“The idea that you would stop a meeting and have [the team] observe themselves … is pretty shocking at first. It drives a sense of curiosity through self-observation that has the client want to experiment with what’s possible. What could we do? Then realize that they actually have their own solutions.”
What is team coaching and how does it compare with other areas of team development? Alison Whitmire of Learning in Action delves into the heart of the team coaching framework with her guest, Alexander Caillet, CEO of Corentus and faculty member of Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership.
Caillet is “a true pioneer in this field of team coaching. He’s worked with more than 120 teams in over 30 countries for over the last 22 years,” observing and finding ways to create a framework to continue refining and improving the process.
Coaches and consultants work with teams in a variety of modalities. Caillet differentiates four of them by the professional’s involvement and the context of the interactions.
For years, I dallied with meditation, starting and stopping many times, struggling to build a habit. At one point, I even tried my first attempt with a Meditation Teacher Training to kick-start my practice. But, for a variety of reasons, that was a bust too.
It wasn’t until I set a goal to develop a consistent meditation practice, with more determination than before, and with a little help from a device called Muse. Muse is a brain-sensing headband, designed to provide biofeedback to the meditator about their brain activity. When the brain is calm, the meditator is rewarded with the chirp of a bird, letting the meditator know, whatever they are doing (or not doing) is working and the brain is getting calmer. When the brain is active, background sounds selected in advance get louder and louder, letting the meditator know that they are headed off track. (I like the beach background and the rainforest backgrounds best).
The feedback provided by Muse made me curious about what was occurring within me during meditation and how that was affecting my brain. I started journaling after each meditative session, indulging my curiosity, hypothesizing about what aspects of my internal experience were arising to impact my brain activity. That’s when I began to discern distinct parts of me.
Over time, I noticed that five unique aspects of myself were showing up consistently on my meditation journey and they each had a different impact on my brain activity. I began to refer to them as the Five Sojourners.
It’s a question that’s remained largely outside of my conscious awareness, lurking in the shadows of my shame, for years. What’s the question?
Am I enough?
Am I enough for my clients? Do I know enough? Am I smart enough? Do I have enough experience? Am I a good enough coach? Do I know what my client needs from me? Can I be that? Deliver that? Bring that?
These questions get triggered when I feel like I’m failing my client. When they are struggling and our sessions don’t seem to help. When I don’t know the questions to ask, the words to say, the feelings to express to help them feel better, move forward, see a new perspective, find their way.
Am I enough?
A number of years ago, I began to see a pattern in myself that I could no longer overlook. Whenever I coached an older female client, I experienced an internal dialogue that was critical of them. YIKES! That’s a big f-ing deal!
The foundation of my work as a coach is in seeing the hero in every client. My internal disparagements were infecting me and my client relationships and souring our results. Oh, I could always justify or explain away my criticism. “She’s being a victim.” “She’s just wanting attention.” But when I looked at my default patterns and the results they created, it was clear. I was the problem.
We all have patterns. Patterns of thinking, feeling, and wanting that reflect experiences from our past and how we’ve been shaped by them. Not metaphorically or figuratively shaped, but literally, neurobiologically shaped. Our brains, our minds and our bodies have been shaped by the events of our lives and the meaning we’ve made from them. And if we are not aware of it, we bring that pattern of being into our present moment experiences with our clients.
The perniciousness of these patterns is that they tend to be invisible to us. They are our “default settings.” They lie outside our conscious awareness. And because our patterns are largely hidden, we will tend to cling to, explain and defend them, even when they don’t serve us or our clients.
We will experience a given moment and believe that our internal reactions are reasonable and responsive to the unique situation at hand. And yet with help from reflection and self-examination, we can see that we’ve had many moments just like this one, with different people, in different circumstances, that yielded similar results. And we are the common denominator. (more…)
APRIL PODINAR: MINDFULNESS COACHING – THE NEW MBA – MASTERING BEING AND AWARENESS
Learning in Action’s Live Monthly Podinar Championing Transformative Change
FRI. APRIL 26, 2019. 800-9:00 am PT / 11:00-12:00 noon ET
with guest Dr. Steve Romano
Executive Coach, Managing Director of Olistica and the Center for Sustainable Leadership
Join Steve Romano and Alison Whitmire, president of Learning in Action, for discussion and Q&A around mindfulness coaching, and how a proven methodology for this expansive way of operating is critical for 21st century leaders and coaches.
This podinar (interactive podcast+webinar) will cover topics like these:
– What Being and Awareness is, and the outcomes or results they produce
– The 5 components of Being: breath, energy, investigate, navigate, generate.
– The Triple Loop Listening Model
– The Six-Point Transformational Coaching Model
You will leave with tools and new ideas of how you can use Mindfulness Coaching to help your coachees to experience a new level of leadership that leads to deeper, more transformative change.