In June, as part of QCC, the CPD for coaches, we took a deeper dive into Whole Person Coaching – how as coaches, we work with our clients to grow their awareness of all the resources they have available to them (internal and external) to support their coaching agenda. When we do not tap into all of our client’s whole system – Head, Heart and Gut, we are limiting our client’s potential. Let’s turn the mirror inwards and explore the extent to which we are using all our own unique internal resources.
A fundamental element of the PSG evolved coaching model is the emphasis we place on growing both art forms (humans) in the coaching relationship – Client and Coach. The PSG approach to growing the Coach is at the heart of everything we do as Coach trainers, developers and mentors. To grow, we need to be continually developing our High Definition Self Awareness so we can step in to our Coach roles with awareness of not just what the client is saying, but what is in the space that is not being said.
So how do we develop Whole System Self Awareness and how is it different? Let’s simplify this (somewhat) complex neuroscience research into some practical exercises.
Consider a time when you had to make a decision, what was your approach?
- You may think things through, consider all the pro’s and con’s, write list(s) and so on. This approach is using our HEAD
- Maybe your approach is to consider your values, what’s important to you and use that data to inform your decision. This approach is using our HEART
- You may just go with your gut instinct, your intuition. (You know what’s coming). This is using your GUT
Are you aware of which of the above approaches is your “Go To”, default style?
Do you have more than one depending on the type of decision you are making?
If so, you are not alone. Many clients I have worked with tend to approach career decisions with their Head, while other clients approach them with their Heart or their Gut. Either way, the result is the same, the decisions work on one level but there is always something missing in terms of real connection to the outcome. The missing pieces are the rest of the ‘whole-system’ which has not been involved in the decision.
Whichever of your 3 resources you lead with, tuning into all three (Head, Heart and Gut) enables a more Whole System approach. Using all data and resources available from within leading to a much more concrete and satisfactory decision.
The next time you need to make a decision, take the time to tune into all of 3 by asking yourself the following questions: –
- What is the evidence/facts that inform this decision? (Head)
- What options are available? (Head)
- What is the logical solution? (Head)
- Which options are aligned with my values? (Heart)
- Which options are in conflict with my values? (Heart)
- What will be the impact on others? (Heart)
- What will be the impact on me? (Heart)
- What is my intuition/instinct telling me? (Gut)
- What fears are holding me back? (Gut)
Listening is something we do a deep level as coaches. Listening deeply to our Head, Heart and Gut enable us to tune into these resources and ask more powerful whole-system questions. As humans for generations, we have placed a lot of emphasis and value on using our Heads, which seems to talk the loudest. A deeper level of listening is required to hear the voices and notice the signals of our Hearts and the quieter but more powerful signals from our Guts.
Here’s the good news (with a little bit of science). We know we can grow new neural pathways in our brains by practice/repetition, but we can also grow new neural pathways in our Heart and Gut brains too.
You want to set up a daily discipline and practice listening to the all 3 to tune into all your resources and grow your Whole System Self Awareness. The benefits are endless.
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