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.