When I first started coaching, the situation I used to most dread was when a coachee turned up to a session in a state fear and panic, because they couldn’t see a way out of their situation. As they would share their struggle, their disillusionment and frustration, my own anxiety would begin to rise. I felt this responsibility to come up with a solution along with a distinct lack of any ideas of solutions! So now, there was not only one panicky, anxious person but two. Not a great recipe for a successful coaching session!
Fortunately, my training had taught me that as a coach my job is to be ‘a facilitator and not a fixer’, so I would remind myself that this was a great opportunity to put this crucial mindset into practice. This would go some way to release the pressure.
My greatest breakthrough however in handling these situations came when I learned how to shift someone’s perspective of a situation through using the power of metaphor and visualization. Metaphor (describing something as an object, picture, colour or something else) is a great tool for helping someone to connect to their heart. Heart connection is particularly good when someone is trying to ‘think’ their way out of a problem. Combining the visualization tool, expands the metaphor into more than a mental picture but an actual experience. As Tina Southgate, founder of Destiny Coaching says; ‘visualisation takes coachees into an actual experience, which enables them to see their situation from a completely different perspective. As the heart is connected, God often shows up and coachees have an encounter.’ Just yesterday, I was coaching a gentleman who has recently started a new business but couldn’t see how to let go of old mindsets and step into the new season. I was able to use these tools creatively to help him to visualize and explore what this new season could look like. He found himself soaring in a glider, enjoying a sense of peace, grace and effortlessness where he was completely trusting God. From experiencing that perspective, something major has shifted for him. He has found fresh boldness. Within 24 hours of this coaching, he was able to make a decision to turn down a piece of work that would give him ‘financial security’ (what he previously valued, an ‘old mindset’). His new perspective, showed him that this work would distract him from his new business. A new season for him where he is bringing God more into his work.
The supernatural realm has been activated in this shift as shortly after this session, I received news from this gentleman, that a marketing project which had been taking ages, suddenly gained momentum and a finish date in just a few months has been set. Also, out of the blue, an order bigger than what he had received before in his new business came in! He also reported that: “In addition to all of that I feel in a place of trust and rest which on one level doesn’t make any sense but it feels great!”
I have used these tools on myself many times. As a coach, I care deeply about the people I coach. I want them to succeed and have breakthrough. To do this they often have to navigate a whole host of obstacles and limiting beliefs. As their coach, I have to take the lead, overcoming my own limiting beliefs and accessing my ‘inner lion’, that hunter instinct that is tenacious, focused, victorious and bold. When facing these obstacles, I take a moment to meditate on the character of a lion. I imagine what it would be like to be the king of the jungle with no fear of other predators; a brilliant hunter who pursues their prey till the end. When I am in that place, I am better able to coach my clients out of impossibility and into a life of no limitations!
If you are in a place where you need a change in perspective, then why not try this approach on yourself or with a friend?
Here are the steps you can follow:
- Define a challenge. Write down one question that you would like answered in relation to the challenge eg. How can I find the courage to leave my job?
- Describe how it currently feels: – what is your current perspective? What do you see? How do you feel? What would be a good metaphor to describe this feeling? How do you see this challenge from this place?
- Now try on another perspective: – Choose a word or phrase from the list below, eg. ‘Big Faith’. Imagine what life is like living in ‘Big Faith’? What is the atmosphere like? What do you see? When you have a good feel for what life is like from this place, take a look at your challenge in point 1. What do you see? How does the issue look? What does this perspective give you? What does this perspective show you about your challenge?
- Try on another 2 perspectives and then choose which one you want to adopt going forwards and revisit it.
- Ask yourself what has changed now you are in your new perspective?
- Ask your self what changes you could take as a result of adopting this new perspective.
- Mountain top
- Brave warrior
- New horizons
- Big Faith
If you are in a place where you need a shift in perspective or you would like to learn how to help others to shift their perspective then consider the following:
One-to-one coaching – I offer free 30-minute phone calls to help you to discover if coaching is for you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Group coaching – the next 2-day What Do I Do Next? Coaching Programme is being held in Hampton Wick on the outskirts of Surrey/London on 17th/18th February. More more info and to book: http://destinycoachingministries.com/events/what-do-i-do-next/
Learning to be a coach – Destiny Coaching is running an Online Coach Training Programme and Residential Coach Training Programme in January 2017. For more info visit: http://destinycoachingministries.com/online-courses-and-workshops/
Written By Marianne Fryer