View this issue online at www.todayscoach.com/Feb2004/020404.html
Wednesday, February 4,
Todays Coach - Part 5 of the Evolving As A Coach Series: Introduction To The Core Dynamics
In the last edition we began an exploration of the notion of "conflicting intentions" and the idea that masterful coaching is about getting to what is really going on when something doesn't happen. In this article, we will explore the core dynamics of problems - a pattern language of conflicting intentions.
Struggling with growing your coaching practice? Also in this issue, we share 21 real life situations where the $0-$60K in One Year mentoring program is the perfect solution. And don't miss our guest marketing expert, Bea Fields, who shares a review of the great new book, "Bang!"
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as a Coach Part 5: Introduction To The Core Dynamics
"Every object, every being, is a jar full of delight.
Be a connoisseur"
- Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks
When you begin to look at life deeply - and every coach does - you will see conflicting intentions EVERYWHERE. Some scenarios of conflicting intentions include:
An intention to avoid the feeling of being rejected would conflict with an intention to call 10 new coaching prospects.
An intention to avoid situations where the outcome can not be controlled would conflict with an intention to start a new business in a rapidly evolving industry.
An intention to avoid anything that would jeopardize my acceptance by my parents, siblings, spouse, co-workers, community or friends would conflict with expressing a BIG VISION with a controversial point of view.
"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you"
- attributed to Jesus in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas
I love this quote because of the multiple meanings. I always thought of it as the case for bringing forth and using our talents and natural gifts. Now I see that there is a second meaning--the need to bring forth inner conflict.
In working with hundreds of people over the past seven years, I have had some amazing experiences. Sometimes just a little motivation and some creative problem solving are all a client needs to accomplish goals that have previously eluded them. However, on many other occasions, nothing I did seemed to help. It was as if there was some invisible rope holding the client back from taking action or thinking BIG for themselves. This "invisible rope" is the energy of conflicting intentions.
"...in every age and every place the structure of our world is given to it, essentially, by some collection of patterns which keeps on repeating over and over and over again. These patterns are not concrete elements, like bricks and doors - they are much deeper and more fluid - and yet they are the solid substance, underneath the surface, out of which a building or a town (or a life - authors addition) is always made."
- Christopher Alexander - " The Timeless Way of Building"
The Core dynamics of problems = a pattern language of conflicting intentions
First, let me share a few definitions:
Core= the inner most part
Dynamic = of or relating to energy
Personal presence = Absence of the "Core Dynamics of problems"
Pattern Language = reoccurring patterns in our lives that are easily recognizable
As you read through the descriptions of the core dynamics below, notice how the phrases describe patterns that you recognize in your own life.
The three core dynamics are represented by the inner circles in the Venn diagram. The outer circles contain three commonly
reoccurring patterns that are based on this dynamic. Let's examine each Core Dynamic briefly (we will delve into them more deeply in future issues AND examine how awareness of these patterns drastically expands your capacity to coach):
Core Dynamic #1: Resisting Feeling Things Fully
Staying away from situations in order to avoid feeling a particular way.
Quick example: You know you want to call a potential prospect about a big project idea. Then you get this sensation in your gut that feels like the feeling of being rejected. This doesn't feel good so you quickly think about something else and the feeling goes away. AND you don't make the call.
The following is the pattern language of Resisting Feeling Things Fully:
Ignoring your intuition
Denying your inner knowing in order to avoid possibly painful consequences in the short term.
Intuition is a feeling. When you are resisting feeling in any area of life, your access to intuition is restricted.
To avoid dealing with your own issues
Often, what we find annoying or uncomfortable about another person is a mirror for what we dislike about ourselves. To avoid the feeling on the inside, we judge the person or experience on the outside.
Avoiding the present
Getting lost in stories of the past or future to avoid feeling what is happening right now
The present is always an opportunity to feel something it is the only place where creation exists. Focusing on what happened in the past, or projecting what could happen in the future are convenient distractions from feeling - but also eliminate the possibility of creating.
Core Dynamic #2: Looking For Yourself Where You Are Not
Seeking validation from accomplishments - Seeking the approval of others - Defining yourself through things or roles - Seeking Completion through a relationship
Quick Example: You disagree with something an esteemed colleague is doing. You rely upon good feedback from this person to feel good about your place in your career. You decide to stifle your thoughts.
The following is the pattern language of "Looking For Yourself Where You Are Not":
Mistaking need for love
Confusing the feeling of getting a need fulfilled with the feeling of love.
True love is universal and unconditional, there is no need attached to it. We often think that if someone needs us emotionally - meaning that they are trying to complete themselves through a connection to us - then that means that they love us and vice versa.
Looking for something constant in the world around you in order to feel secure
Comfort zones are like satin-lined coffins. A false sense of security leads to a life of deadness.
Holding yourself back out of the fear of losing the approval of someone or some group.
Sometimes unconsciously and sometimes blatantly we don't go for the big "life-changing" opportunity because we afraid of leaving someone behind - presumably someone who NEEDS us (or that we feel that we need them).
Core Dynamic #3: Trying To Force An Outcome
Being attached to some event happening in a particular way (my way) and being blind to the thing happening in some other way
Quick example: You decide that you want to be a "career coach" so you pursue the HR directors at the 50 largest companies in your area. Meanwhile, your best friend from high school - who just got a new job as the career development manager at monster.com - calls you, but you are too busy to call her back.
Here is the pattern language for Trying To Force An Outcome:
Excluding other perspectives
Over identification with the intellect and thinking you have all the answers
Often identified by the need to "be right" about something.
Creating doubt by getting overly absorbed in trying to explain something
Notice how easily your mind can get wrapped up trying to figure out why someone in your life did or said something. This mental energy accomplishes little or nothing toward your most heartfelt intentions.
Over-reacting to circumstances
Reacting emotionally when our illusion of control is threatened
This dynamic points to the habit of reacting emotionally when something doesn't happen as we "planned" AND often includes wasting time and energy complaining about it.
Why the Core Dynamics of common problems work so well for coaches
The "Core Dynamics" work so effectively because they are a "pattern language". In other words, the phrases represent recurring patterns in our lives that are easily recognized.
The patterns described in the Core Dynamics (reactions, attitudes, beliefs, and actions) create the experience of deadness. In other words, they restrict the natural flow of aliveness. (NOTE: we will discuss pattern language and its impact on coaching in more detail when we get to the personal environment piece later in this series.)
"The specific patterns our of which a building or a town (or a life, authors edition) is made may be alive or dead. To the extent that they are alive, they let our inner forces loose, and set us free; but when they are dead, they keep us locked in inner conflict."
-Christopher Alexander, "A Timeless Way Of Building"
This stuff is DAMN PRACTICAL!
While it may seem a bit esoteric, "spiritual" or even "new-agey", I can assure you that there is NOTHING more practical than finding and resolving conflicting intentions! And in my recent experience with this material, even hard-core, results-oriented business people can relate to and benefit from these concepts.
Remember: no matter how a coaching relationship begins, all coaching is personal coaching by the third session.
Personal presence - the state of being fully available to the moment with everything you have to offer - is created through the absence of core dynamics of problems. In future issues of evolving as a coach, we will explore these core dynamics - and how to "absence" them - more fully.
12 Real-Life Coach Situations
Do you see yourself in any of these?
You are just starting a coaching business and want to accelerate through the typical 3 year learning curve because you don't have three years to wait for sustainable income.
You have been coaching for a while and currently make less than $60,000 per year in income. You are thinking to yourself, "It's time for me to play BIG or go home".
The isolation associated with your solo-based coaching business is hitting you hard. You know you want to reach out for a strong community of support but you find yourself pulling back.
You get a call from a potential client. When you think of calling them back you get a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach. Even if you make the call you're not coming from a powerful place and the bad feeling turns into an uncomfortable conversation.
You have a BIG vision for yourself in the world as a coach but it is not happening in the time frame you expected. Could it be that have some attachment that is causing you to stay small?
You have plenty of conversations with potential clients, they seem to get inspired by what you have to offer, but you just can't seem to ask them to hire you. Are you not asking in order to avoid feeling a particular way?
When you ask a potential client to hire you and they say "no", you figure it must mean that you screwed up somehow. But it might be that you are caught up in the dynamic of "trying to force an outcome". Do you know the difference?
You often find yourself saying "I'm a great coach, but I don't know how to market myself". What if you are only half right? Could learning to be extremely effective as a coach make it easier for you to sell?
You have a notion that you have a book "in you", and that being a published author will help build your business. Yet, the book isn't happening despite your best intentions. You may be limiting your self expression because of a fear of being seen and possibly criticized.
You get a new client but the exhilaration quickly turns into a feeling of dread. Now you have another client's problems to solve and expectations to meet. You are caught in the
"beginner coach trap".
You get an email from a client and before you read it you have the thought "Oh my god they are going to fire me". Is it possible that you don't have sufficient reserves and that every client is needed for survival?
You are "resisting feeling things" and it could be causing you to hold back from fully connecting with your clients and prospects.
Do you see yourself in one or more of these? The
CoachVille 0-60K Mentoring Program was designed with you in mind. For more information, visit
|Hot Book Resource
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Bea Fields/Five Star
Leader - Guest Marketing Expert
What Goes BANG!?
What is it that goes BANG for you? Reach into your mind, and grab on! What are you thinking? The shot heard round the world, the slam of a steel door, or the burst of fireworks on the fourth of July? Or are you thinking emotionally about a wild night in a hot city, a fabulous piece of sultry music, or the feeling you get when you are with a group of amazing minds?
What goes BANG for me these days is the book BANG! by Linda Kaplan Thaler , Robin Kovall and Delia Marshall, the leaders of the Kaplan Thaler Group, Ltd, the fastest growing advertising agency in America. These three very cool women offer their readers advice and anecdotes to use the Big Bang Theory to develop the kind of innovative thinking and proven marketing strategies that Dave Buck is calling us as coaches to tap into. It was so compelling for me that I completely changed my website (with incredible help from Michael Port) and went on a teleclass listing rampage, listing 26 courses in one month.
Linda Kaplan Thaler, the CEO and Chief Creative Officer of the Kaplan Thaler Group, is the genius behind a long list of attention-grabbing and highly successful ads, from the Herbal Essence "totally organic experience," which is sending more men than women to the store to buy the shampoo, to most recently, the relentless yet unforgettable AFLAC duck. She has pulled us into the doors of Toys R Us with the "I don't want to grow up" jingle and has tugged at our hearts with the warm sentiment of the "Kodak Moments."
This book is filled with secrets worth millions and extraordinary insights into how to get our message heard in this loud and crazy world, including how to "Lose the Rules," "Stop Looking Smart" and how to ask yourself the question: "Will your idea CATCH FIRE?"
I am not going to tell you more, because I want you to buy the book. I will close by saying this--if you are ready to penetrate the consciousness of your buyers and move your business fast, pick up a copy of BANG!. WARNING: It WILL set your soul on fire!
Bea Fields is the president of Five Star
Leader.com, an environment dedicated to creating perfect environments in your business and your life to make more money in less time. Bea also conducts the Teleclass Leader Training Series. She can be reached at
and (910) 692-6118. Her websites are www.fivestarleader.com
edition of Today's Coach: Personal Presence