People often ask, "What do you do with your clients?"
The most direct answer is that I help people create the things they want by helping them understand and change their model of reality.
What does that mean?
Each of us contains a "model" that looks like the answers to these questions:
- Who am I?
- What matters to me?
- What can I do?
Our experiences are filtered through this model and emerge as our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Just like we can't walk in the sun without casting a shadow, we can't say or do anything without exposing the "shadows" of how we interpret the world.
When advising or coaching I often start with, "What would make this conversation valuable for you?"
Then I listen – but only a tiny portion of my attention goes to the client's words and story.
I listen far deeper than words. Among other things, I tune into tone of voice, pace of breathing, body language, facial expressions, skin coloration, and eye movements.
Most people are great at lying with words but terrible at hiding how they really feel. That's why someone can tell you they are "fine" even when you know they are not.
As a coach, my job is to listen to all communication channels – all of my client's thoughts, feelings, and actions – and help clients debug where their existing model leads them astray.
This goes back to why people come to coaching: because they have problems and opportunities.
A problem or an opportunity is a gap between the reality we desire and the reality our model creates.
Among other things, top performers like my clients often have models that:
- Self-sabotage by imposing upper limits on their own success.
- Lead them to seek validation from unstable and unpredictable sources.
- Cause them to ignore or fight their emotions with humor and dismissal.
- Encourage them to abdicate authority by failing to develop or listen to their intuition.
The "shadows" of models like these are all over our communication.
As a coach, I help clients uncover, challenge, and adjust their models of reality to produce desired results in the future.
Challenging a model might look like this:
- "What you are saying only makes sense to me if you view yourself as X. How can you know for certain that you are X?"
- "Do you realize how good you are at Y? How does that change your perception of your capabilities?"
- "When you talk about Z, I feel a tightness in my stomach. Do you feel that too? Yes? What does that indicate to you about Z?"
Piece by piece, through challenge and love, we uncover, analyze, and adjust a client's models of reality until their life shifts in the direction they desire.
Change your models and your world will change.
Thanks for listening,
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