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January 2, 2002
A very special issue today containing a lesson from the
How to Coach Anyone eCourse on the topic of Coaching
This is just one of fifty
lessons in a very strong eCourse available exclusively to
CoachVille members, free. As part of our continuing
effort to improve the quality of coaching worldwide, we are
quite proud of this course. Have a look and see if you agree.
I welcome your
Also in this issue is
info about the next available dates for a
variety of TeleClasses and Licensee opportunities.
Several of these classes are already booking into February.
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My best to you,
by Thomas J. Leonard
you coach someone
who is very
bright, but seriously under performing?
"Potential" is potentially frustrating to all
You probably know the
type of client I am referring to...
are bright but not using their gifts. They are
in motion but not always performing. They
either suffer under the pressure to perform or
they end up being critical of others because
they haven't found a way to deliver on their own
promise. They may be quite frustrated in their
job because their boss "doesn't get it." They
might even be missing social skills and grace,
thus further off-putting others. Or, they live
in a twilight world of going through the motions
of mere mortals in their job or life, when they
feel that they could/should do something far
more interesting... All in all, this is quite a
problem. And lots of bright people get stuck
here, with nowhere to go. They may be
intelligent but they can't see their way out of
the rut they are in.
There are a couple of
things I want you to know about bright people...
These are not universally true, but a couple of
these are bound to fit the typical bright
Bright people aren't
always comfortable being so bright. Being
bright is sometimes felt as being odd.
In some cultures (many,
actually) bright people play dumb in order not
to lose friendships and love of family.
(Individuality/specialness is seen as a threat
to the tribe.)
Bright people can live as
if things are true because they are true in the
person's mind. Example: The bright
entrepreneur sees revenue stream from a product
idea way before the product has been perfected
and delivery systems established. They are
'ahead' of reality. Can be quite a problem.
Bright people can dismiss
less bright people until the bright person
expands their heart/soul in order to be as big
as their intelligence. Until then, others are
Bright people can think
that the historical way of defining intelligence
(IQ) is the most important measure. As we are
learning, there are other modes of intelligence
(sports, emotional, creative, intuitive, etc.).
Bright people can find it
difficult to find common ground with others.
(My great aunt Vange died at 30 of a broken
heart because she could not find a way to relate
to others because of her high IQ).
Bright people tend to have
a significant segment of their self esteem that
depends on them doing something with their
Bright people can
(incorrectly) feel dumb or they can take on an
arrogant (I'm right, you're not) approach to
living and spend years proving they are bright.
Meanwhile, they haven't learned much about life
or themselves; just information.
What bright clients
tend to respond well to with/from their coach...
Bright people NEED to hang
around other bright people in order for their
brightness to be validated and expanded.
Encourage your bright clients to spend more time
with people who they feel are bright, even if
for no other reason than to be in those
Bright clients NEED you to
challenge them to be brighter. They don't
necessarily need you to challenge them to
product/perform, but they do need their
intelligence stretched/challenged. For example,
ask them to solve a problem themselves that they
are bringing to you. Ask them to 'prove/use'
their intelligence in this way.
Bright clients NEED
encouragement. Just because they are bright
doesn't mean that that intelligence meets their
personal needs. Bright people often have more
doubts about themselves than others do.
Encouragement is really, really important.
Bright people NEED you to
listen to them. A lot. Why? Because bright
people often use the coaching relationship as a
way to test out new ideas or tease out creative
solutions to challenging problems.
Bright people NEED
encouragement to do things their way instead of
a traditional. True, there is some risk with
this but the risk of not doing so is usually
Bright people NEED outlets
to express their intelligence. Which is why
they so often are entrepreneurs or writers or
inventors. If there isn't a way to express that
intelligence in an expanding way, that
intelligence expresses itself internally with
arrogance, or even mischief/personal sabotage.
Bright people can benefit
greatly from the collaboration that comes from
having a personal R&D Team. They need like
minded people. An R&D Team provides that.
Bright people may need to
completely redesign their lives in order to
fully express (and even to get to know) the
gifts they have been given. Quite often, the
bright person knows they are bright but hasn't
yet discovered the underlying
gift/talent/ability that makes them so.
Bright people are often
steered or pulled into traditional career roles
that really aren't the best expression of their
intelligence or creativity. For many, they will
need to invent their own career/self employment
in order to feel fulfilled. (Quick example: In
college, I was premed because I figured being a
doc was a high use of my talents. At least
until I got a whiff of formaldehyde in the bio
lab. Bye bye MD, hello CPA. Thank God for the
opportunity to be a coach. And, fortunately,
coaches are now available to help a person make
these types of structural changes.
Sometimes, bright people
need a kick in the butt from their coach to "go
out and do something great with their
intelligence." Other times, bright people need
the coach to help them reduce the stress they
are experiencing from the performance anxiety
thing, given a lot of bright people have been
pressured to excel as children and this causes
significant stress later on in life. (My mother
"went" (aka was probably pressured) to go to
summer school every year of her life. Sure, she
skipped a number of grades and graduated from
college years earlier than one normally does.
And, she died at age 50 of anorexia. A tragic
loss, and one of many.)
Remember, bright people
can be under a lot of pressure to 'prove
themselves.' Be sensitive to that. Don't assume
it's all that easy to be
And, we're all bright in our own way.
The trick is to finding that brightness that is
uniquely ours. And orienting our lives around
I hope that this was helpful...
copyright 2001 by coachville.com. written by
thomas j. leonard. all rights reserved.
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