Pathways to Power
Now we're gonna talk about Pathways to Power. Coaching interventions with courage. This is where we actually need the rubber to hit the road. We gotta start doing the work right, enough talking already. Now I talked a little bit about this before. When you get answers to the question what do you want? You may hear people say I really wanna be way more comfortable. I wanna feel confident in front of the room. I wanna feel comfortable and you know it just needs to feel normal. They want their heart rate to be the same when they're standing in front of an audience of a thousand as it is when they're standing across the kitchen counter with their partner. And I often tell my clients that's not what you're gonna get with me because what it takes to be good what it takes to communicate from a courageous place it's almost like antithetical to comfort. We have to let them instead pursue something that feels more like presence. So I'll tell my clients like if you're goin' for comfort I can't pr...
omise that. Later the things we work on may be comfortable but right now what you're looking for probably is more like a sense of presence and control over yourself when you're working in front of a room. A sense of competence not necessarily confidence. 'Cause from the competence comes the confidence. Aside from that I think over and over again my clients have an unrealistic expectation of themselves. And they believe somehow that they're not good unless they're comfortable. And it's not true I have seen my clients be absolute ballers in front of the room. And the calories and attention and intention that they're burning through while they're being good way outsizes their every day what they use resources internal resources that they use in every day conversations. So let's let our clients uncouple comfort with good performance. And also let's invite them to into pursuing presence and aliveness and not just backseat comfort. Now they could be the same thing but I just like to use the language of presence to set up what we're really after. 'Cause what I'm after working with them is seeing when they come alive and trying to help them sustain that. Yeah, also what it takes to be good is often something that is uncomfortable and those two things together are not a problem. Yeah. So when we're getting ready to actually do the coaching there's some stuff we gotta assess. One is what's our approach with them? There're two places that we can go with coaching. Once we know what we're doing, we've established some rapport, we've got that trust there, we know its in the coaching field and we're gonna start going we've gotta make a decision. I make a decision am I gonna frustrate this client or am I gonna support them? One of my early mentors who does this work said he always said our adults that we work with they either learn through being frustrated or learn through being supported and you gotta kinda pick a pony and go with it and be willing to be wrong. 'Cause if you go for support and if nothing's really happening you might be okay with flipping into frustrate, yeah. So frustrate and support are the two places that we really wanna, again, we're gonna try it and we're gonna let go if it doesn't work. But we have to pick a place that let's us stand on something to do something from, right? So frustration to me means things like not giving answers. Am I doing well? I don't know how do you feel, what are you noticing? Is it better? How's your experience different? Let's grab it on, let's record it really quickly you tell me if it's better. How does it feel now versus how it did before? Like I'm not giving you a lot of answers all the time. I will later after I'm done frustrating you. (laughs) Yeah. So not giving all the answers. Earlier I talked about letting one of the do's in coaching is letting your client struggle a little bit so they can find their own way. 'Cause I'll tell you when they're on stage by themselves or when they're prepping for their next moment when you're not there if they know how to find it themselves then they're gonna be so much more well equipped in the long term. So that's one. Support in my mind means offering specific choices. You can do this, you can do this, you can do this. Which would you like to choose? Instead of just going I want you to do this, try it. Offering choices, offering options, giving regular and supportive feedback as they're going through constantly. Now there is no one, it's not like frustration or support one is better than the other. It's just a pathway I have to pick. We talk about pathways to power I pick one of these two paths. And by the way with one client I may flip flop a bunch of times. And I may be transparent about what I'm about to do. I might say okay I'm gonna give you a little coaching thing to do and it's designed to be frustrating. Okay, that's okay? And they'll say...and then I'll ask for another consent. So do you wanna do that with me? Are you ready to do that with me? And they'll say yes, great. Now they almost are preset to tolerate frustration that they otherwise wouldn't have tolerated if I just put it on top of them. So we're all the time asking and finding out and co-creating like that. Now not always but sometimes. As we're listening to our client and designing some kind of intervention and doing it in a way that either frustrates or support we're gonna be listening to a few things. We're gonna be listening as they talk through their slides or as they talk through their introduction or as they talk through their introduction for a Q and A panel discussion, whatever it is. We're gonna be listening really openly. We're gonna be looking for all the information that isn't just about content. Where are they smiling? You heard me earlier today going like oh you smiled when you said that what's that about? You know I'm noting all that stuff. What's resonant, what's dissonant, where's their voice very alive, where is it not. Where are they standing shoulders hunched when they're talking about one thing and then all the sudden now they're up and shoulders back what's going on there? I'm listening for all that stuff. What is the nature of the examples that they bring forward when they wanna illustrate a particular point? What kind of language are they using? Are they using a language of action? Are they using the language of feeling and sensing? Are they using, what kind of language are they using? I'm looking for body language as I mentioned before. And not just like when they're counting out a list saying first and second and third. What I'm looking for is the kind of body language that tells me whether they're alive to what they're saying themselves. Whether their bodies are aligned to what they're talking about from an enthusiasm perspective or from a this is where I start to go are you talking from the heart? Do I have that sense? I'm listening also for verbal language. This is what I mentioned before. When they love something are they saying oh that sounds great to me or do they say like oh when I do that I feel so good. Is it auditory that the language they're using more about their auditory sensations in the world? is it more about their feeling sensations in the world? Is it more about the thoughts? Oh I think that's a really great plan instead of I feel that's a really great plan. 'Cause that'll give me a sense are they mostly operating up here or are they mostly operating in here. Not to say that they're not doing both but like where do they live? 'Cause I'm gonna use that language when I reflect back to them. If they say I feel like that's a great idea I'm gonna say great why don't you try this on and tell me how it feels? If they say I think that's a great idea I'm gonna say great I'm gonna offer you something to try, you try that on tell me what ya think. So these are all clues that I'm listening for. And what is their story telling you? You know when I heard this earlier example the story I'm hearing is all about pioneering. Little bit of an adventurer you know? So I'm listening for that kind of stuff. Now if you don't whether it's gonna be time to frustrate after you listen to that if you can't pick a lane, am I gonna try to frustrate this person into growth or am I gonna try to support them into growth I'm gonna use this fantastic technique that I learned actually from a coach I had maybe 12 years ago, 15 years ago which is if you're not sure exactly how to approach your client you wanna ask yourself if they were an animal what kind of animal would they be? You laugh but this is deeply useful when I'm stuck. Are they a cocker spaniel and if I talk to fast and wound up they're gonna get a little bit (imitates panting) and pretty soon all the sudden they're up here and they can't really concentrate right? And so I need to use a little alpha energy on them. Calm alpha presence on them that would probably be a support moment right? Calm, strong, support. Yes you're doing fine, you're doing great you sit right there. If they are, maybe they're the kind of animal that needs you to approach from the side and not straight on from the front, yeah? Maybe they're a beautiful bird and they just need one finger stuck out and they'll step on it themselves if it's offered to them. These are the kinds of things that help me know maybe how to approach. How much proximity I can have with them before they feel crowded. Whether I need to coach them from standing beside them which is a much more supportive role than coaching them standing straight on which is more confrontational maybe even more frustrating. So this is a silly little thing to use but you can walk around the world stand and wait in line for your coffee and just look around the room and wonder like what kind of animal would that person be and if they're a bird would I put my finger out gently? If they're a lab would I come with a little strong arm? If they were a cocker spaniel how might I help them have a great time without making them pee on the floor for example. (laughs) This is a useful technique when I don't know whether it's time to frustrate or support. So we're gonna play a little bit of a game. I'm gonna ask four of you to come on up because we have four mics, okay four mics. And not yet, and what I'm asking you to do is think of a story of something you did as a kid that you really loved. Something you did as a kid, it's not like a it doesn't have to be a nine minute story okay? Just something you did as a kid that you really loved. When I was a kid we would always go up north in northern part of California to a place called Blue Lake. And there was this lodge in the middle called the Narrows Lodge and they always had an orange Crush vending machine but it actually only had grape Crush in it. And I didn't get any of that when I was home as a kid. But when we went to Blue Lake I got to have two quarters and a grape Crush sitting on the porch there at the resort. It was just an old funky resort but those are such, I loved that. You know my whole summer was like when am I gonna get a grape Crush? We're goin' to Blue Lake, great I get a grape Crush. It just felt, it's so nostalgic to me. The idea of like a grape Crush can and an old... It's just really lovely to me. So a story like that, something you did. So I'd like four volunteers. A microphone in each of your hands. Now this exercise is not for you people who are standing up here. This exercise is actually for those of you sitting in the audience or those of you watching at home. Here's what you're going to do. As you hear each of their stories you're gonna ask yourself is this person somebody I would like to frustrate? (audience laughs) Or is this person somebody I'd like to support? And I'm not saying from a vengeful perspective. I'm saying somebody you feel that would respond to being frustrated a bit, positively frustrated. Or somebody you think would maybe respond to a more supportive approach. And your answer could be right or wrong I don't care. I just want you to start practicing noticing where you might go with each of them okay? So would you support or would you frustrate? Which one and why? So who'd like to come up and be my volunteer? Thank you Jess. One, two, Arina thank you, thank you. Three, one more, remember this exercise is not for you guys with the mic the exercise is for the folks at home. So the risk for you is pretty low. Anybody else, we're gonna do four? Great, thank you. Find your way into, there you go, scoot on in there. Great so who'd like to go first tell us a quick story? Okay Jess thank you.
Okay my mom owned a business that she needed to be at on Saturdays. Dad worked Monday through Friday so Saturday was father daughter day. Every Saturday religiously we went to Fort Lauderdale beach. And it was get up in his pickup truck, get everything loaded, our food in the cooler, and it was like we always had our spot, and the same swimming area and to this day it's my favorite beach and it's my favorite memory.
That's great, that's great. Now before we go on to the next one just take a note. Frustrate or support, write it down, and why. Frustrate or support and why. Great, really good. Frustrate or support and just a few words about why. And your answers are going to be right okay? There you go, great. And for those of you at home take a jot down and then I'm gonna get some responses from folks in the room and I'd be curious how yours compares to the folks in the room, yeah. We might be able to get some online as well if people wanna share. Great okay, Arina, thank you Jess.
When I was a kid I used to go to this park and do rollerskating and I really really liked that. As soon as summer started, spring got warm, and then summer started I would just go to the park and I would skate all through the park. Just with the wind in my hair and with the smell of the trees. And I really, really enjoyed that and it also gave me really strong calves. I really have really strong calves right now. (audience laughs)
That's great, that's great. So frustrate or support? I have a sense of, she actually tricked me, I had one in my mind until halfway through and then I switched so when we come back to that write it down for Arina it's frustrate or support and why. Good, one more.
Alright when I was a kid...
Oh tell us your name, tell us your name.
Rosie that's right, thank you.
When I was a kid every Friday night I would sleepover at my grandparents. It was me and my two siblings and something that we would always do is they'd get up early have our coffee at the age of five wasn't good but we would always go to Costco and go drive for the big boxes. The boxes the refrigerators came in, the stoves and just like drive them in my grandpa's truck and then we'd always be playing out in the garage. So that's something I always remember so when I go to Costco and I see the boxes I was like oh I remember sleepovers at my grandparents on Fridays night.
That's fun, that's fun, great. Okay frustrate or support and why. Again none of these answers are wrong and they're just a place to start for you. And all of them come from a place of positivity. A place of potential for your client. Not from a place of anything punitive, okay? Great, thank you.
Okay I'm Fiona again. So when I was little, I'm one of four kids, we'd go on these long road trips to go camping or up to the mountains or wherever and one of the things we always did was if we spotted an animal while we were driving we would get a little piece of candy from my dad and it was really fun as a kid because we got really competitive. You know who could spot the most exotic animal but it also just opened up a whole new perspective when we were on a road trip you're really paying attention to what's going on outside and just kind of let your mind wander and I loved that. Also love candy so, it was a win-win.
It was a twofer yeah, great. So for Fiona would you, if you were gonna start coaching her could you imagine you'd decide to like start with something that was frustrating for her or something that was supportive? Really good, okay, so don't go anywhere yet. Let's go back. Actually no, go ahead and have a seat. Thank you, you did fantastic job, give 'em a round of applause, very good. Okay so for Jess, anybody give me one or two. Yes?
Well for Jess I put support. I found like each of them came quickly but I don't know why.
But I saw with Jess she really liked to visualize so I felt like maybe by supporting I could help her see where she was going in a supportive way.
Good, good. Yeah, that's great, anybody else for Jess? Did anybody wanna frustrate her? Wanna come with a frustration?
Again I chose support. I found that she was responding more to that nurturing and attention that directed attention to create that emotion.
You felt like that would be an approach that would be right for her?
That's great, that's great. I would frustrate her like nobody's business. But only because it would be interesting to me to see what she could tolerate right? Like how far, I wanna get into coaching but I'm not going to. Yeah I would start with something that feels frustrating because the support part felt so easy to me. Like it felt like the kind of the easy expected route. Like potentially, I have no idea Jess, so this isn't about you but I have no idea but if I'm working with somebody who has a persona that invites a supportive stance I often will go the other way because it might be something different than they experience all the time. Does that make sense? And so that puts something new into the mix for them. And it's not just like oh this is more of the thing I always get from the world. Now, again both of those are gonna work. And you're gonna start with a support and you're gonna switch to the frustrate. You're gonna start with a frustrate you're gonna switch to a support, it doesn't matter. But what this does is it gives you a place to start that's what matters. It gives you a place to start as a coach and this class is about coaching. Good, Arina?
Well for Arina I put frustrate because I felt like I wanted to dig in. Like I would have to dig to learn more like what's goin' on.
What a great insight. Right I felt like I would have to dig so already you've decided this one I'm gonna dig. I'm gonna be okay as a coach to really let myself frustrate her a little bit. I'm also gonna let her have an exploration with my digging 'cause I kinda think she can take it right? She can handle it, she can stand up to that. Yeah I was gonna, I started with support, and then when she told the joke I was like oh okay here we go. We're gonna go the other way, yeah, really good. Those are great and again these two directions are about empowering a platform for you to step into with them and that observation is fantastic. I feel like I would have to dig and digging can be a little like let's get in there a little that's more of a frustration than like an observation, a supportive observation, and a supportive, right, stance? Really good, okay for the next one, who was next Rosie? Frustration or support? Yes back here, right back here. Great thank you.
Thanks I said support but after you explained the first one I thought frustration might be a little more interesting.
Well and this is why I wanted to do this demo because it's, I know that the language can be a little loaded, because I'm frustrating them does that mean I'm not supporting them, no. It just means it's the way I'm gettin' to what I wanna see from them to help them bring their more powerful self forward. So, say more about that.
So I was originally thinking oh she seems gentle and open and supportive might be a good way to go but then after you talked about the first one you would frustrate that might be a different kind of experience than they're normally used to and yeah might get just a different answer.
Yep that's great, that's great. And we talk about interventions in a little bit how you design those. I'll talk about which ones I can perceive as being potentially frustrating for people. And which ones feel really supportive and careful. Okay, great, fantastic. Last one for Fiona, frustrate or support? Anyone? Yes up here you wanna get a mic? There you go, pass it on over.
Having listened to the first three my first instinct was to frustrate. I felt that there was more that she could give more than she could...
See that, can I just jump in right here and say like that's a beautiful way to think about frustration. There's more she can give. So that's similar to that idea of like I'm gonna have to dig a little bit. And for me I love to frustrate my clients into offering me more, stepping in as bigger and holding them accountable for that potential and that can be, you know, a little like oh me, take up all that space, but yes that's right, that's great. Really, really good. Anybody else for that last one? Okay, yes back here, back here. Pass one back right there, it's great I love it.
I also said frustrate because I felt like I wanted a little more information and clarity.
Yeah something I want that's a great hint too. If there's something that you want from your client that you feel like they're kind of withholding from you, intentionally or otherwise, something you wanna get at. Sometimes that's a clue to me that like alright now let's go, you know? Let's go this direction, let's go with a more frustrating direction.