Effective coaching addresses the signal not the noise

I spent three days last week in San Francisco exploring and practicing ways to make coaching more effective in the third 7 Paths Forward workshop with David Goldsmith and David Peterson. This work made me more and more convinced that honing skills is helpful, but only to the extent that coaches also understand the human operating system.

Most efforts to explain how humans work and thus how to optimize or catalyze or unleash (choose your verb) human potential and performance add layers of complication and complexity. New theories and methodologies are developed to address inconsistencies and unintended consequence from earlier theories and methodologies.

The 3 Principles understanding is subtractive rather than additive. It clarifies the principles, or primary constituents, of human experience. This clarity is a game changer. It orients coaches and clients to the signal rather than the noise in life and work. Noise, in this instance, is the mental chatter and insecurity that impede learning, damage relationships, and cloud perception.

Most coaching addresses the noise: reduce it, filter it, change it, or replace it with better noise. That takes time, energy, attention, money, and other resources. It’s expensive, and it never alters the underlying reality that noise is a given in the human experience.

Principles-based coaching produces insights into the phantom nature of insecurity and mental noise. As clients appreciate that the noise is not definitive unless they choose to make it so, they are free to re-orient themselves around signal, around what they want to create, learn, or accomplish. Noise continues, and it matters less and less and less.

If you are a coach, a client, or responsible for coaching in your organization, check out the replay of the Wholeness Hangout in which I and my guest panelists explore coaching from a Three Principles perspective. Each of my guests have been trained in the International Coach Federation (ICF) tradition of coaching in a variety of programs. Each of us has encountered the Three Principles after this training and found that the Principles provide the robust basis or source code for what our coaching tradition has attempted to codify.

Click here for the replays and resources from A New/Old Story: Considering ICF Coaching from a 3P Perspective.

 

ICF and 3P: the time has come

Here’s my “impossible project” for Michael Neill’s Creating the Impossible 2018 program.

In the next 90 days I will make the Three Principles the explicit foundation for coaching in the International Coach Federation (ICF) tradition. It will be obvious that this has been accomplished when the Principles are incorporated into International Coach Federation (ICF) Core Coaching Competencies and standards for accredited coach training programs.

Why?

The International Coach Federation (ICF) is the most widely recognized and respected global professional organization for the coaching industry. The ethics, values, and knowledge encoded in ICF policies and standards have been invaluable in my own professional development. As a trainer and mentor of coaches, I’ve seen that coaches who can demonstrate the ICF Core Coaching Competencies are more effective by far than those who cannot.

Seven years ago I encountered the teachings of Sydney Banks, now popularly known as the Three Principles. Almost immediately I saw the Principles as the “source code” for coaching. Syd shared profound realizations about the nature of human experience and the truth of our connectedness and access to wisdom and insight moment to moment. These realizations are the principles that ground the values and standards ICF has developed.

Here’s one example of the impact that understanding the Principles has on coaching. The opening paragraph of the ICF definition of coaching states:

ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole.

According to ICF, coaches “believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole.” According to the Three Principles, this is a truth of human nature, not a belief or framework.The shift from adhering to a belief about client creativity, resourcefulness, and wholeness to seeing it as an actuality has profound implications for how coaches work.

Dr. Judith Sedgeman points eloquently to how understanding the Three Principles transforms our understanding of human potential in this post, The Infinity of Possibility. Without a 3P understanding, professional coaching remains a game played on a finite board. Coaches already understand the notion of limiting beliefs, but too often miss the fact that those beliefs are made up. What is made up does not need to be deconstructed; it can be seen through.

If you are a coach and interested in knowing more about the Three Principles, or a Three Principles practitioner interested in learning from the rich base of skills encoded in the ICF Core Coaching Competencies, let’s talk!

Dancing with impossiblityy

chalkboard heart impossibleMy current definition of coaching is “meeting clients at the interface between formlessness and form for the sake of creating something marvelous.”  Michael Neill is especially skilled at pointing to and working at this interface, which is why he’ll be my guest next week for the Wholeness Hangout to talk about his latest book, Creating the Impossible. 

My own relationship with the idea of creating the impossible has been bumpy. As an artist and a coach–heck, as a human being–I have had myriad thrilling experiences and insights into the mystery and actuality of creating at and beyond the edge of possibility. I’ve also seen (and indulged in) a good deal of BS around the topic. I get prickly about magical thinking and the suggestion that we get to boss the Universe around.

What Michael is up to is grounded, deep, funny, and fun. I find his perspective on creating the impossible thrilling, challenging, and immensely worthwhile.

I hope you’ll join us with your questions, insights, and dreams via Zoom on Thursday, February 1, 2018, at 10 AM Pacific time. Wholeness Hangouts are always free, you don’t even have to sign up. Click here to join us. 

Michael Neill bestselling author of The Inside Out Revolution

Resilience: Riding the Roller Coaster of Life with Ease

Western Lecture SeriesResilience: Riding the Roller Coaster of Life with Ease

I’m delighted to announce that next month I’m teaching an affordable, local, in-person course in the principles that give rise to resilience in all aspects of life and work.
This is not another stress management or mindfulness course. My co-instructor, Dan Webster, and I will share fundamental principles that make up innate human resilience. Understanding these principles enables you to respond resourcefully and wisely to even the most unexpected twists and turns in life. Results include increased calm and lightheartedness, reduced stress and emotional reactiveness, higher quality relationships, higher levels of creativity and insights and access to our “groove” or “mojo.”
Dan and I are offering this course through the Academy of Lifelong Learning at Western Washington University. Here’s the quick scoop:
  • 4 Sessions: Tuesday, Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27
  • Time: 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Location: Village Green Community Center, Kingston, Washington
  • Cost: $69
  • Suggested reading: The Missing Link by Sydney Banks.
REGISTER for this course and other Academy for Lifelong Learning Courses at  wwu.edu/allpeninsulas

The snarky in my heart recognizes and bows down to the snarky in your heart

Of love, light, and snarkiness

Namaste

If you are in an elevated state of mind tuned into the miracle of life right now, hurrah! I see you. I love you. I’m so glad to know that you are on the planet. I’m thrilled that in this moment you are awake to beauty and light.

If you are struggling for any reason, I feel you. I honor you for showing up to life, even reluctantly. For you I wish an inkling of how perfectly normal (if crummy) it is to feel the way you do. I wish a glimpse of the sunlight at the center of your being. Take it from someone who has lived in the shadow of depression, anxiety, resentment and rage: the weather sucks, and at the heart of it all you are truly whole, infinitely beautiful, and fine. (And lest it not be clear: when I talk about living in the shadow of depression, anxiety, resentment and rage, I mean my own, not someone else’s.)

And for those moments when you judge yourself and come up short in your own estimation, may I share this from the bottom of my heart?

The snarky in my heart recognizes and bows to the snarky in your heart. 

The shame in my heart that I am not a perfect expression of love and wisdom recognizes and bows to the shame in your heart that you are not a perfect expression of love and wisdom.

The Divine that takes form as my heart recognizes and bows to the Divine that is your heart.

However you celebrate (or shun celebration), I wish you all the best. ♥ 

Looking for something to do during the darkest days of the year (or the longest ones, for those in the southern hemisphere)? Check out the audio and video replays of the Wholeness Hangouts. Always free!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This