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Unearthing Hidden Patterns: How to Help Coaching Clients from Getting Stuck

November 14, 2021

“We can be blind to the obvious and we’re also blind to our blindness.”

-Daniel Kahneman

As coaches, our work often includes helping our clients when they get stuck. The client comes to us with big dreams or goals and just can’t seem to move forward  — something seems to be holding them back. As a result, we may spend significant amounts of time supporting our clients in getting unstuck and helping them to uncover what they can’t see.

So, how do we support our clients who find themselves unable to navigate forward, or caught in a particular narrative that holds them back? 

When it comes down to it, what gets us all stuck at one time or another is our hidden patterns. Hidden patterns are a key aspect of our internal experience, and often include: 

  1. What we choose to focus on. 
  2. The assumptions we make.
  3. The beliefs we hold that become the unseen filters of our entire life experience. 

While we can see the world, we don’t see the filters through which we see it. When our filters are hidden from our view, we have a hard time seeing how we are getting in the way of our results.

What if we could become more aware of our patterns and help our clients become more aware of theirs? A powerful place to look for hidden patterns is in relationships. Relationships provide a rich place to see how our assumptions, beliefs and patterns play out; they are a way of experiencing the world. 

Many clients come to coaching or leadership development with leadership challenges which are often actually relationship challenges in disguise. Daniel Kahneman, the author of Thinking Fast and Slow, says, “We can be blind to the obvious and we’re also blind to our blindness.” Oftentimes leaders can’t see that their leadership challenges are truly relationship challenges.  (more…)

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The Intersection of Emotional Intelligence and Narrative Coaching

September 13, 2021

What’s the relationship between emotional intelligence and narrative coaching? 

At Learning In Action, we see a distinct way that these two concepts come together. Merging emotional intelligence and narrative coaching supports us in seeing how the stories we created in our past keep us separate from our inner selves and from others, and have the power to ultimately hold us back from reaching our true potential. 

Emotional and Relational Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is commonly defined as a cluster of inner capacities that include empathy, self-reflection, and self-regulation. At Learning In Action, we agree with this definition, and when we look deeper, we see that what truly matters is examining what drives our ability to be empathetic, to be self-aware, and to self-regulate — and that is our recognition that we are all one. When we’re not able to be with each other and respond to each other in an emotionally and relationally intelligent way, for many of us it’s because we’ve built up barriers in our own hearts. We have created a separation between our own divinity and that in others.  


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Announcement: The team is growing at Learning In Action

June 3, 2020

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Review of Learning in Relationship, by Ronald Short

July 11, 2013

We were delighted to see Tana Paddock’s review of Ron Shorts book, Learning In Relationship. Check it out at

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