages people to be pro-active in giving themselves advice rather than relying on the practitioner to come up with the answers. It also immediately stimulates a higher level of confidence as people are seeing themselves as having changed already. This easy method of generating success experiences is also a hugely therapeutic element of the assignment. 529
  • 212. Sources: ( Linda Metcalf, Ph.D. is founder of the Solution Focused Institute of Fort Worth, Texas and author of ten books including The Miracle Question: Answer It and Change Your Life. intervention-10-the-miracle-question The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program iewing%20in%20the%20Case%20Planning%20Process/Handouts/HO 31MiracleQuestionsandFollowupQuestions.pdf The best life coaching technique in the World by Alex Gunn Article Source: Worldid=6497060 530
  • 213. 3.20 SHARING INFORMATION Effective coaches assess the needs of their coachees and draw upon a variety of blended strategies , which can be grouped into five broad categories: Instructional, Facilitative, Consultative, Collaborative and Transformational strategies. None of these categories are fully distinct: E.g.: Consultative coaching tends to be instructional, but may also be facilitative. Instructional strategies focus on ways of doing things (How should I …?) and include a variety of didactic teaching strategies including showing, and telling. In fact the coach is taking on the role of a teacher here, offering information that can be of value to the coachee. Facilitative strategies on the other hand, aim to build internalized learning and change not only what the coachee does, but also their way of being in the world, including how they think and feel. Here too, often, the coachee will not dispose of all the required information, The coach may than share information that allows the coachee to obtain the necessary internal and external resources for personal and professional growth. Sometimes a coachee hasn't got all the relevant or necessary information. The information you give as coach is not advice in the sense that the coachee must follow it, but is shared when it seems the coachee can make good use of it. Look at the following examples: My girlfriend is already three months pregnant, if her father finds out... She can't even go to the doctor because her parents will get the bill. I would like to help the two of you as best I can. Do you know there are organisations that help young girls in her situation with all sorts of practical things, free of charge. If need be, they can even offer Anita a roof over her head. They respect the unborn child and 531
  • 214. it doesn't matter to them if the pregnant woman is 14 or 40. Here you have the address. I can't face it anymore; it seems that the more I try, the deeper I sink. I think that at the moment you are in a really difficult phase of the process you are going through. You're trying to find out how you got in this mess in the first place, without seeing any real future for yourself. It means you're investing a lot of energy in getting ahead, but at the same time it also means that it's not impossible to do so. Yes, the homeopath said that it had something to do with my mother passing away. A homeopath might be able to notice the imbalance of your body by certain signs. But he can't tell you anything about the cause of this imbalance, unless he is making assumptions on the basis of what you've told him yourself. I'm powerless. Next week I'm being evicted. As a tenant you have certain rights, even if you can't pay the rent. You can get legal assistance. To find out more, you could contact the legal affairs agency. They help people who have no money nearly free of charge. The first consult is even for free. I just wonder why I had to get burglarized? I don't even know the guy, I didn't harm him and I don't deserve this. Good question. Seems more a coincidence you got burglarized. He is well know to the police and seems to have committed more than a hundred burglaries. He's a drug addict. Though you're deeply affected by it, it was nothing personal. I know I should exercise more, but when I run my knees start to trouble me. Running is a strain on the knees, but there are other sports you could do that won't injure you, for example swimming could be an option if that's your thing. 532
  • 215. Source: The Art of Counselling / De Kunst van het Counselen © Copyright Owner: Academy for Counselling and Coaching - The Netherlands - Paul van Schaik 533
  • 216. 3.21 SELF DISCLOSURE Coachees often are under the impression that they are the only ones struggling with that kind of problem. Though they may have heard of or read about similar cases, that has not led to recognition or helped them develop a better strategy. Because they have been going round in circles, they are unable to see a way out. In such cases, it can be useful to tell them of similar things from your own experience. The purpose is to show them a solution is possible. Self-disclosure can also be used to a degree to strengthen the bond with the coachee, i.e. if it would help the coachee to know that the coach has gone through a similar experience. You can also use self-disclosure to break the ice or to make sure the coachee doesn't put you on a pedestal. Make sure self-disclosure is done in such a way that the coachee doesn't get the impression everybody can handle the situation, except him. Don't disclose things about yourself that you haven't come to terms with, otherwise the coachee might start feeling he really should coach you instead of the other way around. This use of self cannot be taught in a prescriptive or normative manner, since each coach will draw on unique personal experiences and knowledge, and each coaching encounter will present unique constellations of opportunity for the coach’s use of self. Change through relationship Gestalt holds that change happens through relationship. The importance of the quality of the relationship between coach/client is not exclusive to Gestalt of course (e.g. De Haan, 2008), but Gestalt does bring a perspective, which is quite different from conventional wisdom. To Perls, the ‘self ’ is not a semi-fixed entity that endures over time. Instead ‘self ’ is a process, always in flux and totally contextual, it is a function of what gets evoked in the interaction between individuals under the unique set of circumstances of that particular interaction (Perls, 1978). Simply put, the ‘me’ that I experience when I am with my boss is likely to be different in some respect from the ‘me’ that I 534
  • 217. experience when I am with my best friend etc. The implication of this for coaching is that you, as coach, are a critical aspect of the client’s experience and how you ‘show up’ will inform (not necessarily consciously) what the client chooses to reveal. Two aspects of the way you work as a Gestalt coach are critical: your presence/use of self and your ability to engage in dialogue. Presence is much more than how ‘professional’ you are as a coach. It includes how ‘grounded’ you are in yourself and your work, how able you are to ‘contact’ the client, even when they are difficult to reach. It is the ability to be in the here and now, i.e. to tune into what is going on within yourself (your reactions to your client, what they evoke in you, what images come to mind, what sensations are stimulated) as you are impacted by them, and to disclose some of this in order to ‘make contact’. I am listening to Jane who has returned to work after a miscarriage and is struggling as a new partner in a professional services firm. She talks in a jolly, light, cheerful manner and I notice that I am struggling to stay present. Suddenly the image of a bird comes to mind. I see it skimming along the top of the hedgerow, never really coming to land anywhere. I share this image with Jane, owning that it is my image, and ask if it has any meaning for her in her world. I trust that because this vivid image has arisen within the interaction between me and my client it is reasonable to assume that it has some relevance to the client’s situation and is worth checking out. You do this of course in the service of their awareness and part of the process is to find out what impact your disclosure has had on them. This opened the door to a fruitful exploration of how she has been trying to ‘make light’ of her situation with her colleagues and how in our session we both have been staying in a ‘light, frothy’ place (the parallel process). My disclosure enabled Jane and I to make contact, i.e. relate in a different way, to move from ‘skimming the surface’ to something more helpful to her and to us. 535
  • 218. This is the Gestalt notion of ‘dialogue’ , which has its roots in Buber’s (e.g. 1970) existential philosophy that differentiates between ‘I–thou’ interaction (two people engaging in an open, mutually respectful way without attempting to impose their will on the other) and ‘I–it’ interactions in which one or both attempt to shape the other towards some desired outcome. Genuine, moving contact cannot be made to happen. It flows from the coach’s willingness to be him or herself without any attachment to what might happen in the encounter. This means that as a Gestalt coach, I am particularly attentive to the quality of the relationship between myself and my client. 1 Siminovitch, D., and Van Eron, A. (2006) Practical Implications for the Coach 1. What to disclose • The coach’s internal reactions offer valuable data. These reactions are data that is readily available, present in the room, and which have arisen in the context of the coaching encounter. They have a relevance and the coach needs to trust his/her internal world – the thoughts, reflections, observations, sensations, the visualisations, metaphors and images that come to mind, along with what the client evokes for the coach etc. In order to do this coaches may need to ‘unlearn’ some previously held notions of coach self disclosure, notably that a) it isn’t relevant, and b) any attempt by the coach to share their experience takes the focus away from the coaching client. • Through use of self, as a coach you become an expert in awareness, not only awareness of yourself and awareness of your client, but also awareness of the unfolding relationship between the two of you. Useful questions to reflect on are: what is the tone/colour/Music which best captures your coach/client relationship? What do you observe about the client, e.g. energy levels, flow and tone of speech, body movements, eye contact, congruence between behaviour, thinking and feelings etc. How does all of this impact on you as coach? In a Gestalt way of working, the 536
  • 219. human body is a gateway to the inner world, and so through sharing the impact the client has on you, you bring the client’s awareness to ‘how’ they are being in relationship with you (and potentially wider world) which in turn heightens their own self-awareness. • What we can never know is how the client will respond to the information you offer. It is not for the coach to volunteer an interpretation, but to help the client do the meaning making. In selecting the most pertinent observations the Gestalt coach invites the client to first ‘stay with’ (i.e. attend to) and then explore their experience in the moment. The key emphasis is on the client’s enhanced awareness rather than on finding the ‘right’ answer. Siminovitch and Van Eron also make the point that by self disclosing the coach models personal risk taking for clients who may view such behaviour as too personally threatening. 2. If and when to disclose • The key question that guides your decision is always ‘how will your disclosure serve the client?’ If the response is a potential heightening of the client’s awareness, thus ‘adding to’ what the client already knows, then you may decide to go ahead. For example, at the end of a challenging piece of work in which the client had worked through a particularly difficult scenario about which he had felt very stressed, he reported that he felt calmer and more at peace which was visible in his body demeanour, rate and flow of speech etc. A response of “Yes I feel calmer also” is superfluous and adds nothing for the client. Whereas a response of “Yes, I can see that and I’m also aware of my own feeling of satisfaction, of a job well done. I’m wondering how you reflect on and celebrate your achievements?” affirms the client and helps him to acknowledge what he has achieved. • If you are unsure then wait, and by delaying you may get further clarity about your internal data which might well be of use to the client at a later point in the session. You might also give some thought to the consequences of not disclosing. For example, a persistent image or 537
  • 220. hunch that keeps running through your thoughts, if left undisclosed, might lead you to feel distracted and so less present with the client. • If a feeling, image etc. has persisted with this client during the session or over the time you have known him or her, it is important you chose to disclose when it emerges once more in the current session, because there will be reason that it has come back to you ‘right now’ and this is the context that can help you and the client make sense of the data. Sharing an image that occurred to you last session at the beginning of this session will be out of context and the client is unlikely to be able to relate to it. • One of the many reasons that coaches refrain from self disclosure is anxiety about it being ‘my stuff ’ and, therefore, not relevant to the client. So how do you know if your emotional reaction is a genuine response to a client or ‘your own stuff ’ (technically known as countertransference? Sometimes it is obvious, as when a client reminds you of someone else, or brings material which evokes a strong reaction that reactivates a past event or relationship of your own, or touches on a strong value that you hold. Here it is probably more appropriate to refrain from disclosing, reflect further and take your reaction to supervision. One question to ask yourself is how frequently something happens. For example, are you working on the same issue with every coaching client that you have? If you are, then it is highly possible that you are (unconsciously) shaping the agenda because it’s your interest (or your expertise). This is why supervision is so essential. 3. How to disclose • When noticing your internal world, make sure you articulate it first to yourself and then to the client using language which is both non- judgemental and non-interpretive, and which is phrased in the present ‘here and now’, e.g. “that’s interesting, I notice that my attention is drifting” as opposed to “this is (she is) really boring!”. 538
  • 221. • Then, when you articulate your awareness, own what you say using ‘I’ rather than ‘you’language (“I notice that my energy level dropped in the last few minutes. What’s happening for you as you talk about this?”). Notice how important it is to make the link back to the client’s experience… simply saying “I notice that my energy level dropped in the last few minutes” without checking what is going on for the the client is likely to be received as a criticism, when if fact you are trying to see if you are picking up some of the client’s own boredom with his situation. • Having made your intervention be attentive to the client’s reaction by noticing the impact on the client, and be ready to help the client express a reaction to what you said. There is no right or wrong in this. You are not making an interpretation or casting a judgement, but offering your self-reflections lightly, with curiosity and wonderment. Track your client’s energy and interest. If your disclosure does not ‘land’ fully with the client, he/she will let you know and something will happen. Your intervention may help the client to get clear about something else, or you may opt to ‘let it go’. It will come around again if it is significant, it might simply be that the client isn’t quite ready to explore this area yet. • We talk a lot about the use of intuition in coaching, i.e. the hunches we have. In a Gestalt way of working, our hunches are backed up with observational data in the room. For example, in a coaching demonstration as part of a Gestalt workshop I shared a hunch which had materialised for me from data offered by the client, in her use of language, changes in her energy levels when she referred to a particular relationship, as well as my own feelings of increasing sadness as she talked. I shared my hunch (owning it as mine, and not an interpretation) and this struck a chord for her. In the debrief following there was comment from an observer about ‘how I had instilled’ my thoughts into the client. Drawing on my own ‘internal supervisor’ there were two ways I could double check the ‘integrity’ of my intervention. First, I referred back to the client’s experience and her response to what I’d said, which had been very positive. Second, I had supported my 539
  • 222. intervention with the data I had observed (e.g. the client’s energy level shift). 4. How much to disclose • As a general rule, less is always better than more. In the event that you have a number of responses that you could make, it pays to keep paying attention to your own evolving reactions for a while, and eventually something will begin to stand out (e.g. a particularly strong image or sensation), or what started as multiple reactions will suddenly synthesise into a single and, therefore, potentially potent response. Guidelines for Practice: a summary 1. Tune into yourself: what impact does the client have on you? 2. Selectively disclose in service of the client; 3. Trust the validity of your self disclosure; 4. Check the impact this has on the client, what meaning it holds for them; 5. Don’t be too attached to your reaction. Be prepared to let it go if it has little/no resonance for the client; 6. Use supervision as a place to talk through strong reactions you have to your clients and the issues they bring. 5. Examples: The outside world seems to think that after two weeks you should go on as if nothing happened. I can't do that. Nothing seems fun anymore since my mother died and all I can think of are her last days. I understand. When my mother died, it took me quite some time to get over it. I did notice that after a while, the good memories about her came back, and that I could enjoy them again. I am afraid to speak in public. The times that I had to do it, I broke out in such a sweat I virtually floated of the stage. Fear of failure, stage fright, fear of speaking in public - a lot of people are troubled by it. I shall let you in on a secret. When I first started, I had to give a seminar about counselling in a big firm to 540
  • 223. their employees. The entire management was present, 20 men in three-piece suits. I blacked out, completely forgot what I had prepared and could hardly get a word out - me being a professional coach... Please don't tell anyone. Luckily a colleague lend me a good book with lots of tips and a friend provided me with some good training on speaking in public. Nowadays it's not a problem anymore. I feel like shit. The stupid girl dumped me for some dickhead. I will never get over it. It can happen to anyone. It happened to one of my friends a while back. He also thought he would never get over it. He was still hopelessly in love and felt completely lost without her. But in spite of feeling desperate, he made a full recovery. He married a woman who is much more suited to him and they have two children. In hindsight he is glad his former girlfriend left him. References Buber, M. (1970). I and Thou. New York: Scribner’s Sons. De Haan, E. (2008). Relational Coaching: Journeys towards mastering one-to-one learning. John Wiley - Son, Ltd. West Sussex, UK. Perls, F. S. (1978) Finding self through Gestalt Therapy. Gestalt Journal, Siminovitch, D., Van Eron, A. (2006). The Pragmatics of Magic. OD Practitioner, 38:1. Sources: AoEC Conference 2010: Marjorie Shackleton and Marion Gillie in-coaching.pdf The Art of Counselling / De Kunst van het Counselen © Copyright Owner: Academy for Counselling and Coaching - The Netherlands - Paul van Schaik 541
  • 224. 3.22 USING INTUITION This is a thought-provoking article, on an intriguing subject – the potential links between intuition and coaching. As human beings, we all use intuition to varying degrees. The same, argues Mavor, can be said about our role as coaches. She acknowledges, however, that apart from a trickle of studies, very little research has been undertaken on this subject. But what do we mean by intuition? There is, as yet, no universally accepted definition. Mavor presents a number of alternative perspectives. Dane and Pratt (2007: 40) for example, regard intuitions as ‘affectively charged judgements that arise through rapid, nonconscious, and holistic associations’. Hence, intuition contains features such as: ‘gut feelings or gut instincts’; speed – they arise rapidly; nonconscious information processing; and holistic associations including patterns, structures or schemas held in long-term memory. The Mavor study used semi-structured interviews with 14 experienced executive coaches (8 males and 6 females) with an average of 14.5 years experience as a coach. The coaches were asked to report retrospectively on intuitive experiences in either one-to-one or group coaching. A series of 15 broad questions, elicited from the literature on intuition, were posed, each interview lasting approximately two hours. The findings suggest that intuition is, indeed, very much present in coaching conversations. One coach, for example, talked about ‘out of the blue’ experience. The intuition ‘came from nowhere’. But it cannot be deliberately ‘called up’. Looking for it makes it difficult to find. The key seems to be being open and maintaining a ‘soft focus’, allowing intuition to give you messages and clues. Intuition is more likely to be accessed if the coach has self-belief and self-confidence in what they do. But it is also essential that the coach gets themselves in the right physical, mental and emotional state to help them access and apply their intuition. This includes the coach’s: 542
  • 225. Attention to their own well-being - The preparation they undertake before the coaching session - The rituals or routines they use before the session to get into ‘the zone’ - Their ability to stay present and focused during the session Preparation for a session depends on the individual coach. Some would read through the notes from previous sessions; others would look through coaching models or frameworks. The key, however, was letting go of analytical thoughts, of getting ‘grounded’ and quieting the mind. It meant being congruent, receptive, fresh, attentive and calm. This helps to develop the vital ingredient of rapport which allows the coaching conversation to access deeper levels of communication and beliefs, attitudes, emotions and feelings. Yet it also means having a level of detachment and objectiveness in accessing and applying intuition, and to present an observation as an offering as opposed to a profound truth. As one coach said, it means being “willing to put it out there and willing to get it wrong”. This is not a celebration of ignorance. As one coach commented, “you have to know your stuff”. Hence, intuition is mainly used by more experienced coaches. This is because they operate at an unconscious competence level. Experience enables coaches to chunk information so that they can store and retrieve it easily (Hayashi 2001). It would be wrong to read too much into what is, at best, a small scale study. However, the findings here on intuition in coaching, seem largely consistent with much of the general literature on intuition. The study raises some important themes that are certainly worthy of further exploration. It is often possible to know things or have a gut feeling about something without having any real tangible indication or evidence, by just having a feeling, an impression. The coach could express this intuition. Be cautious though, because the coachee is usually not aware of it yet and it may be hard to tell initially whether your intuition is right or not. Take into account that the feeling you get with this coachee is an interpretation based on your own experience, it doesn't have to match 543
  • 226. the coachee's feeling or experience. Be sure the coachee doesn't get a sense of being exposed or unmasked. Throw out a feeler or say something in casual manner. Intuition and Intuitive Awareness If you could...  Know Your true Self... Would you?  Be totally aware, always... Would you?  Activate your inner guidance... Would you?  Enjoy ultimate support to discover the authentic You... Would you? What kind of a person wouldn't? Intuitive awareness is being in touch with your True Self. Intuitive awareness is the unmoving bedrock of my life coaching work. My intuition coaching work includes:  Combining life skills coaching with intuition coaching  Customised personal intuition coaching programs  Life purpose awareness  Integration of intuition and awareness into your everyday life  You can know exactly what you need to know—right when you need to know it. Are you overwhelmed by the volume of information and tasks you face? Have you noticed that logic and will power don't get the same results anymore? Whether in your personal life or in business, to cut through today's noise in pursuit of authentic answers and purposeful action, you need a new way of perceiving that integrates the direct knowing of the body and soul with the logical mind. With intuition, your insights, choices, and timing will be immediate and in perfect alignment with what's right for you. I'd love to share what I've discovered about intuitive awareness with you! 544
  • 227. The more I've studied the mysteries and searched for the sanity of the soul, the more I've found that intuition is the key to knowing our life purpose, our whole self, and our basic interrelatedness with all people, all forms of life, and all dimensions of awareness; in other words the key to life itself! Life functions according to elegant innate principles, and if we can live in alignment with these truths, things work more smoothly and effectively—and with higher quality. With increased intuition, you can easily discern new channels for creativity in your personal life or business. Your intuition might give you insight into techniques for putting problems into a new context, yielding a more rapid solution, or potentials for success on any given action path. Intuition, awareness and life coaching Maybe you recognise intuition as a hunch, an inner voice, gut instinct, common sense or inspiration. At all times we are unconsciously in tune with both our universe and our immediate environment, intuition allows us to discriminate the preverbal data our body is constantly picking up from the environment. An incredible resource that is there for the taking. Intuitive awareness has been described as the art of skilful perception—using our awareness to create more harmony in ourselves and the world. Your intuitive awareness is your unmovable solid ground upon which I build a quality life coaching regimen for you. Intuition is a method for continually staying in touch with your life vision or dreams enabling you to accurately live out your evolving life purpose; it can act as a vehicle to bring you an experience of connectedness with life, which is true spiritual knowing. As a coach I will work with you to unlock the inspired guidance that comes from your higher mind, or your soul. By increasing your attention on your sensory awareness, and learning how to trust and interpret sensations, symbols, and the imagery that is constantly streaming from your unconscious, you'll find a source of information that is direct and highly useful in all aspects of your life. You can apply this kind of attentiveness to various micro-aspects of your life, like 545
  • 228. problem-solving, creativity and innovation, self-guidance and relationships and communication; and at a macro level we can use your intuitive awareness to tap into your evolving life purpose. There are no new discoveries here -- we simply work together to heighten your awareness of a phenomenon that you are doing already! Very exciting indeed! Inspirational messages Emotional awareness Recognise your unique gifts Enhance and develop spiritual growth Activate your inner guidance Discover the essence of divine purpose Partner with your inner self and understand your innermost reality Personal Intuition As a skilled intuitive I can help cut through the noise in your mind to put you back in touch with your most central truths, the goals that fulfil all aspects of your self and the most efficient and joyful paths of action. Looking below the surface into the hidden patterns of your life. By bringing light to your blind spots, and helping you see your talents and gifts, I can help you reveal applicable insights about streamlining your personal growth process. Higher perspective on your life Understand fully what intuition is, what frees and blocks it Guidance in your personal life or business Values, energy and destination follow your purpose Getting un-stuck and finding clarity in your way forwards Heightened perception Address spiritual purpose Encourages you to make your own decisions Delineates your life purpose, lessons, and the probability for success on various action paths. Be more, do more, have more, and know more Professional Intuition Intuitive awareness is being in touch with your True Self. My intuition coaching for professionals includes:  Combining professional coaching with intuition coaching  Customised professional intuition coaching programs  Life purpose awareness  Integration of purpose, intuition and awareness into your work life 546
  • 229. In business, as a skilled intuitive you can penetrate into the inner workings of your organization and shed light on underlying unconscious yes, buts that interfere with success, whether they be yours, or shared with your partners, management team, or employees. Calling out these hidden agendas can help you create from the clearest level possible and initiate actions that won't be sabotaged by people, circumstance, or procrastination. Looking under the surface for intangible influences can help solve personnel problems, assess prospective business partnerships, identify trends in pertinent markets, name and position new companies and ventures, pinpoint timing, estimate sales figures, and create and double check strategies. You can also define the most comprehensive, accurate and current vision statement for your career path and company. With alignment between true inner purpose and appropriate outer action, you and your employees will characteristically respond with increased motivation and productivity. Intuition always needs to be grounded and related to what's practical. Intuition should fund your logical mind, not the other way around--you cannot live without logistics. In spite of your feelings You can learn how to take charge of your professional life. Finding solutions from within and moving forward with increased insight into professional potential for positive living. Take up the challenge of confident intuitive and awareness coaching. Using a safe and supportive foundation of trust, freedom of expression and commitment, I always work to help you explore your inner being, to regain balance in your personal and working life and to align with your true values and fullest potential. Using a stimulating face-to-face, phone support and email program customised to fit your current personal development needs, my coaching focuses on your inner guidance, purpose, skills, beliefs, techniques and processes necessary to take you into a great future. 547
  • 230. I partner with intelligent, successful people who want to excel at their passion, gifts and unique talents in a way that brings them success, happiness and balance. Examples: Since my wife's passing, I am at loose ends. What am I still doing here...? Being together was nice but... You can't bring her back either, so let's just end this here. It must be awful to lose your wife after forty years of marriage. That's not something you get over in just a couple of months. Hearing you talk, it seems like you have given up on life. Me? No, I haven't hacked a single site the last couple of weeks. Didn't even download illegal software or sell it. I'm studying now to be an IT specialist and I am well on my way... Sounds good, but I have this whispering voice inside of me saying you are still a bit tempted. You know I adhere to strict confidentiality, so what we discuss will go no further... Sources: The Art of Counselling / De Kunst van het Counselen © Copyright Owner: Academy for Counselling and Coaching - The Netherlands - Paul van Schaik Professor David E. Graig: coaching.html Coach Lee: and-intuitive-awareness 548
  • 231. 3.23 RECOGNISING LIFE PATTERNS Though every person is unique, you can often recognise general patterns in people's lives. For example certain problems are related to age, gender, social status, the spirit of the time or the religious belief of the coachee. Having knowledge of these general human patterns enables you as coach to see similarities or rather to recognise when a coachee deviates from standard patterns. Through life experience and knowledge, you can possibly reassure coachees that it is not unusual to be faced with certain problems in particular phases of life. 3.23.1 THE PHASES OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT No individual is born complete or fully developed. Throughout life we continue to learn and grow, although what we learn is often dictated by what stage of life we are at. This process can be seen as continuous, while at the same time moving through stages or phases. Although each individual life path is different, human life has certain common phases. There have been many interpretations of these phases, and one can find many different models of human development in modern developmental psychology. These models go back to the theoretical foundations laid by Aristotle and other classical scholars, which were subsequently elaborated during the 18th century by Descartes and other Enlightenment philosophers. In the 20th century, Freud outlined five stages of psychosexual development and Rudolf Steiner described 10 stages of development throughout human life. Whatever model one chooses, however, it becomes clear that these are all variations of the archetypal model in terms of which human life is divided into three phases: Childhood, Adulthood and Old Age. In terms of our relationships with each other, these phases are characterised by three states of being: Dependence, Independence and Interdependence. These phases are not only found in Western thinking, but appear to be an archetype common to many cultures. For example, ancient Chinese 549
  • 232. teachings refl ects similar phases, known as a time to learn, a time to fi ght and a time to grow wise. In terms of the model, the dependent phase lasts from conception until we are able to make our own way in life – usually in our early 20s. The independent phase arises when, as young adults, we question or reject the ‘givens’ that we grew up with, strive to formulate our own ideas and become fi nancially self-suffi cient. This phase can last into the mid-40s. The interdependent phase arises when there is a mature recognition that to achieve life’s full potential we need to cooperate actively with other people in order to give back something to the world. This phase often kicks in at middle age, but can arrive much earlier. Ten phases of individual development According to Bernard Lievegoed, the three major phases of life can further be divided into ten phases, each seven years long. The problem with Lievegoed’s formulation is that while everyone seems to agree on the existence of the three main phases, the age groups that apply to these stages may vary from one culture or society to another. For this reason we have adapted Steiner’s model to make it more flexible, retaining his suggested ten phases without aligning them to specific age groups. DEPENDENCY: From 0 to +- 20 years 1. THE PHASE OF IMITATION • When a child is born it is completely dependent on its parents for basic human needs; food, shelter and warmth, as well as the emotional needs of love and trust. • Children learn primarily through imitation and role modeling, therefore play is immensely important at an early age. It allows the infant an opportunity to mimic and copy the human behavior they see around them. Mother and father fi gures are the fi rst models for 550
  • 233. children to learn the balance between masculine and feminine in each of them. • Children learn to use language at an early age, building up sixty percent of their vocabulary in this period. • Children have very fertile imaginations and in this period they cannot always distinguish between fantasy and reality. • At this stage it is important that a child develops self confi dence and a good concept of their self and their ability. 2. TESTING AUTHORITY • The world outside becomes increasingly important at this stage (for example, schools, teachers and friends, which the child will integrate into his/ her world view. • Other role models besides the parents will emerge, such as teachers and friends. • Children may start to contest authority, particularly of their parents. This too can be seen as a learning process. • Children may start to articulate their thinking, particularly around issues like: good and evil, competition, beauty and ugliness, truth and untruth and fantasy and reality. . They will often develop a sense of their own values in this period. • At this stage children are often ready to take on some responsibility. 3. WHO AM I? • Puberty can be seen as a time when a person searches for their own individuality and identity in the world, often defying and exploring the notions of authority in this search. • It is a time for growth of sexual awareness and the questioning of sexuality. It is the onset of woman/manhood that is signifi ed by 551
  • 234. physical changes such as menstruation in girls and the boys’ voices cracking and getting deeper. • Ideals and idols become important, such as pop singers and fi lm stars. There is often a strong identifi cation with a certain group or hero/heroine. • It can be a period of intense emotions such as insecurity, loneliness, boredom and anger. These are sometimes related to the search ‘for the meaning of life’ that the young teenager may be going through. INDEPENDENCE: From +- 18 to +- 45 years 4. A TIME FOR CREATIVITY • This can be seen as an explorative phase, when the young adult wants to have as many new experiences as possible. It is a search for sensations, experimentation with borders and limits, a time of wandering and traveling, but also of childbearing and raising. The young adult may change jobs, or even places they live in many times in this period. • It is a time of increased independence, when one’s own space and lifestyle choices become important, sometimes distancing the young adult from his/her family • The notion and fear of conformity become prevalent in some cases, as the young adult wants to make a life for themselves that is different and exciting. 5. MY OWN PHILOSOPHY • This is a time when there is a tendency towards specialisation and a readiness to deepen understanding. • As an adult there is more creative ability accessible to respond to different situations. • It is a time when people may have found their place in the world and are using it to their advantage. A settling down phase. 552
  • 235. • There are dangers to be faced here, such as becoming stuck in a certain routine and not accessing new creative energy. 6. THE MIDDLE PASSAGE • This period can be described as almost a “second puberty” that brings up a deep questioning of personal identity. • It is a period where self doubt is common, as your assumptions of life are challenged by experience. • The recognition that many things you wanted to do are not yet completed can be diffi cult to accept, along with the fi rst signs of physical decline; the inevitability of getting older and the fact that you will die at some stage. • It can be a painful and emotional period. Some people respond by indulging in escapist behavior such as: alcohol abuse, workaholism or expensive hobbies. INTERDEPENDENCE: From +- 40 years to … 7. THE PIONEERING STAGE • Emergence from the crisis with new values and meaning can be an uplifting experience. At this point some people make radical life changes; new jobs or careers and approaching things with new attitudes. • Moments in life are more appreciated through a new attitude. • A new-found freedom may bring new interests and strengths. • One may fi nd an enhanced ability to bring “inner” and “outer” worlds together, while incorporating the views of others. • A sense of real self knowledge is brought about by the experience of life. 553
  • 236. 8. A TIME FOR WISDOM • A tranquil time in which a new respect for nature is developed. It is a time when you may discover your own uniqueness. • There is the danger of contemptuous talk and behaviour if a person has not come to grips with the slipping away of youth at this stage. A respect should develop for the task of youth in life. • A sense of wisdom that is rooted in experience, self knowledge and knowledge of the world may develop • An interest in long term development may arise. 9. A TIME FOR REVIEW • Issues that have not been fully dealt with earlier in life may come back with a vengeance. • There may be the realisation that the work of life is not fi nished and there is little time to put things right. • It is a time for dealing with the negatives of one’s own personality. • The fear of becoming too old to look after oneself; having to become dependent on others might be painful. A heightened awareness of death and coming to terms with it. 10. FREE TIME • In these late years time becomes “free” if we decide we are responsible and have the capacity to truly love. If not we will be needy but unable to give unconditional love. • There is an important choice to be made; one can choose to hang onto things from the past or let go and gracefully give and accept love. • The retrospective perception of life; one can appreciate that although people are imperfect, mostly they genuinely strive for something better. This is true respect for the individual. 554
  • 237. Examples: I will go and live on my own and work. I am finished with school, they can go to hell! You're young, rebellious and know what you want. I used to be like that, maybe even worse. It's not easy though to leave school without a diploma and find a well paid job. Cleaning toilets might be fun for a while, but after that... What would you say if we look at what you would really like to go for? The doctor says I'm depressed and prescribes medication just to get rid of me. Am I not allowed to be sad because my wife died? It's not unusual that grieving over a loved one is confused with having a depression. I believe that you are very sad and that medication isn't going to help to come to terms with things. In the old days people could mourn for two years, but nowadays with the fast pace of life you're supposed to be happy again a few weeks after the funeral. But that is just not humanly possible, you do need more time. 3.23.2 ERIKSON'S PSYCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT THEORY Erik Erikson's psychosocial crisis life cycle model - the eight stages of human development - is a very significant, highly regarded and meaningful concept. Life is a series of lessons and challenges which help us to grow. Erikson's wonderful theory helps to tell us why. The theory is helpful for child development, and adults too. Various terms are used to describe Erikson's model, for example Erikson's biopsychosocial or bio-psycho-social theory (bio refers to biological, which in this context means life); Erikson's human development cycle or life cycle, and variations of these. All refer to the same eight stages psychosocial theory, it being Erikson's most distinct work and remarkable model. 555
  • 238. The word 'psychosocial' is Erikson's term, effectively from the words psychological (mind) and social (relationships). Erikson believed that his psychosocial principle is genetically inevitable in shaping human development. It occurs in all people. He also referred to his theory as 'epigenesis' and the 'epigenetic principle', which signified the concept's relevance to evolution (past and future) and genetics. Erikson explained his use of the word 'epigenesis' thus: ...epi can mean 'above' in space as well as 'before' in time, and in connection with genesis can well represent the space-time nature of all development... (from Vital Involvement in Old Age, 1989). In Erikson's theory, Epigenetic therefore does not refer to individual genetic make-up and its influence on individual development. This was not central to Erikson's ideas. Erikson, like Freud, was largely concerned with how personality and behaviour is influenced after birth and especially during childhood. In the 'nature v nurture' (genes v experience) debate, Erikson was firmly focused on nurture and experience. Erik Erikson's eight stages of psychosocial development Like other seminal concepts, Erikson's model is simple and elegant, yet very sophisticated. The theory is a basis for broad or complex discussion and analysis of personality and behaviour, and also for understanding and for facilitating personal development - of self and others. The main elements of the theory covered in this explanation are:  Erikson theory overview - a diagram and concise explanation of the main features of model.  The Freudian stages of psychosexual development, which influenced Erikson's approach to the psychosocial model.  Erikson's 'psychosocial crises' (or crisis stages) - meanings and interpretations. 556
  • 239.  'Basic virtues' (basic strengths) - the potential positive outcomes arising from each of the crisis stages.  'Maladapations' and 'Malignancies' - potential negative outcomes (one or the other) arising from each crisis stage.  Erikson terminology - variations and refinements to names and headings, etc. N.B. This summary occasionally uses the terms 'positive' and 'negative' to identify the first or second factors in each crisis (e.g., Trust = positive; Mistrust = negative) however no crisis factor (disposition or emotional force - whatever you choose to call them - descriptions are quite tricky as even Erikson found) is actually wholly positive or wholly negative. Healthy personality development is based on a sensible balance between 'positive' and 'negative' dispositions at each crisis stage. Erikson didn't use the words positive and negative in this sense. He tended to use 'syntonic' and 'dystonic' to differentiate between the two sides of each crisis, which is why I occasionally use the more recognisable 'positive' and 'negative' terms, despite them being potentially misleading. You should also qualify your use of these terms if using them in relation to the crisis stages. Erikson's psychosocial theory - summary diagram Here's a broad introduction to the main features of Erikson's model. Various people have produced different interpretations like this grid below. Erikson produced a few charts of his own too, from different perspectives, but he seems never to have produced a fully definitive matrix. To aid explanation and use of his theory he produced several perspectives in grid format, some of which he advocated be used as worksheets. He viewed his concept as an evolving work in progress. This summary attempts to show the main points of the Erikson psychosocial crisis theory of human development. More detail follows this overview. 557
  • 240. Erikson's psychosocial crisis stages (syntonic v dystonic) Freudian psycho- sexual stages life stage / relationships / issues basic virtue and second named strength (potential positive outcomes from each crisis) maladaptation / malignancy (potential negative outcome - one or the other - from unhelpful experience during each crisis) 1. Trust v Mistrust Oral infant / mother / feeding and being comforted, teething, sleeping Hope and Drive Sensory Distortion / Withdrawal 2. Autonomy v Shame Doubt Anal toddler / parents / bodily functions, toilet training, muscular control, walking Willpower and Self- Control Impulsivity / Compulsion 3. Initiative v Guilt Phallic preschool / family / exploration and discovery, adventure and play Purpose and Direction Ruthlessness / Inhibition 4. Industry v Latency schoolchild / Competence Narrow 558
  • 241. Inferiority school, teachers, friends, neighbourhood / achievement and accomplishment and Method Virtuosity / Inertia 5. Identity v Role Confusion Puberty and Genitality adolescent / peers, groups, influences / resolving identity and direction, becoming a grown-up Fidelity and Devotion Fanaticism / Repudiation 6. Intimacy v Isolation (Genitality) young adult / lovers, friends, work connections / intimate relationships, work and social life Love and Affiliation Promiscuity / Exclusivity 7. Generativity v Stagnation n/a mid-adult / children, community / 'giving back', helping, contributing Care and Production Overextension / Rejectivity 8. Integrity v Despair n/a late adult / society, the world, life / Wisdom and Renunciation Presumption / Disdain 559
  • 242. meaning and purpose, life achievements This chart attempts to capture and present concisely the major elements of Erikson's theory, drawn from various Erikson books, diagrams and other references, including Childhood and Society (1950); Identity and the Life Cycle (1959); The Life Cycle Completed: A Review (1982, revised 1996 by Joan Erikson); and Vital Involvement in Old Age (1989). Erikson later suggested psychosexual stages 7 and 8, but they are not typically part of Freud's scheme which extended only to Puberty/Genitality. See Freud's psychosexual stages below. Erik Erikson's psychosocial theory overview Erikson's psychosocial theory is widely and highly regarded. As with any concept there are critics, but generally Erikson's theory is considered fundamentally significant. Erikson was a psychoanalyst and also a humanitarian. So his theory is useful far beyond psychoanalysis - it's useful for any application involving personal awareness and development - of oneself or others. There is a strong, but not essential, Freudian element in Erikson's work and model. Fans of Freud will find the influence useful. People who disagree with Freud, and especially his psychosexual theory, can ignore the Freudian aspect and still find Erikson's ideas useful. Erikson's theory stands alone and does not depend on Freud for its robustness and relevance. Aside from Freudian psychoanalysis, Erikson developed his theory mainly from his extensive practical field research, initially with Native American communities, and then also from his clinical therapy work attached to leading mental health centres and universities. He actively pioneered psychoanalytical development from the late 1940's until the 1990's. 560
  • 243. Erikson's concept crucially incorporated cultural and social aspects into Freud's biological and sexually oriented theory. Erikson was able to do this because of his strong interest and compassion for people, especially young people, and also because his research was carried out among human societies far removed from the more inward-looking world of the psychoanalyst's couch, which was essentially Freud's approach. This helps Erikson's eight stages theory to be a tremendously powerful model: it is very accessible and obviously relevant to modern life, from several different perspectives, for understanding and explaining how personality and behaviour develops in people. As such Erikson's theory is useful for teaching, parenting, self-awareness, managing and coaching, dealing with conflict, and generally for understanding self and others. Both Erikson and his wife Joan, who collaborated as psychoanalysts and writers, were passionately interested in childhood development, and its effects on adult society. Eriksons' work is as relevant today as when he first outlined his original theory, in fact given the modern pressures on society, family and relationships - and the quest for personal development and fulfilment - his ideas are probably more relevant now than ever. Erikson's psychosocial theory basically asserts that people experience eight 'psychosocial crisis stages' which significantly affect each person's development and personality. Joan Erikson described a 'ninth' stage after Erik's death, but the eight stage model is most commonly referenced and is regarded as the standard. (Joan Erikson's work on the 'ninth stage' appears in her 1996 revisions to The Life Cycle Completed: A Review, and will in the future be summarised on this page.) Erikson's theory refers to 'psychosocial crisis' (or psychosocial crises, being the plural). This term is an extension of Sigmund Freud's use of the word 'crisis', which represents internal emotional conflict. You might also describe this sort of crisis as an internal struggle or 561
  • 244. challenge which a person must negotiate and deal with in order to grow and develop. Erikson's 'psychosocial' term is derived from the two source words - namely psychological (or the root, 'psycho' relating to the mind, brain, personality, etc) and social (external relationships and environment), both at the heart of Erikson's theory. Occasionally you'll see the term extended to biopsychosocial, in which bio refers to life, as in biological. Each stage involves a crisis of two opposing emotional forces. A helpful term used by Erikson for these opposing forces is 'contrary dispositions'. Each crisis stage relates to a corresponding life stage and its inherent challenges. Erikson used the words 'syntonic' for the first- listed 'positive' disposition in each crisis (e.g., Trust) and 'dystonic' for the second-listed 'negative' disposition (e.g., Mistrust). To signify the opposing or conflicting relationship between each pair of forces or dispositions Erikson connected them with the word 'versus', which he abbreviated to 'v'. (Versus is Latin, meaning turned towards or against.) The actual definitions of the syntonic and dystonic words (see Erikson's terminology below) are mainly irrelevant unless you have a passion for the detailed history of Erikson's ideas. Successfully passing through each crisis involves 'achieving' a healthy ratio or balance between the two opposing dispositions that represent each crisis. For example a healthy balance at crisis stage stage one (Trust v Mistrust) might be described as experiencing and growing through the crisis 'Trust' (of people, life and one's future development) and also experiencing and growing a suitable capacity for 'Mistrust' where appropriate, so as not to be hopelessly unrealistic or gullible, nor to be mistrustful of everything. Or experiencing and growing through stage two (Autonomy v Shame Doubt) to be essentially 'Autonomous' (to be one's own person and not a mindless or quivering follower) but to have sufficient capacity for 'Shame and Doubt', so as to be free- thinking and independent, while also being ethical and considerate and responsible, etc. 562
  • 245. Erikson called these successful balanced outcomes 'Basic Virtues' or 'Basic Strengths'. He identified one particular word to represent the fundamental strength gained at each stage, which appear commonly in Erikson's diagrams and written theory, and other explanations of his work. Erikson also identified a second supporting 'strength' word at each stage, which along with the basic virtue emphasised the main healthy outcome at each stage, and helped convey simple meaning in summaries and charts. Examples of basic virtues and supporting strengths words are 'Hope and Drive' (from stage one, Trust v Mistrust) and 'Willpower and Self-Control' (from stage two, Autonomy v Shame Doubt). It's very useful however to gain a more detailed understanding of the meaning behind these words because although Erikson's choice these words is very clever, and the words are very symbolic, using just one or two words alone is not adequate for truly conveying the depth of the theory, and particularly the emotional and behavioural strengths that arise from healthy progression through each crisis. More detail about basic virtues and strengths is in the Basic Virtues section. Erikson was sparing in his use of the word 'achieve' in the context of successful outcomes, because it implied gaining something clear-cut and permanent. Psychosocial development is not clear-cut and is not irreversible: any previous crisis can effectively revisit anyone, albeit in a different guise, with successful or unsuccessful results. This perhaps helps explain how 'high achievers' can fall from grace, and how 'hopeless failures' can ultimately achieve great things. No-one should become complacent, and there is hope for us all. Later in his life Erikson was keen to warn against interpreting his theory into an 'achievement scale', in which the crisis stages represent single safe achievement or target of the extreme 'positive' option, secured once and for ever. Erikson said (in Identity and the Life Cycle): ...What the child acquires at a given stage is a certain ratio between the positive and negative, which if the balance is toward the positive, will help him to meet later crises with a better chance for unimpaired total development... 563
  • 246. He continued (in rather complicated language, hence paraphrasing) that at no stage can a 'goodness' be achieved which is impervious to new conflicts, and that to believe so is dangerous and inept. The crisis stages are not sharply defined steps. Elements tend to overlap and mingle from one stage to the next and to the preceding stages. It's a broad framework and concept, not a mathematical formula which replicates precisely across all people and situations. Erikson was keen to point out that the transition between stages is 'overlapping'. Crisis stages connect with each other like inter-laced fingers, not like a series of neatly stacked boxes. People don't suddenly wake up one morning and be in a new life stage. Changes don't happen in regimented clear-cut steps. Changes are graduated, mixed-together and organic. In this respect the 'feel' of the model is similar to other flexible human development frameworks (for example, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's 'Grief Cycle', and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs). Where a person passes unsuccessfully through a psychosocial crisis stage they develop a tendency towards one or other of the opposing forces (either to the syntonic or the dystonic, in Erikson's language), which then becomes a behavioural tendency, or even a mental problem. In crude terms we might call this 'baggage' or a 'hang-up', although perhaps avoid such terms in serious work. I use them here to illustrate that Erikson's ideas are very much related to real life and the way ordinary people think and wonder about things. Erikson called an extreme tendency towards the syntonic (first disposition) a 'maladapation', and he identified specific words to represent the maladapation at each stage. He called an extreme tendency towards the dystonic (second disposition) a 'malignancy', and again he identified specific words to represent the malignancy at each stage. More under 'Maladapations' and 'Malignancies'. Erikson emphasised the significance of and 'mutuality' and 'generativity' in his theory. The terms are linked. Mutuality reflects the effect of generations on each other, especially among families, and 564
  • 247. particularly between parents and children and grandchildren. Everyone potentially affects everyone else's experiences as they pass through the different crisis stages. Generativity, actually a named disposition within one of the crisis stages (Generativity v Stagnation, stage seven), reflects the significant relationship between adults and the best interests of children - one's own children, and in a way everyone else's children - the next generation, and all following generations. Generations affect each other. A parent obviously affects the child's psychosocial development, but in turn the parent's psychosocial development is affected by their experience of dealing with the child and the pressures produced. Same for grandparents. Again this helps explain why as parents (or teachers or siblings or grandparents) we can often struggle to deal well with a young person when it's as much as we can do to deal with our own emotional challenges. In some ways the development actually peaks at stage seven, since stage eight is more about taking stock and coming to terms with how one has made use of life, and ideally preparing to leave it feeling at peace. The perspective of giving and making a positive difference for future generations echoes Erikson's humanitarian philosophy, and it's this perhaps more than anything else that enabled him to develop such a powerful concept. Freud's influence on erikson's theory Erikson's psychosocial theory of the 'eight stages of human development' drew from and extended the ideas of Sigmund Freud and Freud's daughter Anna Freud, and particularly the four (or five, depending on interpretation) Freudian stages of development, known as Freud's psychosexual stages or Freud's sexual theory. These concepts are fundamental to Freudian thinking and are outlined below in basic terms relating to Erikson's psychosocial stages. Freud's concepts, while influential on Erikson, are not however fundamental to Erikson's theory, which stands up perfectly well in its own right. 565
  • 248. It is not necessary therefore to understand or agree with Freud's ideas in order to appreciate and use Erikson's theory. If you naturally relate to Freud's ideas fine, otherwise leave them to one side. Part of Erikson's appeal is that he built on Freud's ideas in a socially meaningful and accessible way - and in a way that did not wholly rely on adherence to fundamental Freudian thinking. Some of Freud's theories by their nature tend attract a lot of attention and criticism - sex, breasts, genitals, and bodily functions generally do - and if you are distracted or put off by these references then ignore them, because they are not crucial for understanding and using Erikson's model. Freud's psychosexual stages - overview Age guide is a broad approximation, hence the overlaps. The stages happen in this sequence, but not to a fixed timetable. Freudian psychosexual stages - overview Erikson's psychosocial crisis stages age guide 1. Oral Stage - Feeding, crying, teething, biting, thumb-sucking, weaning - the mouth and the breast are the centre of all experience. The infant's actual experiences and attachments to mum (or maternal equivalent) through this stage have a fundamental effect on the unconscious mind and thereby on deeply rooted feelings, which along with the next two stages affect all sorts of behaviours and (sexually powered) drives and aims - Freud's 'libido' - and preferences in later life. 1. Trust v Mistrust 0-1½ yrs, baby, birth to walking 2. Anal Stage - It's a lot to do with pooh - 'holding on' or 'letting go' - the pleasure and 2. Autonomy v Shame and 1-3 yrs, toddler, toilet 566
  • 249. control. Is it dirty? Is it okay? Bodily expulsions are the centre of the world, and the pivot around which early character is formed. Am I pleasing my mum and dad? Are they making me feel good or bad about my bottom? Am I okay or naughty? Again the young child's actual experiences through this stage have a deep effect on the unconscious and behaviours and preferences in later life. Doubt training 3. Phallic Stage - Phallic is not restricted to boys. This stage is focused on resolving reproductive issues. This is a sort of dry run before the real game starts in adolescence. Where do babies come from? Can I have a baby? Why has dad got a willy and I've not? Why have I got a willy and mum hasn't? Why do they tell me off for touching my bits and pieces down there? (Boys) I'm going to marry mum (and maybe kill dad). (Girls) I'm in love with my dad. Oedipus Complex, Penis envy, Castration Anxiety, etc. If you touch yourself down there it'll fall off/heal up.. Inevitably once more, experiences in this stage have a profound effect on feelings and behaviour and libido in later life. If you want to know more about all this I recommend you read about Freud, not Erikson, and I repeat that understanding Freud's psychosexual theory is not required for understanding and using Erikson's concepts. 3. Initiative v Guilt 3-6 yrs, pre- school, nursery 4. Latency Stage - Sexual dormancy or repression. The focus is on learning, skills, schoolwork. This is actually not a psychosexual stage because basically normally nothing formative happens sexually. Experiences, fears 4. Industry v Inferiority 5-12 yrs, early school 567
  • 250. and conditioning from the previous stages have already shaped many of the child's feelings and attitudes and these will re-surface in the next stage. 5. Genital stage - Puberty in other words. Glandular, hormonal, and physical changes in the adolescent child's body cause a resurgence of sexual thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Boys start treating their mothers like woman- servants and challenge their fathers (Freud's 'Oedipus'). Girls flirt with their fathers and argue with their mums (Freud's 'Electra'). All become highly agitated if away from a mirror for more than half an hour (Freud's Narcissus or Narcissism). Dating and fondling quickly push schoolwork and sports (and anything else encouraged by parents and figures of authority) into second place. Basically everyone is in turmoil and it's mostly to do with growing up, which entails more sexual undercurrents than parents would ever believe, even though these same parents went through exactly the same struggles themselves just a few years before. It's a wonder anyone ever makes it to adulthood, but of course they do, and mostly it's all perfectly normal. This is the final Freudian psychosexual stage. Erikson's model, which from the start offers a different and more socially oriented perspective, continues through to old age, and re-interprets Freudian sexual theory into the adult life stages equating to Erikson's crisis stages. This incorporation of Freudian sexual stages into the adult crisis stages is not especially significant. 5. Identity v Role Confusion 11-18 yrs, puberty, teens earlier for girls 568
  • 251. Arguably no direct equivalent Freudian stage, although as from Identity and the Life Cycle (1969) Erikson clearly separated Puberty and Genitality (Freud's Genital stage) , and related each respectively to Identity v Role Confusion, and Intimacy v Isolation. 6. Intimacy v Isolation 18-40, courting, early parenthood No direct equivalent Freudian stage, although Erikson later interpreted this as being a psychosexual stage of 'Procreativity'. 7. Generativity v Stagnation 30-65, middle age, parenting Again no direct equivalent Freudian stage. Erikson later called this the psychosexual stage of 'Generalization of Sensual Modes'. 8. Integrity v Despair 50+, old age, grandparents N.B. This is a quick light overview of Freud's sexual theory and where it equates to Erikson's crisis stages. It's not meant to be a serious detailed analysis of Freud's psychosexual ideas. That said, I'm open to suggestions from any Freud experts out there who would like to offer improved (quick, easy, down-to-earth) pointers to the Freudian psychosexual theory. Erikson's eight psychosocial crisis stages Here's a more detailed interpretation of Erikson's psychosocial crisis stages. Remember age range is just a very rough guide, especially through the later levels when parenthood timing and influences vary. Hence the overlap between the age ranges in the interpretation below. Interpretations of age range vary among writers and academics. Erikson intentionally did not stipulate clear fixed age stages, and it's impossible for anyone to do so. Below is a reminder of the crisis stages, using the crisis terminology of the original 1950 model aside from the shorter terminology that 569
  • 252. Erikson later preferred for stages one and eight. The 'Life Stage' names were suggested in later writings by Erikson and did not appear so clearly in the 1950 model. Age range and other descriptions are general interpretations and were not shown specifically like this by Erikson. Erikson's main terminology changes are explained below. Crisis stages are driven by physical and sexual growth, which then prompts the life issues which create the crises. The crises are therefore not driven by age precisely. Erikson never showed precise ages, and I prefer to state wider age ranges than many other common interpretations. The final three (adult) stages happen at particularly variable ages. It's worth noting also that these days there's a lot more 'life' and complexity in the final (old age) stage than when the eight stages were originally outlined, which no doubt fuelled Joan Erikson's ideas on a 'ninth stage' after Erik's death. Erikson's eight psychosocial stages Psychosocial Crisis Stage Life Stage age range, other descriptions 1. Trust v Mistrust Infancy 0-1½ yrs, baby, birth to walking 2. Autonomy v Shame and Doubt Early Childhood 1-3 yrs, toddler, toilet training 3. Initiative v Guilt Play Age 3-6 yrs, pre-school, nursery 4. Industry v Inferiority School Age 5-12 yrs, early school 5. Identity v Role Confusion Adolescence 9-18 yrs, puberty, teens* 6. Intimacy v Isolation Young Adult 18-40, courting, early 570
  • 253. parenthood 7. Generativity v Stagnation Adulthood 30-65, middle age, parenting 8. Integrity v Despair Mature Age 50+, old age, grandparents * Other interpretations of the Adolescence stage commonly suggest stage 5 begins around 12 years of age. This is reasonable for most boys, but given that Erikson and Freud cite the onset of puberty as the start of this stage, stage 5 can begin for girls as early as age nine. Erikson's psychosocial theory essentially states that each person experiences eight 'psychosocial crises' (internal conflicts linked to life's key stages) which help to define his or her growth and personality. People experience these 'psychosocial crisis' stages in a fixed sequence, but timings vary according to people and circumstances. This is why the stages and the model are represented primarily by the names of the crises or emotional conflicts themselves (e.g., Trust v Mistrust) rather than strict age or life stage definitions. Age and life stages do feature in the model, but as related rather than pivotal factors, and age ranges are increasingly variable as the stages unfold. Each of the eight 'psychosocial crises' is characterised by a conflict between two opposing positions or attitudes (or dispositions or emotional forces). Erikson never really settled on a firm recognisable description for the two components of each crisis, although in later works the first disposition is formally referred to as the 'Adaptive Strength'. He also used the terms 'syntonic' and 'dystonic' for respectively the first and second dispositions in each crisis, but not surprisingly these esoteric words never featured strongly in interpretations of Erikson’s terminology, and their usual meanings are not very helpful in understanding what Erikson meant in this context. 571
  • 254. The difficulty in 'labeling' the first and second dispositions in each crisis is a reflection that neither is actually wholly good or bad, or wholly positive or negative. The first disposition is certainly the preferable tendency, but an ideal outcome is achieved only when it is counter- balanced with a degree of the second disposition. Successful development through each crisis is requires a balance and ratio between the two dispositions, not total adoption of the apparent 'positive' disposition, which if happens can produce almost as much difficulty as a strong or undiluted tendency towards the second 'negative' disposition. Some of the crisis stages are easier to understand than others. Each stage contains far more meaning than can be conveyed in just two or three words. Crisis stage one is 'Trust versus Mistrust', which is easier to understand than some of the others. Stage four 'Industry versus Inferiority' is a little trickier. You could say instead 'usefulness versus uselessness' in more modern common language. Erikson later refined 'Industry' to 'Industriousness', which probably conveys a fuller meaning. See the more detailed crisis stages descriptions below for a clearer understanding. Successful passage through each stage is dependent on striking the right balance between the conflicting extremes rather than entirely focusing on (or being guided towards) the 'ideal' or 'preferable' extreme in each crisis. In this respect Erikson's theory goes a long way to explaining why too much of anything is not helpful for developing a well-balanced personality. A well-balanced positive experience during each stage develops a corresponding 'basic virtue' (or 'basic strength - a helpful personality development), each of which enables a range of other related emotional and psychological strengths. For example passing successfully through the Industry versus Inferiority crisis (stage four, between 6-12 years of age for most people) produces the 'basic psychosocial virtue' of 'competence' (plus related strengths such as 'method', skills, 572
  • 255. techniques, ability to work with processes and collaborations, etc). More detail is under 'Basic virtues'. Where passage through a crisis stage is less successful (in other words not well-balanced, or worse still, psychologically damaging) then to a varying extent the personality acquires an unhelpful emotional or psychological tendency, which corresponds to one of the two opposite extremes of the crisis concerned. Neglect and failure at any stage is is problematical, but so is too much emphasis on the apparent 'good' extreme. For example unsuccessful experiences during the Industry versus Inferiority crisis would produce a tendency towards being overly focused on learning and work, or the opposite tendency towards uselessness and apathy. Describing these unhelpful outcomes, Erikson later introduced the terms 'maladaptation' (overly adopting 'positive' extreme) and 'malignancy' (adopting the 'negative' extreme). More detail is under 'Maladaptations' and 'Malignancies'. In the most extreme cases the tendency can amount to serious mental problems. Here is each crisis stage in more detail. Erikson's psychosocial crisis stages - meanings and interpretations Erikson used particular words to represent each psychosocial crisis. As ever, single words can be misleading and rarely convey much meaning. Here is more explanation of what lies behind these terms. Erikson reinforced these crisis explanations with a perspective called 'psychosocial modalities', which in the earlier stages reflect Freudian theory, and which are paraphrased below. They are not crucial to the model, but they do provide a useful additional viewpoint. 'psychosocial crisis' / 'psychosocial modality' meaning and interpretation 573
  • 256. 1. Trust v Mistrust 'To get' 'To give in return' (To receive and to give in return. Trust is reciprocal - maybe karma even..) The infant will develop a healthy balance between trust and mistrust if fed and cared for and not over-indulged or over-protected. Abuse or neglect or cruelty will destroy trust and foster mistrust. Mistrust increases a person's resistance to risk-exposure and exploration. Once bitten twice shy is an apt analogy. On the other hand, if the infant is insulated from all and any feelings of surprise and normality, or unfailingly indulged, this will create a false sense of trust amounting to sensory distortion, in other words a failure to appreciate reality. Infants who grow up to trust are more able to hope and have faith that 'things will generally be okay'. This crisis stage incorporates Freud's psychosexual Oral stage, in which the infant's crucial relationships and experiences are defined by oral matters, notably feeding and relationship with mum. Erikson later shortened 'Basic Trust v Basic Mistrust' to simply Trust v Mistrust, especially in tables and headings. 2. Autonomy v Shame Doubt 'To hold on' 'To let go' (To direct behaviour outward or be retentive. Of course very Autonomy means self-reliance. This is independence of thought, and a basic confidence to think and act for oneself. Shame and Doubt mean what they say, and obviously inhibit self- expression and developing one's own ideas, opinions and sense of self. Toilet and potty training is a significant part of this crisis, as in Freud's psychosexual Anal stage, where parental reactions, encouragement and patience play an important role in shaping the young child's experience and successful progression 574
  • 257. Freudian...) through this period. The significance of parental reaction is not limited to bottoms and pooh - it concerns all aspects of toddler exploration and discovery while small children struggle to find their feet - almost literally - as little people in their own right. The 'terrible twos' and 'toddler tantrums' are a couple of obvious analogies which represent these internal struggles and parental battles. The parental balancing act is a challenging one, especially since parents themselves are having to deal with their own particular psychosocial crisis, and of course deal with the influence of their own emotional triggers which were conditioned when they themselves passed through earlier formative crisis stages. What are the odds that whenever a parent berates a child, That's dirty.. it will be an echo from their own past experience at this very stage? 3. Initiative v Guilt 'To make (= going after)' 'To make like (= playing)' (To make and complete things, and to make things together. To pursue ideas, plans) Initiative is the capability to devise actions or projects, and a confidence and belief that it is okay to do so, even with a risk of failure or making mistakes. Guilt means what it says, and in this context is the feeling that it is wrong or inappropriate to instigate something of one's own design. Guilt results from being admonished or believing that something is wrong or likely to attract disapproval. Initiative flourishes when adventure and game-playing is encouraged, irrespective of how daft and silly it seems to the grown-up in charge. Suppressing adventure and experimentation, or preventing 575
  • 258. young children doing things for themselves because of time, mess or a bit of risk will inhibit the development of confidence to initiate, replacing it instead with an unhelpful fear of being wrong or unapproved. The fear of being admonished or accused of being stupid becomes a part of the personality. If I don't initiate or stick my neck out I'll be safe.. (from feeling guilty and bad). Parents, carers and older siblings have a challenge to get the balance right between giving young children enough space and encouragement so as to foster a sense of purpose and confidence, but to protect against danger, and also to enable a sensible exposure to trail and error, and to the consequences of mistakes, without which an irresponsible or reckless tendency can develop. This crisis stage correlates with Freud's psychosexual Phallic stage, characterised by a perfectly natural interest in genitals, where babies come from, and as Freud asserted, an attachment to the opposite sex parent, and the murky mysteries of the Oedipus Complex, Penis Envy and Castration Anxiety, about which further explanation and understanding is not critical to appreciating Erikson's theory. What's more essential is to recognise that children of this age are not wicked or bad or naughty, they are exploring and 4. Industry v Industry here refers to purposeful or 576
  • 259. Inferiority 'To make (= going after)' 'To make like and complete things, and to make things together' (To initiate projects or ideas, and to collaborate and cooperate with others to produce something.) meaningful activity. It's the development of competence and skills, and a confidence to use a 'method', and is a crucial aspect of school years experience. Erikson described this stage as a sort of 'entrance to life'. This correlates with Freud's psychosexual Latency stage, when sexual motives and concerns are largely repressed while the young person concentrates on work and skills development. A child who experiences the satisfaction of achievement - of anything positive - will move towards successful negotiation of this crisis stage. A child who experiences failure at school tasks and work, or worse still who is denied the opportunity to discover and develop their own capabilities and strengths and unique potential, quite naturally is prone to feeling inferior and useless. Engaging with others and using tools or technology are also important aspects of this stage. It is like a rehearsal for being productive and being valued at work in later life. Inferiority is feeling useless; unable to contribute, unable to cooperate or work in a team to create something, with the low self-esteem that accompanies such feelings. Erikson knew this over fifty years ago. How is it that the people in charge of children's education still fail to realise this? Develop the child from within. Help them to find and excel at what they are naturally good at, and then they will achieve the sense of purpose and industry on which everything else can then be built. 577
  • 260. 5. Identity v Role Confusion 'To be oneself (or not to be)' 'To share being oneself' (To be yourself and to share this with others. Affirmation or otherwise of how you see yourself.) Identity means essentially how a person sees themselves in relation to their world. It's a sense of self or individuality in the context of life and what lies ahead. Role Confusion is the negative perspective - an absence of identity - meaning that the person cannot see clearly or at all who they are and how they can relate positively with their environment. This stage coincides with puberty or adolescence, and the reawakening of the sexual urge whose dormancy typically characterises the previous stage. Young people struggle to belong and to be accepted and affirmed, and yet also to become individuals. In itself this is a big dilemma, aside from all the other distractions and confusions experienced at this life stage. Erikson later replaced the term 'Role Confusion' with 'Identity Diffusion'. In essence they mean the same. 6. Intimacy v Isolation 'To lose and find oneself in another' (Reciprocal love for and with another person.) Intimacy means the process of achieving relationships with family and marital or mating partner(s). Erikson explained this stage also in terms of sexual mutuality - the giving and receiving of physical and emotional connection, support, love, comfort, trust, and all the other elements that we would typically associate with healthy adult relationships conducive to mating and child-rearing. There is a strong reciprocal feature in the intimacy experienced during this stage - giving and receiving - especially between 578
  • 261. sexual or marital partners. Isolation conversely means being and feeling excluded from the usual life experiences of dating and mating and mutually loving relationships. This logically is characterised by feelings of loneliness, alienation, social withdrawal or non-participation. Erikson also later correlated this stage with the Freudian Genitality sexual stage, which illustrates the difficulty in equating Freudian psychosexual theory precisely to Erikson's model. There is a correlation but it is not an exact fit. 7. Generativity v Stagnation 'To make be' 'To take care of' (Unconditional, non-reciprocating care of one's children, or other altruistic outlets) Generativity derives from the word generation, as in parents and children, and specifically the unconditional giving that characterises positive parental love and care for their offspring. Erikson acknowledged that this stage also extends to other productive activities - work and creativity for example - but given his focus on childhood development, and probably the influence of Freudian theory, Erikson's analysis of this stage was strongly oriented towards parenting. Generativity potentially extends beyond one's own children, and also to all future generations, which gives the model ultimately a very modern globally responsible perspective. Positive outcomes from this crisis stage depend on contributing positively and unconditionally. 579
  • 262. We might also see this as an end of self-interest. Having children is not a prerequisite for Generativity, just as being a parent is no guarantee that Generativity will be achieved. Caring for children is the common Generativity scenario, but success at this stage actually depends on giving and caring - putting something back into life, to the best of one's capabilities. Stagnation is an extension of intimacy which turns inward in the form of self-interest and self-absorption. It's the disposition that represents feelings of selfishness, self- indulgence, greed, lack of interest in young people and future generations, and the wider world. Erikson later used the term 'Self-Absorption' instead of 'Stagnation' and then seems to have settled in later work with the original 'Stagnation'. Stagnation and/or Self-Absorption result from not having an outlet or opportunity for contributing to the good or growth of children and others, and potentially to the wider world. 8. Integrity v Despair 'To be, through having been This is a review and closing stage. The previous stage is actually a culmination of one's achievement and contribution to descendents, and potentially future generations everywhere. 580
  • 263. To face not being' (To be peaceful and satisfied with one's life and efforts, and to be accepting that life will end.) Later Erikson dropped the word 'Ego' (from 'Ego Integrity') and extended the whole term to 'Integrity v Disgust and Despair'. He also continued to use the shorter form 'Integrity v Despair'. Integrity means feeling at peace with oneself and the world. No regrets or recriminations. The linking between the stages is perhaps clearer here than anywhere: people are more likely to look back on their lives positively and happily if they have left the world a better place than they found it - in whatever way, to whatever extent. There lies Integrity and acceptance. Despair and/or 'Disgust' (i.e., rejective denial, or 'sour grapes' feeling towards what life might have been) represent the opposite disposition: feelings of wasted opportunities, regrets, wishing to be able to turn back the clock and have a second chance. This stage is a powerful lens through which to view one's life - even before old age is reached. To bring this idea to life look at the 'obituaries' exercise. Erikson had a profound interest in humanity and society's well-being in general. This crisis stage highlights the issue very meaningfully. Happily these days for many people it's often possible to put something back, even in the depths of despair. When this happens people 581
  • 264. are effectively rebuilding wreckage from the previous stage, which is fine. Erikson's basic psychosocial virtues or strengths (positive outcomes) The chart below identifies the 'basic psychosocial virtues' - and related strengths - which result from successfully passing through each crisis. Erikson described success as a 'favourable ratio' (between the two extremes) at each crisis stage. A basic virtue is not the result of simply achieving the positive extreme of each crisis. Basic virtue is attained by a helpful balance, albeit towards the 'positive', between the two extremes. Helpfully balanced experience leads to positive growth. Chief life stage issues and relationships are also re-stated as a reminder as to when things happen. 'Basic psychological virtue' and 'basic virtue' (same thing), are Erikson's terminology. Erikson identified one basic virtue, plus another virtue (described below a 'secondary virtue') for each stage. At times he referred to 'basic virtues' as 'basic strengths'. A bit confusing, but the main point is that based on what observed for each stage he identified one clear basic virtue and one secondary virtue. From this he was able to (and we can too - he encouraged people to do so) extrapolate other related strengths. Bear in mind also that the first disposition in each crisis is also inevitably a related strength that comes from successfully experiencing each stage. Erikson recognised this by later referring to the first disposition (e.g., Trust, Autonomy, etc) as an 'Adaptive Strength'. 582
  • 265. basic virtues and other strengths crisis including adaptive strength basic virtue secondary virtue (and related strengths) life stage / relationships / issues 1. Trust v Mistrust Hope Drive (faith, inner calm, grounding, basic feeling that everything will be okay - enabling exposure to risk, a trust in life and self and others, inner resolve and strength in the face of uncertainty and risk) infant / mother / feeding and being comforted, teething, sleeping 2. Autonomy v Shame Doubt Willpower Self-Control (self-determination, self- belief, self-reliance, confidence in self to decide things, having a voice, being one's own person, persistence, self-discipline, independence of thought, responsibility, judgement) toddler / parents / bodily functions, toilet training, muscular control, walking 3. Initiative v Guilt Purpose Direction (sense of purpose, decision-making, working with and leading others, initiating projects and ideas, courage to instigate, preschool / family / exploration and discovery, adventure and play 583
  • 266. ability to define personal direction and aims and goals, able to take initiative and appropriate risks) 4. Industry v Inferiority Competence Method (making things, producing results, applying skills and processes productively, feeling valued and capable of contributing, ability to apply method and process in pursuit of ideas or objectives, confidence to seek and respond to challenge and learning, active busy productive outlook) schoolchild / school, teachers, friends, neighbourhood / achievement and accomplishment 5. Identity v Role Confusion Fidelity Devotion (self- confidence and self-esteem necessary to freely associate with people and ideas based on merit, loyalty, social and interpersonal integrity, discretion, personal standards and dignity, pride and personal identity, seeing useful personal role(s) and adolescent / peers, groups, influences / resolving identity and direction, becoming a grown-up 584
  • 267. purpose(s) in life) 6. Intimacy v Isolation Love Affiliation (capacity to give and receive love - emotionally and physically, connectivity with others, socially and inter- personally comfortable, ability to form honest reciprocating relationships and friendships, capacity to bond and commit with others for mutual satisfaction - for work and personal life, reciprocity - give and take - towards good) young adult / lovers, friends, work connections / intimate relationships, work and social life 7. Generativity v Stagnation Care Production (giving unconditionally in support of children and/or for others, community, society and the wider world where possible and applicable, altruism, contributing for the greater good, making a positive difference, building a good legacy, helping others through their own crisis stages mid-adult / children, community / 'giving back', helping, contributing 585
  • 268. 8. Integrity v Despair Wisdom Renunciation (calmness, tolerance, appropriate emotional detachment - non- projection, no regrets, peace of mind, non- judgemental, spiritual or universal reconciliation, acceptance of inevitably departing) late adult / society, the world, life / meaning and purpose, life achievements, acceptance Erikson and Maslow correlations? As an aside, there are significant parallels between the growth outcomes of the Erikson psychosocial model, and the growth aspects Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It's not a precise fit obviously because the Erikson and Maslow perspectives are different, but the correlations are clear and fascinating. Erikson separately listed a series of 'Related Elements of Social Order' within his psychosocial model, which although quite obscure in this context, might aid the comparison. You might have your own views on this. For what it's worth here's mine: life stage / relationships / issues crisis virtue outcomes Erikson's 'related elements of social order' Maslow Hierarchy of Needs stage - primary correlation infant / mother / feeding and being comforted, 1. Trust v Mistrust Hope Drive 'cosmic order' biological physiological 586
  • 269. teething, sleeping toddler / parents / bodily functions, toilet training, muscular control, walking 2. Autonomy v Shame Doubt Willpower Self-Control 'law and order' safety preschool / family / exploration and discovery, adventure and play 3. Initiative v Guilt Purpose Direction 'ideal prototypes' belongingness love schoolchild / school, teachers, friends, neighbourhood / achievement and accomplishment 4. Industry v Inferiority Competence Method 'technological elements' esteem adolescent / peers, groups, influences / resolving identity and direction, becoming a grown-up 5. Identity v Role Confusion Fidelity Devotion 'ideological perspectives' esteem 587
  • 270. young adult / lovers, friends, work connections / intimate relationships, work and social life 6. Intimacy v Isolation Love Affiliation 'patterns of cooperation and competition' esteem mid-adult / children, community / 'giving back', helping, contributing 7. Generativity v Stagnation Care Production 'currents of education and training' self- actualisation late adult / society, the world, life / meaning and purpose, life achievements, acceptance 8. Integrity v Despair Wisdom Renunciation 'wisdom' self- actualisation N.B. I'm not suggesting a direct fit between Erikson's and Maslow's models. Rather, this simply puts the two perspectives alongside each other to show how similar aspects could could inter-relate. Judge for yourself. We might also use the Erikson model to help explain what happens in Maslow's theory when a particular trauma sweeps away a part of someone's life (perhaps due to redundancy, divorce, social exclusion, bankruptcy, homelessness), which causes the person to revisit certain needs and internal conflicts (crises) which were once satisfied earlier but are no longer met. According to both Erikson's and Maslow's 588
  • 271. theories, anyone can find themselves revisiting and having to resolve needs (or crisis feelings or experiences) from earlier years. Further thoughts and suggestions about correlations between Maslow and Erikson are welcome. Erikson's model - maladaptations and malignancies (negative outcomes) Later Erikson developed clearer ideas and terminology - notably 'Maladaptations' and 'Malignancies' - to represent the negative outcomes arising from an unhelpful experience through each of the crisis stages. In crude modern terms these negative outcomes might be referred to as 'baggage', which although somewhat unscientific, is actually a very apt metaphor, since people tend to carry with them through life the psychological outcomes of previously unhelpful experiences. Psychoanalysis, the particular therapeutic science from which Erikson approached these issues, is a way to help people understand where the baggage came from, and thereby to assist the process of dumping it. To an extent these negative outcomes can also arise from repeating or revisiting a crisis, or more realistically the essential aspects of a crisis, since we don't actually regress to a younger age, instead we revisit the experiences and feelings associated with earlier life. This chart is laid out with the crisis in the centre to aid appreciation that 'maladaptations' develop from tending towards the extreme of the first ('positive') disposition in each crisis, and 'malignancies' develop from tending towards the extreme of the second ('negative') disposition in each crisis. A maladaptation could be seen as 'too much of a good thing'. A malignancy could be seen as not enough. In later writings malignancies were also referred to as 'antipathies'. 589
  • 272. maladaptations and malignancies Maladaptation Crisis Malignancy Sensory Distortion (later Sensory Maladjustment) Trust v Mistrust Withdrawal Impulsivity (later Shameless Willfulness) Autonomy v Shame/Doubt Compulsion Ruthlessness Initiative v Guilt Inhibition Narrow Virtuosity Industry v Inferiority Inertia Fanaticism Identity v Role Confusion Repudiation Promiscuity Intimacy v Isolation Exclusivity Overextension Generativity v Stagnation Rejectivity Presumption Integrity v Despair Disdain 590
  • 273. Erikson was careful to choose words for the maladaptations and malignancies which convey a lot of meaning and are very symbolic of the emotional outcomes that are relevant to each stage. In each case the maladaptation or malignancy corresponds to an extreme extension of the relevant crisis disposition (for example, 'Withdrawal' results from an extreme extension of 'Mistrust'). Thinking about this helps to understand what these outcomes entail, and interestingly helps to identify the traits in people - or oneself - when you encounter the behavioural tendency concerned. Malignancies and maladaptations can manifest in various ways. Here are examples, using more modern and common language, to help understand and interpret the meaning and possible attitudes, tendencies, behaviours, etc., within the various malignancies and malapdations. In each case the examples can manifest as more extreme mental difficulties, in which case the terms would be more extreme too. These examples are open to additional interpretation and are intended to be a guide, not scientific certainties. Neither do these examples suggest that anyone experiencing any of these behavioural tendencies is suffering from mental problems. Erikson never established any absolute measurement of emotional difficulty or tendency as to be defined as a malignancy or maladaptation. In truth each of us is subject to emotional feelings and and extremes of various sorts, and it is always a matter of opinion as to what actually constitutes a problem. All people possess a degree of maladaptation or malignancy from each crisis experience. Not to do so would not be human, since none of us is perfect. It's always a question of degree. It's also a matter of understanding our weaknesses, maybe understanding where they come from too, and thereby better understanding how we might become stronger, more productive and happier. maladaptations and malignancies - examples and interpretations examples Maladap- crisis Malign- examples 591
  • 274. tation nancy unrealistic, spoilt, deluded Sensory Distortion Trust v Mistrust With- drawal neurotic, depressive, afraid reckless, inconsiderate, thoughtless Impuls- ivity Autonomy v Shame/ Doubt Compulsi on anal, constrained, self-limiting exploitative, uncaring, dispassionate Ruthless- ness Initiative v Guilt Inhi- bition risk-averse, unadventurous workaholic, obsessive specialist Narrow Virtuosity Industry v Inferiority Inertia lazy, apathetic, purposeless self-important, extremist Fana- ticism Identity v Role Confusion Repudiati on socially disconnected, cut-off sexually needy, vulnerable Promis- cuity Intimacy v Isolation Exclu- sivity loner, cold, self- contained do-gooder, busy-body, meddling Over- extension Genera- tivity v Stagnation Reject- ivity disinterested, cynical 592
  • 275. conceited, pompous, arrogant Presump- tion Integrity v Despair Disdain miserable, unfulfilled, blaming Erikson's terminology This section explains how some of the model's terminology altered as Erikson developed his theory, and is not crucial to understanding the model at a simple level. Erikson was continually refining and re-evaluating his psychosocial theory, and he encouraged his readers and followers to do likewise. This developmental approach enabled the useful extension of the model to its current format. Some of what is summarised here did not initially appear clearly in Childhood and Society in 1950, which marked the establishment of the basic theory, not its completion. Several aspects of Erikson's theory were clarified in subsequent books decades later, including work focusing on old age by Joan Erikson, Erik's wife and collaborator, notably in the 1996 revised edition of The Life Cycle Completed: A Review. The Eriksons' refinements also involved alterations - some would say complications - to the terminology, which (although presumably aiming for scientific precision) do not necessarily aid understanding, especially at a basic working level. For clarity therefore this page sticks mostly with Erikson's original 1950 and other commonly used terminology. Basic Trust v Basic Mistrust (1950) is however shortened here to Trust v Mistrust, and Ego Integrity (1950) is shortened to Integrity, because these seem to be more consistent Erikson preferences. The terms used on this page are perfectly adequate, and perhaps easier too, for grasping what the theory means and making use of it. 593
  • 276. Here are the main examples of alternative terminology that Erikson used in later works to describe the crisis stages and other aspects, which will help you recognise and understand their meaning if you see them elsewhere.  Erikson used the terms 'syntonic' and 'dystonic' to describe the contrary dispositions and effects within each crisis stage - 'syntonic' being the 'positive' first-listed factor (e.g., Trust) and 'dystonic' being the 'negative' second-listed word (e.g., Mistrust). Again realise that a balance between syntonic and dystonic tendencies is required for healthy outcomes. Extreme tendency in either direction is not helpful. Syntonic extremes equate to maladaptations. Dystonic extremes equate to malignancies. The words syntonic and dystonic outside of Erikson's theory have quite specific scientific medical meanings which are not easy to equate to Erikson's essential ideas. Syntonic conventionally refers to a high degree of emotional response to one's environment; dystonic conventionally refers to abnormal muscular responsiveness. See what I mean?.. neither literal definition particularly aids understanding of Erikson's theory and as such they are not very helpful in using the model.  Erikson later used 'Adaptive Strength' as a firm description of the first disposition in each crisis, e.g., Trust, Autonomy, Initiative. He used the description loosely early in his work but seems to have settled on it as a firm heading in later work, (notably in Vital Involvement in Old Age, 1986).  'Basic Virtues' Erikson also called 'Basic Strengths' (the word 'basic' generally identified the single main virtue or strength that potentially arose from each crisis, which would be accompanied by various other related strengths).  Erikson (or maybe Joan Erikson) later used the term 'Antipathy' as an alternative for 'Malignancy' (being the negative tendency towards the second resulting from unsuccessful experience during a crisis stage). 594
  • 277.  'Sensory Distortion' was later referred to as 'Sensory Maladjustment', being the maladaptive tendency arising at stage one (Trust v Mistrust).  'Impulsivity' he later changed to 'Shameless Willfulness', being the maladaptive tendency arising at stage two (Autonomy v Shame Doubt)  Erikson generally used the simpler 'Trust v Mistrust' instead of 'Basic Trust v Basic Mistrust' which first appeared in the 1950 model.  Erikson later refined 'Industry' to 'Industriousness'.  Erikson later referred to 'Role Confusion' as 'Identity Diffusion' and 'Identity Confusion'.  He later referred to 'Intimacy' also as 'Intimacy and Distantiation'. (Distantiation means the ability to bring objectivity - emotional detachment - to personal decision-making.)  'Ego Integrity' he also simplified at times to simply 'Integrity'.  'Stagnation' was later shown alternatively as 'Self-Absorption', and later still reverted to 'Stagnation'.  At times he extended 'Despair' to 'Despair and Disgust' (Disgust here being a sort of 'sour grapes' reaction or rejective denial). In conclusion Erikson's psychosocial theory very powerful for self-awareness and improvement, and for teaching and helping others. While Erikson's model emphasises the sequential significance of the eight character-forming crisis stages, the concept also asserts that humans continue to change and develop throughout their lives, and that personality is not exclusively formed during early childhood years. This is a helpful and optimistic idea, and many believe it is realistic too. It is certainly a view that greatly assists encouraging oneself and others to see the future as an opportunity for positive change and development, instead of looking back with blame and regret. 595
  • 278. The better that people come through each crisis, the better they will tend to deal with what lies ahead, but this is not to say that all is lost and never to be recovered if a person has had a negative experience during any particular crisis stage. Lessons can be revisited successfully when they recur, if we recognise and welcome them. Everyone can change and grow, no matter what has gone before. And as ever, understanding why we are like we are - gaining meaningful self- awareness - is always a useful and important step forward. Erikson's theory, along with many other concepts featured on this website, helps to enable this meaningful understanding and personal growth. Erikson's psychosocial theory should be taught to everyone - especially to school children, teachers and parents - it's certainly accessible enough, and would greatly assist all people of all ages to understand the connections between life experiences and human behaviour - and particularly how grown-ups can help rather than hinder children's development into rounded emotionally mature people. Erikson was keen to improve the way children and young people are taught and nurtured, and it would be appropriate for his ideas to be more widely known and used in day-to-day life, beyond the clinical and counselling professions. Hopefully this page explains Erikson's psychosocial theory in reasonable simple terms. I'm always open to suggestions of improvements, especially for a challenging and potent area like this one. I recommend for more detail you see the wonderful materials created by Professor George Boeree of the Shippensburg (Pennsylvania) University Psychology Department, and specifically George Boeree's Erikson theory explanation. Or read any of Erikson's books - they are very accessible and rich in ideas, and they do have a strong resonance with much of what we face in modern life. Sources: 596
  • 279. WWW.BAREFOOTGUIDE.ORG The Art of Counselling / De Kunst van het Counselen © Copyright Owner: Academy for Counselling and Coaching - The Netherlands - Paul van Schaik See for more details about the use of this material. See for the separate terms and conditions for the Businessballs Community. Please retain this notice on all copies. © alan chapman 1995-2012 597
  • 280. 3.24 THE DRAMA TRIANGLE The Drama Triangle is a model of dysfunctional social interaction, created by psychotherapist Stephen Karpman. Each point on the triangle represents a common and ineffective response to conflict, one more likely to prolong disharmony than to end it. Rescuer Persecutor Victim Participants in a drama triangle create misery for themselves and others. The goal is to transform this lose-lose situation and create a more positive outcome for everyone. Each player in this particular mind game begins by assuming one of three archetypical roles: Victim, Rescuer, or Persecutor. • Victims are helpless and hopeless. They deny responsibility for their negative circumstances, and deny possession of the power to change them. They do less than 50%, won’t take a stand, act “super-sensitive”, wanting kid glove treatment, and pretend impotence and incompetence. 598
  • 281. • Rescuers are constantly applying short-term repairs to a Victim’s problems, while neglecting their own needs. They are always working hard to “help” other people. They are harried, tired, and often have physical complaints. They are usually angry underneath and may be a loud or quiet martyr in style. They use guilt to get their way. • Persecutors blame the Victims and criticize the enabling behavior of Rescuers, without providing guidance, assistance or a solution to the underlying problem. They are critical and unpleasant and good at finding fault. They often feel inadequate underneath. They control with threats, order, and rigidity. They can be loud or quiet in style and sometimes be a bully. Players sometimes alternate or “switch” roles during the course of a game. For example, a Rescuer pushed too far by a Persecutor will switch to the role of Victim or counter-Persecutor. Victims depend on a savior, Rescuers yearn for a basket case and Persecutors need a scapegoat. While a healthy person will perform in each of these roles occasionally, pathological role-players actively avoid leaving the familiar and comfortable environment of the game. Thus, if no recent misfortune has befallen them or their loved ones, they will often create one. In each case, the drama triangle is an instrument of destruction. The only way to “escape” the Drama Triangle is to function as an “adult” and not participate in the game. How the game is played A good example of the game could be this fictitious argument between John and Mary, a married couple. Sometimes the Rescuer’s point seems calm and even reasonable. If the words placate, soothe, calm, explain or justify, it can be considered a Rescuer response--it is an attempt to move the other person from their position. John: I can't believe you burnt dinner! That's the third time this month! (P) 599
  • 282. Mary: Well, little Johnny fell and skinned his knee, it burned while I was busy getting him a bandage. (R) John: You baby that boy too much! (P) Mary: You wouldn't want him to get an infection, would you? I'd end up having to take care of him while he was sick. (V) John: He's big enough to get his own bandage. (R) Mary: I just didn't want him bleeding all over the carpet. (R) John: You know, that's the problem with these kids! They expect you to do everything! (R) Mary: That's only natural, honey, they are just young. (R) John: I work like a dog all day at a job I hate... (V) Mary: Yes, you do work very hard, dear. (R) John: And I can't even sit down to a good dinner! (V) Mary: I can cook something else, it won't take too long. (R) John: A waste of an expensive steak! (P) Mary: Well maybe if you could have hauled your ass out of your chair for a minute while I was busy, it wouldn't have gotten burned! (P) John: You didn't say anything! How was I supposed to know? (P) Mary: As if you couldn't hear Johnny crying? You always ignore the kids! (P) John: I do not, I just need time to sit and relax and unwind after working all day! You don't know what it's like... (V) Mary: Sure, as if taking care of the house and kids isn't WORK! (P) Anyone reading this article could undoubtedly continue this argument indefinitely. What is of perhaps more interest is how one can remove oneself from the triangle, which, as the example makes clear, can be exhausting. The simplest method is the non-defensive response. This works at any point no matter what the role the other person is taking, as it doesn't give a cue as to the next response. 600
  • 283. For instance: Mary: Well maybe if you could have hauled your ass out of your chair for a minute while I was busy, it wouldn't have gotten burned! (P) John: Yes, that's true. Although Mary may attempt to restart the cycle by continuing to scold, if John continues in the same vein, Mary will eventually run out of things to say. Unless Mary is actually abusive, in which case care should be used in employing this method, John's calm response invites discussion rather than continued wrangling. She might realize that she didn't ask him for help, and they might well be able to resolve the situation by planning on a course of action should something similar arise in the future. It Works just as well for the victim role: John: I do not, I just need time to sit and relax and unwind after working all day! You don't know what it's like... (V) Mary: I'm sorry you're feeling so tired. This acknowledges any real problem the other person might have without continuing the dance. Again, the other person may attempt to restart the cycle by continuing to complain, but again, with continued non-defensive responses, the other person will run out of things to say. While the rescuer role is seemingly the least problematic of the three points of the triangle, it still is a part of a non-communicative cycle, and thus should be treated in the same manner. Mary: That's only natural, honey, they are just young. (R) John: Yes, they are young. Once again, the cycle is broken, and John has made it clear to Mary that he needs no further placating or assistance. Other excellent non-defensive responses: Oh. I see. You may be right. Source: 601
  • 284. The Empowerment Dynamic From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Empowerment Dynamic (TED) stands as an alternative to The Drama Triangle. The drama triangle is a psychological and social model of human interaction in transactional analysis (TA) first described by Stephen Karpman in 1968. The drama triangle is used in psychology and psychotherapy to describe the insidious way in which victims, persecutors, and rescuers get caught in a cycle that is hard to escape. For many years, the key to escaping this triangle was thought to be awareness plus willpower. However, there was no clear alternative to the drama triangle. In 2005, David Emerald (aka Womeldorff) published a short book called The Power of TED* to provide a new model that offers an antidote to and escape from Karpman's drama triangle. TED* involves three key roles that correspond to the roles found in the drama triangle. In the drama triangle, the major role is known as the Victim. The Victim is someone who sees life as happening to them and who feels powerless to change their circumstances. Victims place the blame for their status on a Persecutor, who can be a person or a situation. Being powerless, the Victim seeks a Rescuer to solve the problem for them. This dynamic is cyclical and repeats as one problem replaces another, creating a roller-coaster effect of tension and relief in a person's life. These roles are intrinsic to the idea of Victimhood or, as David Emerald describes it, the Victim Orientation. The empowerment dynamic (TED*) is goal or outcome oriented and replaces the Drama Triangle roles as follows. In the TED* framework, the Victim shifts into the role of Creator. The Persecutor takes on the role of Challenger, and the Rescuer assumes the new role of Coach. A Creator is someone who stops to think about what they want - what their long-term goal or vision is. Creators are outcome-oriented as opposed to problem-oriented. Problems will always occur, but instead of acting as a Persecutor, the problem now takes on the form of Challenger. 602
  • 285. Two-Triangles A Challenger is a person or situation that forces you to clarify your goal. Challengers encourage us to get clearer about what it is we do want, then focus our efforts towards moving closer to that goal. Emerald calls this Dynamic Tension. Dynamic Tension is the difference between current reality and the envisioned goal or outcome. By taking what Emerald calls Baby Steps a Creator gets closer to and clearer about the goals or outcomes they are trying to create in their lives. The final role of the TED* triangle is that of Coach. Instead of Rescuing someone, a Coach asks questions that are intended to help the individual to make informed choices. A Rescuer, by definition solves a Victim's problems, which keeps the Victim powerless and dependent 603
  • 286. upon the aid of others. This is a form of mind-game that can be found in Transactional Analysis. This is a self-perpetuating cycle designed to keep the Victim down and powerless. The key differentiation between a Rescuer and a Coach is that the Coach sees the individual as capable of making choices and of solving their own problems. A Coach asks questions that enable the individual to see the possibilities for positive action, to focus on what they do want instead of what they don't want. Coaches see victims as Creators in their own right and meet them as equals. This process interrupts the drama cycle and puts the former victim in the powerful position of Creator where they make informed choices and focus on outcomes instead of problems. Sharon Stanley, Ph.D., is a scholar-practitioner in the field of somatic psychotherapy who describes Victimhood as a neurological image that is held in the brain as a biological substrate. Dr. Stanley advocates the use of the TED* framework to help individuals connect what they feel in their bodies to what they believe in their minds to replace old memories of victimhood with new beliefs in their individual potential. The Empowerment Dynamic (*TED) - was developed by David Womeldorff, a fo