Aboodi Shabi

Coach Unplugged: You can only Tame it...You can never Kill it

Coach Unplugged: You can only Tame it…You can never Kill it

Aboodi Shabi

ICF Professional Certified Coach, faculty at Henley Business School, group facilitator, coach-trainer, and keynote speaker

About Aboodi

Aboodi Shabi is an experienced transformational coach and facilitator, who has worked with thousands of people all over the world as a coach, trainer, mentor, facilitator, and keynote speaker. Today, most of his clients are based in London, although you can also get great results over Skype, Zoom or telephone, wherever you are in the world.

He is accredited as a Professional Certified Coach by the ICF since 2003 along with being a Newfield Certified Ontological Coach. He is on the editorial board of Coaching at Work magazine.

Take home these learnings

1) The true essence of coaching.
2) Coaching clients operating from a space of resentment.
3) Leveraging emotions for the benefit of your client.
4) Creating connection between Being and Identity.

Listen to the specific part


Episode Transcript:

0:00 Here we go. Hey, Woody, thank you so much for joining us on this call such a pleasure having you here. 0:06 Thank you so much for inviting me. And I look forward to our conversation. Absolutely, I waited for almost like a year and a half, chasing you and looking at where you are up to, and making sure that you have some slots in your calendar. And I do appreciate that because the kind of work that you are doing with the Henley business school and other schools that you are a part of and your own practice, I'm sure that must be keeping you busy, especially during these tough times. 0:30 Up and down like everybody else, I suppose you know, sometimes I've been busier than others. But anyway, I'm glad that we finally connected and I look forward to seeing where our conversation takes us. I'm sure pleasure is all mine. Somebody helped me understand. Let's start with a very basic question. 0:48 And I'm sure you would have answered that question some million times, if not more. How do you define coaching? 0:55 Hmm. 0:57 You know, it's a it's funny, because I haven't answered that. I don't think I've ever answered that question. But I've explored that question a lot. And it changes all the time. My thoughts about this profession. I've been coaching for 25 years, I think. Yeah. And I suppose I would say I mean, I suppose I say this, partly because I was in a conversation earlier today with someone about this, is that I think that 1:22 I feel much less. It's not that I don't feel passionate about coaching, I still feel very passionate about coaching. But I'm very aware that maybe a few years ago, I might have talked in a very grand way about coaching, and its capacity to change the world. And, you know, the coaching profession has made many big promises. And I now suppose I think a lot of coaching is really for me about a space where people can come to help them navigate what is for many people quite complicated, difficult life. And in some ways, I suppose I would say that the promise of coaching is much smaller than I might have said it was a year ago. But I also think at the same time, and maybe slightly paradoxically, that perhaps it's more effective. Because I think, you know, and this is maybe a function of me getting older as well. I think, you know, what people often need isn't magnificent, you know, you can achieve anything type input, and then some people do, and that's fine. But I think a lot of people just need support and guidance and someone to listen to them and help them look at life a bit differently as they navigate, and what is for many people. 2:31 And in a world that has a lot of difficulties about it. And I live in London, so we've got locked down. And we've also got a whole conversation about Brexit, and what kind of future we'll have and geopolitical issues in the world. And, you know, people are facing economic hardship, etc. So this idea that coaching is this magnificent theme that can help everyone achieve their dreams. And that's one thing that's just a bit outdated. And perhaps that's that's the dynamism of the profession. Is that that one answer because it changes over time, addressing concerns that people as individuals and collectively might be bringing, precisely So considering this pandemic situation and the climate change happening and Black Lives Matter. And so many social, political, economic challenges the world is going through. If you were to define coaching today, considering the context that we are living in, 3:23 how would which lens would you look at coaching from? Well, I suppose. 3:28 But I think one of the things that you mentioned is you mentioned areas of concern in the world. And I think that so this isn't an answer the question about definition coaching, but I think it's something very important that the professionals think about, which is when I started coaching, there was a sort of purity about the profession that could just have no agenda. They're just there to serve the coachee with whatever she or he wants. And I think, always thinks that all of the things that you've mentioned, blacklivesmatter climate change the pandemic, the geopolitical things that we face in the work, is that 4:03 coaching, and individual coaches have to stand for something, we're not just automatons saying to a client, tell me what you want. And I'll help you get there. There's something about being mindful of the world we live in Be mindful of seismic CERN blacklivesmatter climate show that we're not just if you like, and this is being a bit simplistic, looking at growth without purpose. With 4:26 maybe 20 years ago, coaching was very much of the growth without patents, even though my talk is like purpose. It was all inside a caveat of more better, faster, smarter, moving forward all the time. And I think now we're in a place of going, actually the world is in a pretty difficult place, and there are concerns that have to be addressed, and more of the same isn't really an option. Hmm, I'm so much with you. I can resonate with every single word that you're saying. Because I started my coaching practice almost like a year and a decade and a half back in the year. 2006 seven 5:00 At that point in time, the only model that I was aware of the grow model by Sir john Whitmore and I had the privilege of interviewing sir john Whitmore at one point in time. And I'm sure had he been dead in today's times, even he would have shifted his definition of coaching. Because the context that we created or search on Whitmore, authentic Galloway or whatnot are hard and all the likes of those people who started coaching the early 80s or late 70s. The context was very different then, than the context that we are living in. Yeah, I think that's really true. And, you know, 5:32 I've often been reflecting. It's interesting, 5:36 because of, you know, I think, in many ways, was one of the progenitors of the coaching profession. And, you know, I did the landmark forum, which was one of one of our hearts programs and many coaches came from that tradition. You know, john Whitmore, worked closely with Werner erhard. Galway, did, you know Ontological Coaching with you and I spoke about before the interview has its roots in the works of people like, 5:59 under Flores, etc. And I think it was a different time. And you know, that was a time of, you know, we were exploring space, we were thinking about this great future and science fiction was predicting all these amazing futures. And, you know, we look at that today, it seems like a very much more expansionist world where the world was full of possibility, the now, I don't think many people will be saying The world is full of possibilities, it's become much more obviously about survival because of the past. But it's all about climate change, it also become about justice, which includes racial justice, justice that you mentioned, but also gender justice, you know, the me to movement, etc. So we're in a different kind of time. And I think the other thing that I've also been reflecting on and many people have been speaking about, is that, if you like, the period of the 60s 70s 80s, and 90s, were very much if you like, the foundations of a building of liberalism, and we saw many developments that we would now see as progressive. And in the last five years, in particular, they have just been, you know, cut back and cut back and cut back. And there's been a real attack, I think, on progressive values. And you know, in Britain, we talk about the culture wars, and you know, this idea of an open world versus a closed world. And I think it feels like, you know, that period of time, had a very different flavor to it. Now, we're in a much more difficult and challenging time precisely, precisely. So I booted. This is what actually brings me to another question Am I requested if we can just take a step back and look at as if you're watching a film, right? Where we are watching a film where the coaching for issue started in the early 1990s? Right, for me it started though, in 2000s. So both of us are watching this film, and we see this company Sook in a flash, and we are standing in 2020. Right now. 7:55 What according to the common essence of coaching that you have been able to notice? 8:04 Well, 8:06 I probably would say something like that, 8:12 you know, new professions don't arise out of nowhere. So the coaching profession developed to address concerns that existing practices could no longer address or weren't able to address only. And at the same time, I think there's a rootedness in people looking for guidance. And if we go back before coaching, and we go back, you know, centuries, you know, people would go and consult high priestesses or shaman for guidance for, you know, priests and rabbis and Imams, you know, gurus for the sake of trying to figure out how to move effectively through a life. And, you know, I wrote a review on a coaching book last year, and the premise of the book was, what's the point in coaching when we're all going to die? And then the sense that human beings inquiry? First, yeah, yeah. You know, we are aware, the human being, I think, is the only species that's really fully aware of its own imminent demise. Hmm. And that inquiry has always been there ever since I think we became aware of that. I think that's what a lot of religious practices have been about a lot spiritual traditions have been about. And more recently, I think, you know, as religions have declined, or were declining in the second half of the 20th century, that people started, what is this life about? And then we became free of some of the more material concerns. It's like, we've got a certain level of, you know, Maslow's hierarchy, etc, that we've taken care of now. 9:45 And then I think the idea of designer lifestyles came along, and that that, that became a bit of the fad of the early part of coaching anything. I suppose I'm rambling a little bit, but I think there is this common thread about people going 10:00 do with this life? Yeah. I mean, it's just not accumulating stuff or moving forward, or is there something else? Hmm. I mean, would it be a fair assumption to make? And I'm just hesitant to use the word purpose. I don't know what other word to use, because I don't want to make it a little esoteric or abstract or spiritual in conversation? Would it be a fair assumption to make that, you know, coaching can be a process that could assist or facilitate 10:31 a journey for the other person to discover the Wipeout of 10:36 his or her life? 10:38 I think I absolutely think it could be, and I think it can, and does do that. But I also think that it might be about meaning, which might be connected with purpose. And I also think, and this has also been one of my reflections, particularly this year, I suppose, is there's a quote from Joseph Campbell. And he says, We don't seek the meaning of life, we experience being alive. 11:01 And I found that that's been a sort of inner thing, what is it to be alive? What does it mean to feel alive, and it's not necessarily about purpose. And when you think about, you know, children, for instance, you know, they're not concerned with the purpose of life, and they mean, they're just, you know, playing with their toys, or arguing with their siblings or whatever, but they're fully in it. And, you know, one of the things I've been exploring, both for myself, but also as a phenomenon, that's, that's on the rise in the UK, people have been talking a lot about it is the rise of cold water swimming. And what people a lot of people who go cold water swimming do is they say that, that freezing cold water gives them a really intense experience of feeling alive, that has nothing to do with purpose, maybe the rest of their lives, feel purposeless, or just, you know, going through the motions. But there's something about human beings, I think, that has that thing of just feeling alive. And I think that's also very important. Wow, I think that's, that's the simplest definition, I'm going to own it. I'm going to live by, and I'm going to share that with the world. That coaching is a process of holding the space for the other person where the other person can actually experience the experience of being alive. Wow. Thank you. Thank you. So I Budi, my limited experience. And I know I'm talking to a master the real masterful coach a booty ride. I've had the honor of listening to you in several conferences, and I've had the privilege of talking about you the kind of learning that people have got from you a few of my common friends. And that's what we were talking about. 12:36 The initial part of my coaching journey, it was restricted to language, that the way you ask question the way you listen. 12:45 And somehow I personally believe that my body does not understand English. 12:51 My body does not understand Spanish or French or in the Euro do. So what do you think how at times language restricts a coach, to hold that space for the coachee? Where the coachee can experience the experience of being alive? 13:08 Well, you know, that's, that's a very rich question go over. And there's a quote that I often use when I talk about working with the body in coaching, and this quote from James Joyce, the Irish novelist, and he wrote, Mr. Duffy lived a little distance away from his body. 13:24 And I think we all live a little distance away from our body, some of us never go into our bodies. Yeah. us live at little distance away from our bodies. And I think there's something about a culture, and I mean, you culture in the global sense, not in cultures, that has become very rationalist, and everything is about numbers and measurement and ROI. And, you know, it's tangible. And all of that lives in language. And I'm not saying that's not important. 13:54 You know, and in some fields like science, for instance, we absolutely clear about numbers, and you know, coordinate with language, etc. But if the experience and if we go back to the child playing, you know, that it's not a linguistic act in the absolute case of embodied experience being alive, or an emotional experience of being alive. And the brain, the linguistic brain is only one part of being human, but what I think we have done, and culture reinforces that is to make that the dominant theme. So we talk about the instance, getting over our feelings, or, you know, we don't pay attention to the body, you know, we, we sit just as a simple example, we sit in front of our laptops working away, and we forget that we need to pay or we forget that we need to eat and we're just immersed in whatever is going on. And the body is like a little taxi to hold the brain while it works. And I think that we then miss out on something very important, both as human beings 15:00 You know, if we're just in our heads, we miss out on the somatic experience what our body has to tell us the sense of being fully in the body, and the emotional thing. But also, as coaches, if we don't pay attention to the somatic and emotional domains, then we miss, first of all, we miss so much of our client, we don't fully read them 15:22 the possibility for change, and he knows that life isn't just about having an instruction book. If it was, then it'd be very simple, and we love it. 15:34 I love 15:36 his instructions for living but 15:39 embodied beings are emotional beings. And I think that the coaching profession needs to address that. 15:47 And he's beginning to I mean, 15:50 it was when I started. Absolutely, I just love it when you say that, wish life could have come with an instruction book, we could actually read that. And then we would have lived it like never before. However, we call it human beings. A Buddha, he is one of the question that I've struggled to explain. First, it took me a long time to understand and experience the being part of human being. And today I struggle to, to explain this concept of being to people. How do you explain this term called being of human being? You know, I still struggle. I mean, I've worked in the field of Ontological Coaching for 10 or 15 years, and it is all about me, and I still struggle to do it. In fact, a few years ago, I wrote a paper on Ontological Coaching. And part of the reason I wrote that was because I'm still trying to figure out how to answer the question when people say, what is Ontological Coaching? Or what is being? And I don't think they're easy concepts, you know, apart. What's difficult about being I think, is that we sort of take it for granted, because I'm a human being. 16:56 And yet, you know, one of the things about being that I think is tricky for us is that it's, it's so obvious to us that it's invisible. 17:07 And I think that part of coaching, and I sometimes say this is coaching is the blind leading the blind. 17:15 It's not that I'm smarter than my clients, or that my coach is smarter than me, it's that they're not blind the same way that I have. And the reason I say that at this juncture in the conversation, or is that for me, you know, my being is invisible to me, your being is invisible to you. But when I coach someone, if I have eyes, and I'm paying attention to not just their language, but their emotions, or the emotions that I feel when they speak, and the semantic domain, I might notice things about a client that she or he doesn't notice about themselves. And vice versa. You know, I'm an ontological coach. You know, I've got a lot of experience of coaching, I understand a lot about this profession. And yet, when it comes to my own life, and my own being, I'm not as blind as everybody else. And I asked someone outside, say, Do you notice x? Or do you notice while ago, he never even noticed? So I think we are blind to our beings, not because we're ignorant or, or stupid or dumb, but simply because I just live in this. And it's a little bit like, you know, we live in a narrative like we live in a country in a language, and then we discover that there's a different language. That's the first time that we realize, you know, that there is this being called being English. speaking out, yeah, yeah. 18:37 We travel abroad, and we go, they do things differently. And then suddenly, I start to notice, things that people take for granted. Bang on. So I'm picking a few things here, I believe. One is we are blind, not about our being but we are blind about our blindness as well. I learned about 18:55 that the first thing which I'm picking up right now, the second thing is, as I'm just talking to you, and when I asked you this question, that I struggle, and when I started to listen to you, 19:05 how I realized that I and that's a that's a mistake that I have done, and I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow. I make an attempt to explain being with my language. 19:19 And I think that's itself is I'm not been able to create an experience that could allow the other person to experience the being part of it, because I'm using only one faculty, which is language. And I'm explaining something. Yeah, this is part of the challenge we have. You know, there's a paradox in this way is that you and I are speaking in language. Now, of course, we are communicating with smiling each other and nodding, but we are using language because we live in language. Yeah, and yet language is insufficient. But it's it's often the only thing that we have to explain ideas or concepts. And you know, right now, right, yeah, but also you know, if we think about how we are 20:00 absorb information about about it's primarily all about concept. It's through language, we read papers, you read academic books, or we hear a lecture. And yet we're also learning emotionally and somatically. But if we want to explain the concept like what is being, it's very difficult to not use language to do that. And at the same time, as you point to language is woefully insufficient to do the job. So we're in some paradoxical territory. Yeah, yeah. Also, as I'm just listening to. 20:32 And as much as I would love to share it from share it with, you would also would want to hear your views on that. So wouldn't be a fair assumption to say that I am blind to my being. 20:43 At the same time, there's another being that I'm living in the being of the culture, or the context that I'm living in, which has been given to me from the culture that I'm a part of, even that could have an impact on the way I show up, because when I was listening to you, and you said that it's a language, the moment you step onto some other territory or some other land, you realize that now I'm in Britain, I'm in the US. So fair assumption. 21:07 We so we, you know, and that makes me think a little bit about the nature nurture debate. So you bring some of yourself to this life, but some of yourself, it's also shaped by the narratives that you've been in diversity. So there's family, you know, the family that we grew up in shapes, as it particularly shapes us emotionally, actually, we learn that certain emotions are okay, certain motions are not okay, we know that all emotions are not okay. I mean, you know, families have messages, and narratives about emotions that we learn, we learn how to move through space, you know, that different cultures, people in different cultures move differently. Some cultures are more animated and expressive with their hands and their bodies when they're speaking, others are more contained. And we learn stories about the world through language. You know, I mean, the American discourse that used to be the case of anyone can be president, this idea that anything is possible. You know, that's a very American and Western narrative. You know, my parents came from the Middle East, where one of the big things that you hear people say is, inshallah, if God wills it, it's very different than you make your own luck, and all of these things that we pick up, and then they become us. And we go, Well, that's just the way that I am not paying attention to that the way that I am is something that I've just been shaped in all of my life by the different conversations and groups, and organization and professional and cultural narratives and advertising and stories, etc, that have shaped me to be the person that in this moment, so beautiful. And so we don't even notice what we are noticing, we don't even question the narratives that have been born in and I've been living with, and that actually drive our behavior. And then we question luck. The question, Alavi question universe, we question and blame the society that I'm a part of, without realizing that it's me, who's creating the results? Whatever is there in front of me? 23:03 Yeah, I'm not sure about that last bit, I'm not sure that I'm creating results in front of me, because I think that that's also a narrative that we have, you know, you create the world around you, rather than, you know, I think it's more that even that interpretation is something that we've learned, because not everybody will see the world that way. And I think, again, we're in some very tricky territory. Because this sounds very abstract as a conversation that we're having. It's like, almost like two philosophers speaking about something. But I think the real thing to say, and this is where I think coaching has a part to play is asking us, if you like the question that I sometimes and I don't ask this necessarily to apply it, but is informing coaching is what history is speaking through a client? How did the client in front of me get to be the person who they are, that sees the world the way they do that moves the way they do that feels the way they do? And that's where we can, if we can, if we can have that kind of curiosity, we can help someone unpick the things that they take for granted that they don't even know because they're taking for granted. And again, I don't say that to diminish anybody want to say that? That's an insufficiency that is to be human. I am blind to my own blindness, even though I know about blindness to blindness because I do my work. I am still blind to my own blind. Yes, yes. Yes, yes. So about it. This brings me to the next question. 24:30 I come across people I'm sure you would have come across people. Forget about people. I've experienced in myself that there is a tendency in me to live from my own past from my own history, and I've experienced different kinds of different shades of resentment, resignation in my life. So let's say if you are coaching me 24:51 and I am operating from a space of resentment and resignation and blame and shame and, you know, mistrust to the world or false 25:00 The world have not been able to trust people so easily. So because our history to that right? 25:06 What can you do as a coach? or How can you show up as a coach that could allow me 25:11 to recognize this? 25:14 Take the first step, take the second step, take the third step could be a possibility, I might just slide back. So what how can what can you do? or How can you show up as a coach? You know, there were so many questions in there that I think, or so many things in that question that I think are worthy of highlighting. And I want to start with the last one, really, which is thinking about slipping back, because I don't believe and it goes back to what I said before I think about the the shaping of the coaching definition, I don't think that coaching will change anybody's life. 25:47 I don't think there's such a thing as a wake up moment where you go, and now I'm never going to slip back. I think it's very much more about, we have an awareness. And then we develop new practices. And we have to keep those new practices going. So we talk about the past that has shaped us, you talk about it in a particular context of resignation or lack of trust or resentment. So the first thing we might do is to become curious, where did you learn, I learned not to trust because this happened when I was young, where I learned resentment, because this happened. And I you know, grew up in a family that was always complaining about the government, or blaming other people or whatever. That's the narrative that we've been steeped in. Right? Good awareness, then we think about 26:33 where my How might we practice moving away from resentment or what other mood won't be practice. And if we use the example of resentment, you know, and I, I speak as someone who lives in a country filled with resentment at the moment, I mean, the Brexit conversation has really opened up huge chasms of pain and resentment in the UK. And so I noticed that I could easily I mean, I'm really anti Brexit, I'm totally horrified at the decision that we made when the decision was made in the referendum in 2016. I know I spent the first few weeks in deep resentment about it, reading newspapers, arguing, getting really involved in it. And in a sense, what I was doing, if we think about it, in the context of word of mouth was continuing to practice the mood of resentment. 27:22 And so one of the things that we might think about is, what conversations do we immerse ourselves in, I was immersing myself in conversations that were fueling the resentment about Brexit. Now, I'm not arguing that about whether Brexit is a good thing or not, I'm saying that if I want to have a different mood, then I need to think about what conversations I get. 27:45 When I work with executives engine to have resentment, one of the things that causes a lot of resentment or fuels, resentment is gossip. We talked to our colleagues about what a jerk the bosses, well, the jerk boss might be a jerk. I'm not saying that they're not. But if I keep myself in those conversations about the boss being the jerk, I'm only feeding into that, only feeding into it. Out of those conversations and think about being in different moods, immersing myself in different moods, different conversations, like a conversation of gratitude. For instance, I find a community of people which may be a religious community, or some other space, spiritual community, where people are practicing gratitude instead of resentment, for instance, I might start to top up the gratitude and the resentment might go down. But And the important thing is, if I stopped that new practice, the old habits will have me You know, my parents came to England in 1961. And they were in their late 30s. They didn't realize. So Arabic is their was their first language. And even after many years of practicing English, under pressure, if they were upset, or they forgot a word, or they were tired, Arabic would be the thing. Yeah, I don't think resentment or any other mood is any different than that if I don't practice my good habits, that my old habits will win, because I've just been doing them longer. Yeah, 50 years being this kind of person. If I start practicing new things I meditate every day now and I am more calm than I used. There's a very fiery temper like that. If I don't practice meditation, and other things like yoga that helped me to feel calm and centered, then I noticed I become a little snappier. 29:33 It's an ongoing thing. And I think this is really important, both in terms of, you know, understanding how people are but also in terms of the coaching thing. It's, it's for coaching, to really be clear that all it can do is help people to see the possibility of change, but the real work is consistent regular practice. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So 30:00 Awareness creates choices now depends entirely on to you the kind of practices that you would like to pick up and run with. Because, you know, with coaching, you're not going to kill the past patterns which have been guiding your life, you're only going to tame that, you're only going to tame them. So that you can pick up new practices. And you can create some different results for yourself, you can choose from a different options which are available to you, and the moment you under stress. And that's where there's a tendency in people to get back to the reactive tendencies and the reactive behaviors. And I think you've made a really important point here, which is really worth taking out and highlighting, you said, coaching cannot kill past patterns. And I think in the past, coaching, has made a promise that it can kill past happen and overcome your fear. No, you're never gonna overcome your fear. And actually, you shouldn't, because sometimes we should be afraid. But it's not going to overcome and defeat something. It's going to bring an awareness that this is something that you have learned, you've learned to be resentful, or mistrustful or fearful or whatever it is. Great. Now we know that and we know that we're well practiced. And that could be got 2030 4050 years of that. Now we have the possibility to practice I mean, usage can help us team something. And I think that makes coaching a more realistic proposition and say, you can kill your resentment or kill you. Yeah, yeah. It's, it's what I'm listening right now, is whether it's resentment, it's fear, it's hatred, jealousy, all those emotions. And you want an expert would love to hear your thoughts on the emotions, because you do a lot of work in the space of emotions and coaching, we can only embrace them rather than looking at fear as something that I really hate, rather than creating another emotion, which is, again, unresolved. So first, I have got fear. And then I'm bringing hate as well, again, this fear, rather than 31:52 creating more hatred towards this fear, I'm just looking at this. And then making a different relationship with fear making a different relationship with resentment making a different relationship with resignation of assumption to make. Yeah, I absolutely think that's true. We have to accept the emotions that we have. And that's not always easy. And you mentioned resignation. And I think resignation is a particularly difficult mood for coaches to be with, you know, that coaching a lot about possibilities and choices. And if a client comes to coaching and says, I have no choices in my life, and other cultures really resist, everybody has a choice, rather than being curious about how did the coachee learn that? 32:35 You know, and if you've gone through life, and every time you've tried to extend into life, you've been knocked back and you've been knocked back and you've been knocked back for whatever reason, you are going to develop a narrative that you don't have a choice, and can be curious about that mood. Then all it's doing is telling someone who says I am in resignation, you're wrong to be in resignation. And there's a terrible missing. Yeah, that happens with a lot of moods. But it happens, particularly with resignation. Because Yeah, if you're not, the entire ontology of coaching is about helping people have more choices. Yeah, yeah. Thank you. You know, in fact, this reminds me of a conversation long time back some seven, eight years back, I was a part of the workshop, somebody was leading this program. And this one of the one of the fellow passengers, one of the fellow participant, he said, I don't think that I've got choices in my life. And the lead faculty today, everyone has got up. Everyone got as a has got a has got a choice in life. And they got into the one lock situation. And what happened because of that this participant got up and left the workshop. And I was wondering, how else could this person handle this conversation as I'm just listening to you, rather than challenging the person 33:49 of the narrative that he's operating from? Or the belief that he or she is operating from? How can we actually engage in a conversation with curiosity? But what history is he coming from? What narrative is she coming from? Why is he saying what he's saying? And where the what is the context that she is living in? Because of which she's making this loud statement? 34:12 Yeah. And what that tells us, I think, is that the real work for the coach is to do the work on themselves, so that they can be curious, rather than lock homes, as you say, and that means ongoing work on sauce, you know, if a client is sad, and I say to him, Here, have some tissues Don't cry, I'm closing down the sadness, rather than saying, what are those tears have to tell us? Please? Okay, but I have to be comfortable with sadness in myself in order to do that with a client who is sad with anger or fear or resignation. Yeah, you know, work that we as coaches have to do. And I think, you know, this is part of the maturation of the coaching profession, because when it started, it didn't have any of that and if I had the criticism, the word 35:00 Werner erhard is that they would, you know, landmark would say, you know, emotions are something you get over their obstacles to you being the possibility you can be in the world. Yeah, sure not to go. Emotions are part of our history. And the coaching profession has and the ICF core competencies have changed in order to, you know, acknowledge this, we have to be able to be comfortable and at peace with strong emotions in the coachee, which means being comfortable with strong emotions in ourselves. So there's this ongoing process of coaches. And you mentioned to john Whitmore earlier in our conversation, you know, he said, the difference between a good coach and a great coach, ongoing work on yourself. 35:42 And I think that's so important for us as coaches, particularly at the moment when, you know, clients are really struggling. Yeah, having a sense of loss. And if a coach is like, No, no, no, no, no, then there's no possibility for real. And yeah, I think. Yeah. So since we are talking about sadness, we are talking about emotions, right? As a coach, how can I leverage emotions for the benefit and the development of my coachee? 36:14 Well, I'm curious about what you mean by leverage, I suppose that's my first reaction. So for example, how can I use this data for the other person so that she can look at that, rather than denying it? I can look at that, explore that, and get some some value out of this? How can I use this to grow as an individual? So I suppose the first part of my answer, or my thoughts about your question would be 36:40 for you to be at peace with the emotion in the client. Because if you're not at peace, then it will get closed down. So whether it's sadness or fear, or resignation, and then I think the second bit is just to bring curious, I'm curious about what emotion you might be feeling. Or sometimes you might speak about something that I feel sad about. And I say, you know, when you speak about, I feel sad, does that resonate with you? So it's been about emotions, but then it's about I think, sent to the client, and what might this sadness be telling? You know, we're so good, I shouldn't be sad. And, you know, we we use Prozac to medicate sadness, rather than sadness have to tell us and sadness tells us usually, that we've lost something we care about. 37:25 So it's time to get curious, and welcome sadness into coaching or fear or an emotion, partly, it allows the space for that to be more acceptable or accepted by the client. But also, then it begins to go, you know, I am affected by this, I'm moved by this and sadness has shaped me in this way. And it has this to tell me. 37:48 And then the, I don't know where the conversation will go, because it's different for each player. But there is something about that spaciousness that we give to that then allows us to move the conversation in a very different direction and going close down the set 38:04 might open up deeper questions with the client about her life, what is 38:08 the closing down wouldn't allow us to? Yeah, I think that is where, you know, on one hand, we are actually looking at the other person from the language perspective. You also spoke about the emotions perspective, what could be another dimension to look at, so that the other person can tap into his being or her being closer to the body, which we touched on briefly. And, you know, being curious about the client's body and our body as we are in the conversation. So more about that. The client is speaking, they're not just, you know, reporting words, they're not just typing words out to us, they are those a body that is speaking. And, you know, 38:49 we can be curious about how that body is moving as to how he or she is holding his body the way he's eating. He's holding the shoulders and all. Exactly. You know, I noticed that when you talk about your boss, your shoulders go around your ears. I'm curious about that right now is that when you talk about your workload, I feel a tightness in my chest. I'm curious about that, where you were bringing, again, I mean, you use the word data. And it's a funny word to use about stuff that isn't quantifiable, like emotions and semantics. But it's information, it's things that we noticed, I noticed that you look away when you talk about this person, or that your eyes soften when you talk about that person. Wow. Things to be curious about. So that our client can go, you know, like, the example I have is I was working with a client who had been promoted. He was a team member. And then he got promoted to the team leader. And he was kept the issue that he brought to coaching was I find it difficult to ask my team to do things, and they often don't take me seriously when I make requests. And all the time he was telling me this, he was giggling. And I said, you know, do you notice that you're giggling? And he said no. Which isn't 40:00 Usually we don't notice our being going back to an earlier part of the conversation. And anyway, so I said, you know, to him, he said, No. And I said, Is that how you are when you make requests of your team? And he said, Yeah, because I want them to like me, I used to be a team member, and I don't want them to think, oh, now he's the boss. He's become cold and, you know, non emotional or not warm and not one of the team anymore. And so there was a real awareness for him that his body and his way of being somatically wasn't giving the team any sense of his gravitas. Yeah, a little bit, if you like the coaching homework or practices became about what would he do to build his gravitas so that he would be taken seriously when he needed to be taken seriously, which, for instance, was when he was making requests with his team or giving them some instruction about what needed to happen. 40:52 While what I'm experiencing while I was listening, the word that came to my mind, actually, there were two words that came to my mind. One was gravatars. The second one is identity, that how unconsciously I was getting stuck with an identity that I had that this is how a boss should behave. And this is how a person should behave. And he is dealing with a she's dealing with 41:11 these colleagues who were his peers at one point in time. So yeah, identity, which you mentioned is something we generate, you know, the way I show up generates an identity. So a leader walks into a room, for instance. And they've generated an identity, by the way they walk, the way they move, the way they speak, you know, how they dress, all of it is part of an identity. And one of the things that I think coaching can help us with when we work at this being level is to start thinking about what is the identity that we generate. 41:43 I'm a team member, I'm a, I'm not a serious boss, because I'm joking all the time, versus what is the identity you want to generate and how I would wash it in order to generate a new identity. So if I want to generate gravitates, I'm going to have to move and organize myself differently than if I wanted to generate a mood of a jovial team member, I might do both, I might want to be the team member and go to the bar and hang out with his colleagues and have fun with them. And I might also need to generate the thing of we need to get this report done by Tuesday, and you better do it. 42:19 So, so help me understand. Now, if you were to create a connection or relationship between being an identity, 42:29 how would we create that bridge? 42:33 Good question. 42:39 Well, I suppose what it makes me think about is that there is an aspect of being or an A part of being that we can change. 42:50 And you know, that some of it we can't change, it's sort of rooted in us if you like, and, and some of it we can change and the behavior that we can change can allow us to generate different identity. 43:06 So that for instance, you know, if we have a group of friends, and every time we call x, they have an excuse not to join us for the social event, let's go to dinner, no, can't make it. Let's go to lunch, no, can't make it. Eventually, we'll stop asking that person because they will generate a public identity that says this person isn't interested or available or able to commit. So we ask that they always say no, yeah, so they've generated that identity. Now we work with them as a coachee. They might say, I'm really lonely, I'm missing out on connection. And if we get curious about what they might have done to generate that, they might say, you know, I noticed that I turned down requests for social gatherings, etc. And then we might look at that, and they might talk about the history that shaped them that way. 43:53 And then we say, if you want to generate a different identity, if you want to change the loneliness, you're going to have to generate differently, it's going to be someone who starts to say yes to social implication. Or that might mean that they call all the friends and say, Look, I'm sorry, I kept saying, No, I'm now ready to change my identity. They may not use that word, those words, but you already developed something different. So I want to be re included. And I'm going to organize the first event as a way to start to initiate a new future. Based on me saying I want to develop a public attend to being someone who is available, because I've recognized that the cost have not been available is that I end up being excluded from social invitations. So there's an identity part to it. And there's a being part two, I'm not sure if I've answered your question, but those are the things that I think about about how those two might interplay. No, I'm absolutely with you that I think it's helping me to adjust all these pieces and also look at that in case I would like to bring a shift in my being, there are certain things that I have to do on the practical surface level, which is very transactional in nature. It could be as simple as as you mentioned, just picking up a phone and calling somebody 45:00 I might not be really comfortable, my body might not be supporting me, I might not be able to experience that embodied experience. And yet, there's something that I need to be aware of the more that I've been operating from the emotion that I've been holding, and then slowly and steadily, the being might get shift. You said something really interesting. And I would love to get deeper into that. You said, there are certain aspects of being you can change. And there are some aspects of being you cannot change. If you can just throw some more light on that. Yeah, I mean, well, first of all, I can't change my height. So there's things about my body that I can't change, I also recognize that the older we get, the more difficult is to changing, so I'm never going to be fluent in Hindi. Even if I spent the rest of my life living in New Delhi, and only being in Hindi speaking environment, I'll always have an accent for start, I may never pick up the vocabulary. So I suppose again, part of this goes back to this thing about, you know, the early coaching promise was you can change everything, nothing is impossible, no limits. That's not true. Yeah, we cannot change, you know, you're not suddenly going to have the body of a 20 year old, much as I might like it. So there's some you like physical limitations, or physical things that we don't change are those deep rooted 46:26 a lot of issues, I'll say, deep rooted relationship that you have actually built psychological relationships I'm talking about during the formative years, it always it would always have a shade, in everything that we'll be doing or saying, or the way you'll be showing up, I'm using the word share, it will always have a shade, you might be able to camouflage it, you might be able to, or you might be able to 46:52 make something else more dominant. And yet the dominant part would always be there a fair assumption to make? Yeah, I think that's true, it goes back to what we're speaking about before, when we spoke about moods and resentment and fear, etc, is that we'll tame it, we won't kill it. So you know, someone who has spent 40 years in resent or grew up in trauma, for instance, in a traumatic family, for instance, they're always going to be affected by that. But we can cane the effects of it. But we can't suddenly magic that that person will have had a happy childhood, where they formed secure emotional attachments. And there's a really interesting book called The body keeps the score by Bessel Bessel Vander bolc. And he talks about how if a child has poor attachment, for instance, then they may always walk away from any challenge, because that's, you know, a function of poor attachment, insecure attachment. We often meet clients, that instance who find it difficult when they are challenged, if we have an understanding of that possibility, that trauma and insecure attachment might check them that way. Then it becomes something about recognizing I'm not going to change my early attachment. We can't I mean, that's a you know, an ontological truth, if you like, but we can start to think about how do we tame its effects on us? That might mean doing some deep therapy work? Or it might simply be becoming more aware of how we're being stopped? and beginning to explore how might we start to explore this a little bit? Yes, yeah. But recognizing that the shaping will not become something that we ever kill, or overcome completely? Yeah. Yeah. You know, one of the common themes, which is emerging here is a booty. You can't kill it, you can tame it. So that's a common theme, which is emerging Gill. 48:46 Actually, it's really interesting, because, you know, obviously, I talk about these things quite often. But I think it's really nice to have a conversation that allows me to come to different ways of articulating and I think, yeah, you can tame it is actually quite a nice way to sum up, you know, the possibility for change that human beings have, because I don't think it's true to say that we can't change and that we're doomed forever. But I equally don't think it's true. And coaching used to say this, that we can overcome everything and anything is possible, I think, yeah, war honest and realistic, and perhaps more of a business proposition to say you can't kill it. But you can tame it, and what practices will help us we'll help you the coachee to tame the history that you've been the effect of the history that you have been given. 49:39 I think that has been a great conversation about the Thank you so much. And I believe if you were to go back 49:47 in your life, and start your coaching practice again. Hmm, what would you do differently? 49:55 Oh, God. 49:57 So many things come to mind. 50:08 I don't think there's a simple answer to that question, honestly. Um, 50:19 well, I mean, I think I would like to have learned more about Ontological Coaching earlier. 50:27 Um, but what would I do differently? 50:35 Yeah, I don't know. Actually. I mean, I feel a bit. What's the word? Not stumped by the question. But certainly, like, it's, it's caught me short. And I'm not sure that I have a, an answer to it. 50:49 I'm trying to explore both for you and for me. Yeah, yeah, definitely. Fantastic. Now, let's say if you were to give a piece of advice to a young Coach, what would that be? 51:00 Well, 51:02 there's a quote that Yun said that I use in my teaching, and he said, learn your theories and techniques as well as you can, and then be prepared to set them aside when you meet the miracle of the living soul in front of you. And when I run courses, for coaches, at any level, I teach, you know, master classes, but I also train new coaches, one of the things that I love to hear and I usually have at least one or two people say to me which courses, you've allowed me to feel okay, with coaching the way that I want to coach, not the way the books are, I have to coach. So the advice would probably be something like, Coach unplugged. Like, you know, this idea that we have to be a certain kind of way, or, you know, adapt ourselves in this sort of way, inhibits us a lot. And one of my favorite writers is a guy called Open your lawn, who wrote a lot of books about psychotherapy. And he said, that a therapist has to invent a new therapy for each client session. And that's some of that. I mean, I think coaches have to do that, too. It's this idea of forget everything that we've learned, you know, I mean, of course, it's important. I'm not saying we shouldn't learn about coaching and models and methodologies. But forget all of that. It's like what happens when you are there with the person? What does your instinct tell you? What does your body tell you what your emotions are. And that, for me is when I listen to coaches coaching, and I work with coaches and help them develop, it's, it's finding that bit of us that it has is if you like a pure coach, because it's natural, and easy. But you know, none of us get there most of the time. But that would be the thing for us to just think about, how do we get more of that? I think, thank you so much for putting it so beautifully, that 52:47 you need to invent a new coaching for every new client of yours. And I think what I am my key takeaway from this conversation of Buddhism, thank you so much, how can I be fully present to my coachee as I am holding the space for my coachee where he can or she can experience the experience of being alive. And when I'm when I'm saying being fully present. I'm talking about being aware of the language that I'm using the being aware of the body that I'm that my body is the way my body is holding me and the emotion that I'm experiencing in the moment. Rather than saying, Hey, I don't want to feel sad right now. Why am I feeling irritated? Or why I'm feeling frustrated right now. And the condition just embrace it. And there's no need to kill it. Just tame it. So thank you so much. God, thank you so much for your time. I think it was an amazing conversation. Great learning for me. Thank you loved it. 53:41 Thank you. Thank you so much.

Meet your hosts:

No posts were found for provided query parameters.

Type at least 1 character to search