Martin Messier

December 30, 2023

The coach’s perspective playbook

As coaches and change agents, we often find ourselves standing at a crossroads. One path leads us down the familiar route, where our own perspectives and experiences dictate the journey. This is what we call in NLP "First Position" – a comfortable and self-assured stance. But what if, just for a moment, we venture down other paths?

Imagine, as a coach, stepping into the shoes of your client. This "Second Position" isn't just about seeing through their eyes; it's about sensing their heartbeats, feeling their fears and aspirations... It's a transformative experience, not just for them, but for you too. It's where empathy blossoms, and real connections are forged.

Yet, there's a third path, less traveled but equally enlightening. The "Third Position" – an observer's perch. From here, you're neither in yours nor your client's shoes; you're the wise old owl in the tree, watching the interaction with a calm, detached understanding. This vantage point gives you the clarity and objectivity needed to guide effectively.

So, here's a tip gained from years of coaching: Begin your sessions firmly rooted in your perspective – understand where you stand. Then, gently shift into your client's world, empathizing, understanding. And finally, ascend to that observer's perch. It's from this holistic view that you'll see not just the trees or the forest, but the entire ecosystem in which your client thrives.

For a coach, embracing these perceptual positions isn't a technique; it's tapping into the wisdom of seeing the world through multiple lenses and, in doing so, helping others find their path, their edge, and their truth.

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