“Only by entering unknown territory can you begin to tap your hidden intelligence…,” says Martin Sage, pioneer of the Sage Coaching Method. Your inner reserve of energy, talent, and charisma is called the ‘hidden’ intelligence for a reason. If it were obvious, it wouldn’t be hidden!
Coaches must constantly guide people to take meaningful action …even through the chaos, fear and the unknown. Our tools rely on more than the spoken word. Activating a client’s hidden talent or curiosity requires a willingness to ‘be ignorant’ as John Corry, one of the participants in our Tuesday night coaching class put it. Not only ‘ignorant’, John, but also humble!
We must admit we don’t know the ‘answer’ if we want to see a sign from our client’s instinctive desire. Having an agenda or making evaluations squelches their appetite…sending it into hiding.
A coach’s goal is NOT to get people to make a decision to THINK about acting. People spend more than enough time thinking about taking actions…(and are often trapped in Thinking-land). Getting people to the point where they make a decision to take ACTION is the goal of coaching…if a goal must be stated.
In real-life, you can’t plan for the outcome of a certain action until you take the action. All you can know prior to taking action is whether or not your curiosity is pointing in that direction. When you are instinctively driven to seek a certain experience or sensation you MUST take a step in that direction.
After taking the step, you see the terrain change completely. In that moment, you learn everything you need to know about which step comes next.
How do you guide people to take meaningful action even through the fog?…check the compass! Engage in appreciative inquiry and open-ended questions, watch for ‘lights’ to show up. Lights are changes that show up in the coloration of the face, patterns of movement in the body, expression of the eyes. Notice these things! Then ask a follow up question!
In recent days, clients have taken the action step of performing a comedy routine, starting a blog, creating a meet-up group, making a video, researching cooking vacations, and initiating a business collaboration (just to name a few!)
None of these things were my idea…but they came about because I was willing to admit I DON’T have the ‘answer’ for them. By using observation and distinctions to read the direction of their curiosity, an action step emerged.
In a recent session with my coach and mentor, Martin, he was able to uncover the direction my curiosity was pointed and combine it with a project he is working on (a shared field of mutual curiosity) to get me to take action.
Our session started with he and I making plans for when I come to visit him and his partner Mia in Ibiza, Spain next month. “We want to start shooting videos and collecting blogs as soon as you get off the plane!” he said. His vision it to create a blog site with videos, columnists, links and podcasts giving information to entrepreneurs. Similar to the Huffington Post, only with a highly specialized focus.
“There is nothing out there like it so far. If people are waiting for a job, they will be waiting a long time. They need information how to be self-sustaining and live their dream…even in a recession.”
Well, I listened to his vision and I wholeheartedly agreed. In my 20’s before I began my education in coaching and entrepreneurship, I worked in TV news. I got out of that business because most news is boring and not useful.
I like information to be inspiring and useful…so Martin’s vision clicked with me at an intellectual level. Martin recruited me to assist and even contribute blog entries. I enthusiastically agreed to give full support to the project..although I did not know what I would blog about.
Later in the session I asked him if we could change the topic.
“Of course! What do you want?” he asked me.
“I just realized I am ready to look for a partner now but I have not done anything about it.” I said.
“Well that is what you should blog about!”
“Oh no!” I cried. “That is too personal, too embarrassing!”
“You are lighting up about it.” He said. Instinctively I knew he was right.
“Study the writing style of Candace Bushnell (‘Sex and the City’ writer) and Arianna Huffington’s book about blogging. This will be your contribution.”
Martin had created a project assignment that activated my intellectual, emotional and instinctive curiosity. I immediately got on Amazon and ordered blogging books, Bushnell’s books and the original ‘Sex and the City’ dvd series. I was ready to research….and in action.
‘How does he do it??’ I asked myself…grateful to have such a teacher in my life.
Are you curious about how to use coaching tools to read people?
*An ability to read people helps you to see:
what a person loves to do,
what is the best way for this person to perform,
what kind of challenges does this person like,
what is the deeper function of this person
what drives this person
*excerpt from author and coach Katja Rossel