Name Calling Shuts Down Healthy Thinking

Name Calling Shuts Down Healthy Thinking

Primitive Thinking that Shuts Thinking Down

All politicians all do it. At least, I can’t think of a single politician who doesn’t do it. Yet in name-calling, they are actually practicing a very primitive form of thinking. Rather it is one that is appropriate for a seven-year old or maybe a 13-year old, but not for an adult. Actually, it is a form of pseudo-thinking that shuts down healthy thinking.

Now there’s a particular kind of name-calling that Donald Trump does. I never liked it, yet it was often funny, and sometimes incredibly entertaining. And what would you expect from a successful TV entertainer and producer (The Apprentice) or from a successful business man who knows how to establish a brand (the Trump Brand)? Mostly during the campaign, he gave names to his opponents, names that typically stuck: lying Ted, crooked Hillary, Pocahontas, etc. This simple kind of name-calling strikes me as what young children do, sometimes for play, sometimes to torment other children. And it also stops thinking. Hence once you label someone in that way, the conversation is over.

Name Calling With Judgment- A Fact Or Only Fiction

A more insidious form of name-calling is making a judgment about someone and then presenting that judgment as if it was a fact. As a result this is what many of the Democrats do in response to Trump. They make a judgment that he is unfit to be president or is mentally deranged or something else and then they use those terms to describe him. While it is also name-calling, it is more hidden. Once they describe him with their judgment terms they do not own that it is their judgment. They try to sneak it in as a fact.

Descriptive and Evaluative Information

Much as this form of name-calling confuses two levels of information- descriptive and evaluative. Yet when a person cannot make this distinction, that person can never be a professional communicator. Also you can find that statement over and over in the early NLP literature and it was made to introduce the importance of sorting out what is sensory-based (see, hear, feel, etc.) as a description. A description that is empirical versus those that are evaluative based. The first set of descriptions use the sensory predicates.
The second set use the Meta-Model distinctions that are ill-formed– unspecified nouns and verbs, nominalizations, lost performatives, universal quantifiers, etc.

Descriptive Language Predicates

Descriptive language can be immediately tested because it is empirical and available to your eyes and ears. Evaluative language cannot be seen or heard. And it is an evaluation by someone using some values, criteria, and standards. So when you use evaluative language, you are engaged in a high-level and subtle form of name-calling. “You are rude.” “She is very gracious.” “He is hateful.” “She is a racist.” “They are blind to their prejudices.”

And all of that is just name-calling. Hence it is using and imposing evaluative judgments on someone. All that it accomplishes is to prejudice people against someone that the person doesn’t like. To the question as to why someone thinks, say, or does what they do, this is the answer. Consequently it gives people an answer and thereby enables them to stop thinking. It fallaciously “explains” the person’s actions that they dislike. So this kind of name-calling offers a false answer that shuts down further inquiry.

Name-calling confuses map with territory.

The word (as a map) is then assumed to be the real thing (the territory). It is as if the word is the reality. In addition, the strange thing about this is that if the person reacts to this name-calling by vehemently reacting- that very reaction then encourages more name-calling. Whilst the reactiveness fuels the person doing the name-calling because it works in that if it galls the person, upsets him, and “gets” him.

So it is stereotypical thinking that feeds name-calling. We make a judgment about someone based on a stereotype about some classification assuming that “everybody in the class is essentially the same.” Furthermore, that stops any fresh thinking that considers the person based on his or her uniqueness. Malcolm Gladwell spoke of this in his book, Blink (2005) by quoting psychologist Keith Payne:

“When we make a split-second decision, we are really vulnerable to being guided by our stereotypes and prejudices, even ones we may not necessarily endorse or believe. (P. 223)

Reframing Effects

Therefore this map-territory confusion can seem “magical.” Because we don’t question the name calling, we take it as real. It is a negative form of reframing.
While reframing puts a positive spin and meaning on what we would normally find challenging, name-calling puts a negative spin and meaning on what we might otherwise value. In this way, name-calling creates dis-value as it attempts to set a negative anchor.

Finally, the next time you hear name-calling, whether it is overtly in the way Trump does it or more covertly as others do it- remember it is designed to stop thinking and to make robust inquisitive thinking in short supply.

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Behind “What Stops You” Are Powerful Assumptions

Behind “What Stops You” Are Powerful Assumptions


~ Article written by L. Michael Hall PhD ~

When you coach, there are a few basics that you want to know. The starting point is always, “What do you want?” To make sure the answer is relevant and important, you want to know “Why is that important to you?” Then to make sure it is grounded in reality, you want to know when and where the person wants it. From there you will want to know if the person knows what to do. “Do you know what to do to get what you want?” If the person does not, that’s great! It means that you, as a Meta-Coach, have a job! Now you get to earn your fee. Let there now be a chorus of hallelujah!

Blocks to Success

Now along the way, you will be identifying blocks and interferences. “So what stops you? Could anything stop you from getting what you want?” There usually are blocks. If the person says “no, there’s nothing to stop me,”
then look confused, scratch your head, shift around in your chair, pause …
Then look your client in the eye and ask:

“So if nothing stops you … then why are you not out there doing what needs to be done to get what you want? Why are you sitting in my coaching chair?”

Usually the person will now start to get real with you. This makes, “What stops you?”, a truly great question. But you have to work it. Sometimes you have to repeat it several times. And when they tell you what stops them, don’t just buy it on first hearing. They are most likely to give you a list of superficial excuses. Question them. “That stops you?” “How does that stop you?” “How much does that stop you?”

Two Things To Distinguish – Get The Assumptions!

At this point you are going to hear two kinds of things that your client asserts which stop him. You are going to hear facts of the world and you are going to hear internal beliefs and assumptions. The “facts” are actually the real life factors that will occur, or could occur, that you’ll have to deal with. These are actually not what’s stopping a person. A person may use them to excuse themselves from acting. Yet the fact that others act, and do not let these things stop them, show that these are not the actual interferences.

I don’t have enough money for this (or time, personnel, energy, etc.).

Because they will (or could) laugh, say no, reject me, think I’m stupid, etc.

Since the project could fail, be difficult, take longer than expected, etc.

The internal beliefs, assumptions and frames are what’s actually stopping, blocking, and interfering the realization of the goal.

Self: I’m not adequate, not skilled, stupid, unlovable, have low self-esteem, etc.

Ideas: My ideas don’t count, aren’t creative, never work, etc.

Others: People with power and money control things; managers never listen, bosses don’t care, even the experts can’t figure it out, or are divided, they are too competitive, etc.

Change: You can’t change an organization, change is hard, only those at the top can create change, trying to change things means conflict which is bad, etc.

Back of the Mind Blocking Frames

Consequently once you get the block or interference out on the table, you’re ready to ask meta-questions and invite the person to step-back to find the interfering block and it will always be a limiting belief, decision, identity, understanding, etc. It will be some frame that creates the limiting or fallacious interpretation.

What are you assuming that stops you?

What limiting belief, decision, understanding, identity, etc. stops you?

Therefore these beliefs, decisions, understandings, identities, etc. almost always operate as an assumption. That is, they are just assumed and not questioned. Functionally that makes them unquestionable which explains why the person can’t get beyond the block. She assumes “that’s just the way it is” (e.g., they are, I am, etc.). Then, assuming this limitation, he just accepts it, resigns to it, and/or never even thinks that it could be otherwise. This, in turn, eliminates any critical thinking. In fact, it stops thinking.

Now you are in a place where you can intervene and there are many ways to do that. One way is to reverse the assumption. “What would be a positive opposite assumption?” Typically, just reverse it.

Limiting assumption: “I’m not able to handle conflict, so I can’t be assertive at work.”

Reverse assumption: “Because I am able to handle conflict, I can be assertive.”

Turn into a question: “If you knew that you could handle conflict, what would you do to reach your goal?” Or, “what ideas would that generate in you?”

Limitation: “I can’t stand failing, I need to get things right, being wrong means I’m stupid.”

Reverse: “I don’t have to get it right the first time, being wrong lets me learn.”

Question: “If you knew that you can always learn even when things go wrong, what would you do, what ideas would that stimulate in you?”

As a Meta-Coach

So as you flush out the hidden assumptions in the back of the mind, turn them around, and put them inside a meta-question, you are setting up a new hypothesis and giving your client a chance to try out a new way of thinking. It sets up an experiment for life (the tasking).

1) Detect limiting assumption.

2) Reverse it and turn into a liberating frame.

3) Attach to the person’s goal (well-formed outcome).

4) Ask as a tentative hypothetical meta-question.

5) Ask the question repeatedly and in different words.

When you do this, you enable your client to think imaginatively beyond their old fears, limiting beliefs, excuses, and model of the world. Often what you are doing is designing a Torpedo Question for your client.

Interested in a coaching conversation? contact us here

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The Self-Actualizing Genius State

The Self-Actualizing Genius State

The Self-Actualizing Genius State

~ Article written by L. Michael Hall PhD ~
What does a person actually do or experience when he or she self-actualizes? Maslow identified eight things that we could add to our list of prerequisites for the “genius” state. In fact, because some of the following quotations wonderfully describe the genius state, I’ll start with those and then back up to identify Maslow’s eight steps or facets for self-actualizing.
The genius state is a creative state of being totally present. And as this happens, one’s Matrix of frames vanishes from awareness.

Live In The Moment

“The puzzle that I’m now trying to unravel is suggested by the observation that the creative person, in the inspirational phase of the creative furor, loses his past and his future and lives on in the moment. And so he is all there, totally immersed, fascinated and absorbed in the present, in the current situation, in the here-now, with the matter-in-hand.
“This ability to become ‘lost in the present’ seems to be a sine qua non for creativeness of any kind. But also certain prerequisites of creativeness—in whatever realm—somehow have something to do with this ability to become timeless, selfless, outside of space, of society, of history.” (59)


Self-actualization is always described as a loss of self or of ego, or sometimes as a transcendence of self. There is a fusion with the reality being observed (with the matter-in-hand), a oneness where there was a twoness, an integration of some sort of self with the non-self. . . . Little wonder that this shaking experience has so often been considered to be
superhuman, supernatural, so much greater and grander than anything conceivable as human that it could only be attributed to trans-human sources.” “One main characteristic of the peak experience is just this total fascination with the matter-
in-hand, this getting lost in the present, this detachment from time and place. And it seems to me now that much of what we have learned from the study of these peak experiences can be transferred directly to the enriched understanding of the here-now experience, the creative attitude.” (60)

1) Focus and absolute absorption.

“Self-actualization means experiencing fully, vividly, selflessly, with full concentration and total absorption. It means experiencing without the self-consciousness of the adolescent.
At this moment of experiencing, the person is wholly and fully human.” (44) At such moments of absorption something else happens, something that actually facilitates the healing that we usually attribute to therapy. What? We forget our poses, defenses, shyness and simply “go for it.” The insight that Maslow discovered from this is incredible, “Absorption casts out fear.

2) Choosing growth in small acts.

Another aspect is if we think about life as a process of choices, as choices between progression and regression, between defense and growth, then— “Self-actualization is an ongoing process; it means making each of the many single choices about whether to lie or to be honest, whether to steal or not to steal, and it means to make each of these choices as a growth choice.”
In Neuro-Semantics, we speak about meta-stating ourselves to a place above and beyond any and every experience until we step back from ourselves. It is at that point we have moved to the choice point. Whether we are running a quality control on our frames, an ecology check on the inter-relationships of ourselves holistically, or stepping up to our executive mind to create a pathway for our future, we are at the place of choice.

3) Discovering your own true likes and dislikes.

Self-actualization also involves discovering our inner self and letting that highest self emerge. How does this occur? We do this, in part, as we learn to listen to our own inner voice and not only to the voice of family, culture, tradition, authority, etc. When tasting wine we look not at the label or what others think, but savor the wine on our tongue and look
to “the Supreme Court” inside ourselves to see if we like it or not. “Do I like this?” “Do I dislike this?” “What do I think and feel?” In conclusion, this describes the growth from positing authority and evaluation externally and bringing it inside and owning it for ourselves.

4) Taking responsibility for oneself and one’s life.

First of all the process of actualizing by looking within ourselves for answers implies taking responsibility. This “is in itself a great step toward actualization . . . And each time one takes responsibility, this is an actualizing of the self.”
“We have talked of experiencing without self-awareness, of making the growth choice rather than the fear choice, of listening to the impulse voices, and of being honest and taking responsibility. All these are steps toward self-actualization, and
all of them guarantee better life choices.” (45)
In Meta-State training we begin here by accessing our innate powers for responding to the world, then bringing awareness, acceptance, and ownership to those response-powers. As a result doing this creates the gestalt of responsibility—a step toward self-actualization.

5) Courageously learning to be oneself.

While to listen to our own voice and tastes takes courage. To be honest with ourselves and with others takes courage.
“Making an honest statement involves daring to be different, unpopular, non-conformist. . . . To be courageous rather than afraid is another version of the samething.” (46)
In conclusion, this describes the part of self-actualizing that involves embracing change and challenge.
So the courage to be oneself is the courage to grow, to keep on learning, and to develop. We do this as we acknowledge our uniqueness and look within for what we have to give to the world.

6) Expending effort in an ongoing process.

Self-actualization is not only an end state, it is also the process of actualizing one’s potentialities at any time, in any amount. It may mean going through an arduous and demanding period of preparation in order to realize one’s possibilities. Self-actualization can consist of finger exercises at a piano keyboard. It’s about seeking to be as first-rate as
one can be. So in this, the work and effort of discipline is part of self-actualizing.

7) Setting up conditions that make peak experiences more likely.

Because peak experiences are transient moments of self-actualization, they cannot be bought or guaranteed. What we can do is set up the conditions that make them more likely or eliminate the conditions that prevent them. Hence typically peak experiences are only transient moments of self-actualization. And they are moments that we experience from time to time. The first step in making these peak experiences more likely is learning to recognize them. And once we have done that, then to acknowledge and honor them. The problem is that often they are such “small” things, a glorious sunset, a human touch of compassion, an act of thoughtfulness, a rush of emotion of joy in playing with a dog. And in the adult world of schedules and paychecks, it is so easy to discount these things.
While using the meta-state process of the genius pattern, we learn to identify the internal conditions that make these states more likely to occur and re-occur. We also learn how to step in and out of them at will. After all, it is just a state. And so as with any state, there is a dynamic structure that makes it happen. This is what Neuro-Semantics has contributed to flow—the ability to choose it.

8) Opening oneself up to self-discovery and knowledge.

So as we open ourselves up to ourselves—to our innate powers, to our unique gifts and talents, to our right to be ourselves and to be unique, it takes courage to both identify our typical defenses and to give up these defenses. And yet that courage is the pathway to self-actualization. Therefore it is repression, rejection, judgment, fear, avoidance, etc. that holds us back and that blocks becoming fully all that we can become. Conversely, it is the willingness to risk and to discover our full humanity, however fallible it is, that enables us to step into authenticity, into being more fully an authentic self.
In revisiting these writings from Maslow, I am amazed that it is upon Maslow’s shoulders and the Human Potential Movement that he, Carl Rogers, Rollo May and many, many others initiated that we stand on.

The Genius State

Hence Maslow described what we today call the genius state and he even identified so many of the prerequisites:

  • Giving up the past
  • Giving up the future
  • Recovering an innocence or guileless (the know-nothing state)
  • Narrowing of consciousness
  • Loss of ego, self-forgetfulness
  • Inhibiting force of consciousness
  • Fear disappears, “Absorption casts out fear.” (64)
  • Strength and courage emerges. “Becoming more courageous makes it easier to let oneself be attracted by mystery, by the unfamiliar, by the novel, by the ambiguous and contradictory.”
  • Acceptance, giving up criticism
  • Trust versus trying, controlling, striving.
  • Receptivity
  • Integration of one’s full being
  • Permission to dip into primary process
  • Aesthetic perceiving
  • Spontaneity
  • Expressiveness of uniqueness
  • Fusion of the person and the world.
  • Summary

    Especially relevant is that the genius state is at the same time so very special and yet so common. Yet we were born for it and naturally experienced it as children when we would get so lost in experiences. And so what seemed to come to natural during childhood later becomes one of the most ecstatic and longed-for experiences in adulthood. Furthermore, as a state of engagement and absorption, the genius state becomes more and more demanding of us as we grow—demanding that we take the courage to let go of other things of importance (time, self, others, etc.) as we are “surprised by the joy” of the fascination that captures our attention and fits with our highest values and intentions.

    Peak Experiences And The Flow State

    Most noteworthy, Maslow described as the peak experiences of self-actualizers and others later described as the flow state, we can now more precisely work with and predict. Therefore when we take charge of our own mind-body-emotion processes and access states and meta-states and build up the components and variables that make for a genius state, then we can access the state—stepping into it and out of it at will—at choice. So we can also trust that it is our state, and that we can trust ourselves that we won’t lose it or have to wait for it to magically appear.
    Finally, this reflects the next step in human development, the ability to protect and re-access a genius state at will. And that, of course, is what Accessing Personal Genius is all about.
    Interested in accessing your personal genius? Book your place here

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    What does self-actualization mean?


    What does self-actualization mean?

    Written by Shawn Dwyer

    When a person is fully functioning in life, at their best and capable to maintain the human drives, they are said to be fulfilling their needs, self-actualizing.
    Human potential includes the higher needs which are in fact distinguishable from the animal needs, we will describe both needs in this article and how they relate to self-actualization. Needs are arranged from deficiency to abundance allowing us to gratify our human drives to operate at our best.
    Our needs are encoded with our meanings, we call this semantically encoded. A major factor on how to satisfy our needs comes from the meanings we give to the instincts we live. Therefore we actually have no true “instincts,” only instinctoids. The human instinct is the drive to learn, to create meaning. So you are both a creature and a creator of your life, experiences, and reality. The question arises, are you able to meet for the basic human needs?

    Failure To Cope Effectively

    People are required to develop self gratification in a disciplined approach relating to each need of which we place in ‘the needs hierarchy’. The gratifications are life distinctions and skills to ensure we can maintain a good balance of health, based on the categories in a hierarchy. These categories differ but generally they point to the same overall sections for a quality life, however the mastery is in the details.
    Failure To Cope Effectively Causes all kinds of problems in our life:
    • Stress, dis-ease
    • Fight/flight responses and reactions,
    • Distraction from the highest and best, pathologies, neurosis
    • Living life only at the animal level, etc.

    A True Satisfier

    Health can be defined as operating in a functional way to ensure we are balancing the excellent characteristics of a need with the sufficient amount we require for personal gratification. The variables to determine your needs can be understood by
    A true satisfier for a need is defined as;
    1) Its absence breeds illness.
    2) Its presence prevents illness.
    3) Its restoration cures illness.
    4) Under certain free choice situations, it is preferred by the deprived person over other satisfactions.
    5) It is found to be inactive, at low ebb, or functionally absent in the healthy person.

    If we are not individually supporting both the quality characteristics and a sufficient amount of our needs, we become unbalanced and are then restricted to gain the necessary requirements that allow us to perform as effective as our potential permits us. Let’s look at this in more detail

    Maslow, Rogers, Hall express the basic needs into two main categories
    1. D-needs (deficiency) and
    2. B-needs (being)
    These two main categories then can be split into more sub-categories

    Biological and Physiological
    Safety and security
    Social (love and belongingness)

    Self Fulfilment
    Self Transcendence

    How are the D-needs managed?

    The D-needs (deficiency) are what are lived through a ‘more the less’ gratifier where the less we have gratified the need, the more our drive focuses us to fulfilled. So, this means when you are not receiving enough basic life needs, such as food, you search for it the more the less you have it. These are driven by deficiency – by lack. When you do not adequately gratify them, the deficiency creates energy, motivation, emotions, etc. leading to coping behaviors. Are your coping behaviours healthy?
    Whilst the D-needs are in operation through this kind of fulfilment drive, our life can become about living in these basic lower levels, like an animal in the jungle, simply maintaining our survival, safety, social and self needs.
    When we are not coping, many of these kinds of needs also is where our cognitive thinking can be foggy, limiting our best, and hence our behaviours are not disciplined adequately to fulfil our life basic drives.
    Where in life are you looking for more healthy functioning to operate at your best?

    The next post will include more about self actualization and what are B-needs, until then if you want to learn the mastery to self actualize, join us for the next one day course on A Self Actualising Life

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    Are You Pleased With Your Human Programming?

    Are You Pleased With Your Human Programming?

    Article Written by Dr.L Michael Hall.
    Look at the things that you do today-the things that you do everyday in a regular and systematic way, the things that you can count on yourself to do. Your human programming.
    Look at getting up and dressed, having breakfast (or skipping breakfast), brushing your teeth, driving, etc. When you do, you are observing some of your programs. Yes, you call them habits. That’s because you habitually do these things and do them in certain ways, and you can do them without thinking. It is as if you have a “brushing your teeth program” inside you.
    Now, what will trigger this human program? Perhaps the time of the day will trigger it, perhaps walking into the bathroom, perhaps looking in the mirror and smiling.

    A word about “programming.”

    The idea of programming entered into NLP (Neuro- Linguistic Programming) at the same time when computer programming was beginning to reach popular consciousness. The communication theories of that day had been working for a couple of decades in conceptualizing how to program a machine. It could process information and by the 1970s several programming languages had been developed and gigantic room-size computers had been built. It was in that context that the metaphor of “programming” came to be applied to human processing of information, hence the name Neuro-Linguistic Programming. In those days, it had nothing to do with brainwashing, and everything to do with the code for how to install a systematic and stabilized response.

    Questions for Habits or Human Programming

    Let’s ask a series of questions about your habits, alias programming:

    How did you program yourself to behave in this way?

    How did you get yourself to do so in such a regular and dependable way?

    Were you born with this program?

    If you were not, then at what time did you develop it and how did it become so dependable, so regular, so systematic?

    These questions explore is a very powerful resource that you have within you-within your neurology and in your mind-body system. As a habit, you don’t have to even think about it. You just do it. It is as if you are on automatic and as if the habit has a life of its own. Think about this with your eating lunch habit, your morning coffee break habit, your looking over a desert menu after dinner habit, your smoking habit, and so on. Somehow you have programmed yourself to automatically do certain things and now you can efficiently do them without a lot of physical or cognitive effort.

    Another question

    When you look at the automatic actions that you engage in- does it bring out your best? If you consider some habits that are now unhealthy and unproductive for you, have you ever tried to change them? Did it work? Or did you revert to the old habit? Maybe you changed your mind about smoking and decided to stop smoking and you did … for a little while, but then the old habit re-emerged and you found yourself doing it again. Habits are powerful that way. They can be programmed in that, they seem hard-wired, part of “who you are,” and your “second nature.”

    Yet your own personal human programs or habits are similar to those of a computer, they are functions of a code. Therefore, there’s a code that informs your mind-body system how to operate and how to function, in the face of a particular trigger. The trigger starts a sequence of activities so that somehow you just seem to “know” how to respond, and so you do. You get on a bike and your body just seems to know how to ride even if it has been years, or roller-skates, or a thousand other habitual patterns. They are part and parcel of your programming. You have a habit (human program) of feeling afraid in elevators or even seeing snakes on TV. You have a habit (human program) of biting your nails, of impulsively buying things, of cursing when someone cuts you off in traffic.

    Now something this powerful could be powerfully used for the good if only you knew the code, could it not? What if you set up a program for reading regularly, studying, exercising, spending time with your loved ones, etc.?

    Now Here’s The Thing About A Habit

    The code to any habit is no longer in the front of your mind. If it was, it would not be very deep or systematic and it could be more easily changed. No. The code involves what’s deep within, in the back of your mind, and has been created by your self-reflexive consciousness. That is, as you applied second thoughts and emotions to some first level thinking, you meta-stated the sequence of action with higher level frames, this deeply embeds the habit within you. In terms of persuasion, you now have a deep meta-level program (sequence of thoughts) that influence you systemically so that you do not have to consciously think about it.

    So the code is a meta-state or meta-level code. It is made of beliefs, decisions, identities, permissions, understand#ings, etc. that essentially locks the program in so that you are not only free to not think about it, you may not be able to think about it. Several consequences fall out from this. One explains the difficulty of modeling an expert who is unconsciously competent- the program is automatic and outside-of-conscious awareness. Another is that in changing an undesirable habit, so you have to get to the code in the back of the mind since those thoughts are the ones most deeply influencing you.

    Self Persuasion

    In terms of self-persuasion, if you want to truly learn to persuade the hardest person of all to persuade ;yourself. You have to be able to climb the layers of your meaning-making to find the program. That’s what we do with the Matrix Model in Neuro-Semantics. And if you want to establish a new healthy habit as a new human program for your effectiveness in a given area, you have to be able to set the required meta-levels so that you lock them in. That’s what we do with the Meta-States Model and we are running the 3-day International recognised Self Leadership program on the 14th-16th October in Orange NSW. Contact us now to reserve your seat!

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    To Coach Effectively, You Have To Match And Lead

    coach effectively
    ∼ Co-Written by Dr.L.Michael Hall and Shawn Dwyer ∼

    To Coach Effectively, You Have To Match And Lead

    As a leader how do you coach effectively and interact with work colleagues and clients?
    This article will explain by using coaching skills that we are able to support other people to get what they want in support of their outcome. Can you persuade your clients? Lets discover how some of our coaching strategies work slightly differently to how you might communicate at work now.

    One of the key concepts from Milton H. Erickson was the idea of “pace, pace, pace, lead.” I don’t know anyone who stressed the importance of entering into your client’s world more than Erickson to coach effectively. He even went so far as to say that with each new client you have to invent a new theory of human nature. It was his way of saying, “Drop your assumptions about people, release the judgments that you have spent a lifetime developing, start with a beginner’s mind, meet your client with an attitude of know-nothing.” Therefore when you lead, you are in the mode of persuading.

    Coach Effectively With The Mode Of Persuading

    Start “pacing,” that is, matching your client’s way of being, talking, interacting, thinking, feeling, etc. When you do this, you enter into your client’s mental and emotional space so that you can now begin to understand that person on his or her terms. You meet them at their model of the world. All of this is designed to support the person so he feels safe, listen to the person so she feels heard.

    With this base, then you can lead. “The coach can lead?” Yes, of course! In fact, that’s why your client has hired you – they need your facilitation skills in order to achieve what they want. That may involve getting clear,
    making a decision, creating a plan, finding and accessing resources, making a change (these are the first five basic coaching conversations). Your job as the professional coach is to lead and guide your client by facilitating what the person wants.

    Frequently in the supervision and benchmarking role, I interrupt and ask to the coach, “Are you in charge of this session? Whose leading, you or your client?” Typically I ask this when the coach is “chasing words” and going
    round and round in circles and the session is not going anywhere. It’s the coach’s job to make sure that the session is going somewhere. Sometimes when I interrupt, I say to the coach, “Are you not going to lock down the
    subject that your client has given you?”

    Leaders Lead

    • As a coach facilitating a coaching conversation, what does leading mean? It means many things, here are key activities that are involved.
    First lead your client to get the subject of the conversation. As amazing as it is, a great many clients will sit in your client chair and not know what they really want. They kind of know. They may think they know. But as the conversation begins, they spin around here and there- they do not know! Your leadership is needed at that point.

    • Next, once you identify “the subject,” then lead by facilitating the client to get a clearly defined outcome of that subject. That’s why the well-formed outcome questions gives you a powerful template.
    Use it to lead the person to develop an outcome that is well-formed. Do you know those questions by heart? If not, memorize them. Then practice getting through the questions in 12 minutes. Practice over and over completing them in twelve minutes..

    • Along the way, your client will frequently respond in such ways as to sabatoge things, not purposefully, but it will happen. Now you have the opportunity to lead your client by confronting those things that are interfering. It could be some incongruencies, excuses, blind spots, playing small, etc. here is another place where your client needs your leadership.


    • Another aspect of leading is by summarising where the client is. Strange!? Sometimes clients get so caught up in the conversation and internal thoughts that they lose track of where they are and where they are in the conversation. By summarising and pulling things together for them, you provide an important leading.

    • Once you have co-constructed with your client a well-formed outcome and you are at the place of doing various interventions. Each intervention that you suggest or recommend is another place of leading. “In view of you wanting to become the kind of person who does not quit and who does finish what you start, there is a coaching pattern that might be just the thing. Would you be interested in that?” So then, you pace from where the person is and wants and you lead to facilitate her to achieve what she wants.

    To Coach Effectively Is Leading

    In all of these ways, and many more, as a professional coach, you are in a leadership role and you are paid to lead your client where your client wants to go.. That statement is not absolute, there are times when where a client
    wants to go is unhealthy, un-ecological, and even dysfunctional. One of the advanced skills of listening is being able to hear mis-diagnosis and call your client to that awareness.

    To be effective as a coach, you have to be persuasive. That leads to a very personal question – How persuasive are you as a coach? How much more persuasive would you like to be?

    These leadership skills are learnt through the Self Actualisation Leadership Diploma that is available now with enrolments open until the 17th of July, full course details can be found here Self Actualisation Leadership Diploma

    Contact The Coaching Centre For A Free 20 Coaching Conversation
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