If you’re a leadership or executive coach, I have five surprises for you. If you’re a health or wellness coach, or are interested in wellness, this movie is a more obvious MUST SEE!
While watching the movie, there were several (ok, maybe 20) places I wanted to pause the movie and talk about how the same principles apply to behavioral change, and issues that deal with our emotional/mental blocks in business, relationships, self-esteem and more. The fact is, we have more control over our health and all aspects of life than we have been taught to believe. The RIM (Regenerating Images in Memory) tools we use and teach, can be learned by any therapist, social worker or coach, even without a background in psychology. The documentary inspired me to share these thoughts, summarized as:
Five surprises about emotional work in coaching:
- When you’re a hammer, everything is a nail. I can only help people who are ready to do the work and want results. Most people who hire a coach or therapist fit in this category. I have used the same coaching tool to help a fifty year old executive deal with business decisions as I do with a thirty year old full-time mother dealing with her chronic sore throat. Whaaa?! (True stories, on my website). Our decisions and behaviors are controlled by our emotions. Even the analytic client with the spreadsheet behind every decision (you know who you are), is still driven by emotions, including the need for the analysis! And that’s ok! The process of helping a client manage and release stuck emotions and old beliefs is simple, proven and effective, without reliving old stories, traumas and dramas. So, regardless of the client or the root cause, the process is the same. The emotion doesn’t care why it’s there, it’s just there and can be released.
- It’s the environment, stupid! This was the title of my favorite chapter in the book, The Biology of Belief, by Bruce Lipton, who in the late 1960’s was an early stem-cell researcher, atheist and super-science researcher and professor. Dr. Lipton, (who has become a big believer btw), in the documentary, expanded on his views about the environment in which our cells live, and how much we can impact that environment. Consider how easy it is to conjure up an image of standing on the edge of a cliff – your body responds and changes its chemical makeup just from the thoughts you create. Now consider the well-documented impact of stress on the body. Now consider that we know emotions occur in the body, and have been doing so since the day we were born. Our early programming and emotional memoires stored in the cells of our body, continue to drive our decisions and behaviors and trigger stress responses and all the related chemical changes to the environment in our body. We can change from reactive to proactive and create much better outcomes. We can, usually in a single RIM session, create a major shift in our clients’ emotional memory, generating a new belief – not just to feel better, but to feel different. Not merely a new perspective or reframe, but a new feeling and belief at a much deeper level. This is just as powerful as the original belief formed at an early age. Consider what’s possible if we can change decisions and behaviors regarding business, leadership, relationships, and health.
- Clients aren’t broken and we don’t have to be the expert to fix them. Just because the root of a challenge is hidden in a deep emotional experience, does not mean the client is broken and needs to be fixed by an expert. You can learn the skills to process that work without referring them to a specialist. My own clients will sometimes say “I don’t want to go there”, understandable, given the thought of going into old scary dark places in their past. We don’t have to. The RIM process follows whatever shows up for the client and is led by them. Using the gentle, yet powerful tools of RIM, the client discovers how easily they can identify the root issue, and dissolve or change it, in less than an hour.
- Emotions do belong in the workplace. Let’s stop pretending they can be left at the door. The truth is, all coaching is personal work and private. Most people don’t want to think about their feelings, yet they can’t stop thinking about their feelings. If I have the trust, and the client is ready for real, sustainable results, I simply ask them if they are willing to try something different, they always say yes. And they are always grateful.
- It’s not about your relationship with the client. The thing is, all humans want love and connection. We can help them learn to connect more deeply with themselves and the important people in their lives. Of course, we can connect more deeply with our clients, and our connection and trust is valuable in our relationship, but it really is not about their relationship with us. We teach them to not need us in this way, and help them develop the relationship with themselves.