It’s Day Thirteen of my Twenty-One Tools post series! Today, you can download Are You Comfortable with Creating Breakthroughs by Dr. Marcia Reynolds
Difficult conversations are definitely a fact of life. Some of us avoid them, some of us lean in to them, many of us bumble through them after countless sleepless night dreading the necessity to have them in the first place. It’s when emotions bubble to the surface that we tend to get a little uncomfortable. This is especially true for leaders who feel ill-equipped to handle emotionally charged conversations. It’s pretty familiar territory for coaches. In fact, we are trained to honour the pivotal role that emotions play in discovery for our clients. These moments of awareness, awakened by emotional reaction, are called ‘breakthroughs’ in the coaching arena.
This is also the familiar playground of Dr. Marcia Reynolds. Marcia has made some important contributions to the field of coaching with her work in the area of the brain/emotion connection.
I first heard of Dr. Reynolds many years ago when I read her book The Discomfort Zone: How Leaders Turn Difficult Conversations Into Breakthroughs. I return to this book often as a reminder that emotions and their associated, often inevitable discomfort, are usually powerful markers that can move us forward. Dr. Reynolds shares some important strategies for understanding and managing our own emotions in her most recent work Outsmart Your Brain: How to Master Your Mind When Emotions Take the Wheel
Here is a presentation by Marcia in which she shares some of the key concepts from her book, The Discomfort Zone: How Leaders Turn Difficult Conversations Into Breakthroughs.
Dr. Marcia Reynold’s WBECS presentation this year was one of the first I attended. It was called How to Coach the Person Not the Problem. I loved it, and I am definitely signing up for her full session at the WBECS summit.
So, here you go! Tool number thirteen! Are You Comfortable Creating Breakthroughs?
Here’s a quote from Marcia’s free WBECS download:
When a person has a breakthrough in thinking, it is preceded by a breakdown in a mental frame or belief. This breakdown could be brief and slightly awkward or a drawn-out emotional reaction. Your own brain has an automatic defence mechanism that will spur you to try to make the person feel better or to withdraw from the conversation.
Most coaches feel they need to ease their client’s psychological pain. If you do this, you will hinder their ability to see new possibilities and grow. How well you handle yourself in these moments will impact how effective your coaching will be. If you are slightly uncomfortable when a client shows emotion you are not seeing the client as creative, resourceful, and whole.
Benefits: Are You Comfortable with Creating Breakthroughs
- Learn how to stay open and curious when your client demonstrates strong emotions.
- Identify what interrupts your presence and prompts you to make your client feel better instead of standing for their growth.
- Increase your ability to “hold the space” for a breakthrough to happen.
Oh, and you can still register for WBECS 2018. Come join me!
Remember, this is not the only post with a downloadable professional development tool from WBECS 2018. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled. I’ll be posting 21 tools in 21 days. Enjoy!
Author: Cathy Shaughnessy
Cathy Shaughnessy is a PRISM award winning ICF Master Certified Coach and author of the book series The Really Competent Coach. Cathy coaches senior leaders, mentors credentialed coaches, trains fledgling coaches and helps organizations build strong coaching cultures.
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