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Some open-ended questions for the early stages of the conversation for awareness are listed below:
¸ What's happening?
¸ What stands out?
¸ What do you notice when you look at x?
¸ How do you feel about this situation?
¸ What do you understand about x? What don't you understand?
¸ How would you frame the underlying problem?
¸ How would you define the task?
¸ What are the critical variables in this situation?
¸ How do they relate to one another?
¸ What are the anticipated consequences of x?
¸ What standards and time frame have you accepted in this task?
¸ What has been working? Not working?
The Conversation for Choice-The primary purpose of this conversation is to remind the clients that they are mobile-that they have the capability of choice and can move in the direction of their desired ends. If the conversation for awareness starts with the basic question "What's happening?," then the conversation for choice asks the fundamental question "What do you want?" Awareness is about the present; choice is about the desired future state.
The coach is committed to helping the client find his true commitment. Sometimes this means believing in a level of accomplishment that is well beyond what the client currently exhibits. Part of the art of coaching is to be able to sense the underlying commitment of the client's Self 2 and not to buy into Self 1's limited concepts of what is possible. However, it is not just a matter of indiscriminately setting the bar ever higher. One can set the bar so high that it becomes an interference to Self 2 rather than a recognition of its true abilities.
The coach asks questions that help the client get as clear as possible a picture of what he wants to do. Questions are asked that require the client to step back and consider the purpose behind his desired goal and not just the goal itself. In this conversation the client generates and compares, considers consequences, and makes commitments. It is also a time for looking at conflicting desires that might have to be resolved before true mobility is obtained.
The following are some of the common opening questions I use in the conversation for choice:
¸ What do you really want?
¸ What do you want to achieve?
¸ What are the benefits of x?
¸ What would be the costs of not pursuing x?
¸ What would it look like in y weeks, months, years, from now?
¸ What don't you like about those ends?
¸ What would be a fulfilling means of getting there?
¸ What changes would you like to make?
¸ What do you feel most strongly about in this situation?
¸ Who or what are you doing this for?
¸ How does this fit in with your current priorities?
¸ Do you have any conflicts about this course of action?
¸ What would success in this endeavor mean to you?
¸ What alternative possibilities can you consider?
And one of my most-used questions to myself or a client:
- Why would you want to do that?
I find the conversation for choice is most useful in separating the Self 2 desires of the client from the various Self I "agendas of the others in us." This enables clients to make choices to move in sync with their own purposes and therefore have a chance of achieving true mobility. The word commitment is often defined by clients as obligation-a commitment to others that is not connected to their commitment to themselves. True mobility can be achieved only when a person's commitment to others is in fact connected to and derived from his primary commitment to himself. This is especially difficult for people working in a corporate environment. But when the client can find this kind of alignment of purpose, there is a harmony of motivation that can provide the fuel and clarity to overcome great obstacles in the pursuit of great challenge.
Conversation for Trust-Perhaps the most important outcome of any coaching conversation is that the client ends up feeling respected, valuable, and capable of moving forward. It is a basic trust in oneself and one's potential that gives a person the belief that he can attain mobility. The client feels resourceful, i.e., able to access both the inner and outer resources necessary to reach the goal. The coach does not undermine the confidence of the client by inappropriately being the answer giver, the problem solver, or the judge.
Continuing with the image of a car to represent mobility, awareness is like the headlights that enable vision, choice is the steering wheel, and desire is the fuel. The client, as the driver, has all the inner resources of a human being---including the ability to learn and trust, the key to accessing those resources.
Since trust in oneself is a natural attribute of all children, the job of the coach is to help the client unlearn the doubts, fears, and limiting assumptions that inevitably accumulate over time. Trust is perhaps the most delicate of the coaching conversations, and the most critical to the Inner Game. This is the conversation where self-interference is minimized and recognition and confidence in one's capabilities is enhanced.
|Introduction: The Quest to Work Free|
|1||A Better Way to Change||3|
|2||The Inner Game Meets Corporate America||19|
|3||Focus of Attention||43|
|4||The Practice of Focus||57|
|6||From Conformity to Mobility||107|
|7||The STOP Tool||141|
|8||Think Like a CEO||165|
|10||The Inherent Ambition||216|
Posted January 14, 2000
A must if you want to be a leader in the new economy. The chapter on coaching alone is worth the price of the book - but don't skip the rest. This book is a rare combination of practical approaches to attaining dramatic improvements the the work environment and a solid philosophical basis for the relationship between work, learning, and enjoyment. Unlike most management books which are full of handwaving and short on implementation, there are plenty of straightforward approaches to making a real difference in work performance. I have used the STOP technique and others very successfully with myself and my teams. And the ideas presented are applicable far beyond the workplace.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 31, 1999
This is a must read for people who don't enjoy going to work or who want to get to the next level of performance, for managers who want to become coaches, and for CEO's who truly want to understand more about their most valuable resources--their co-workers! Gallwey's wish for himself and others is to 'work free' in today's rapidly changing and stressful work environment. We spend most of our waking lives working, why not learn to enjoy it while being successful? As in his other books on tennis, golf, skiing, and music, this means that we must learn to win the Inner Game--to overcome the inner obstacles of fear, doubt, and protecting our self-image that blocks our true potential--in order to achieve 'success without stress' at work. I have read all of his other books and this is more than a welcome addition to the series!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.