The YOUSITT Momentum: The Coach Prepares

The YOUSITT Momentum: The Coach Prepares

by John Rowe


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'The last time I felt this energized was when I was introduced to NLP - and that totally transformed the way I thought as a teacher.'

-Emily Coulson, Lead Coach, Teaching and Learning.

The YOUSITT Momentum

Wouldn't it be great if there were a coaching model that put inspirational drive at the heart of the coaching experience?

Fortunately, there is-and you'll learn how to apply it with The YOUSITT Momentum-a proven model developed from thousands of sessions in schools.

John Rowe, who coaches teachers, parents, sports coaches, managers, and leaders in the United Kingdom and abroad, goes beyond typical questions to get to the core of inspirational coaching.

By listening to a dialogue between two coaches seeking to get better at their craft, you'll be empowered to improve yourself and those you want to help. Learn how to:

• question assumptions that get in the way of good coaching;

• inspire a stronger natural momentum in the people you coach;

• abandon old, tired methods that don't excite others

• increase the success of clients.

Whether you're a parent helping a teenage child, a sports coach training a team, or an executive coach advising the CEO, The YOUSITT Momentum will get you better results.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504334488
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 07/07/2015
Pages: 306
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.69(d)

Read an Excerpt

The YOUSITT Momentum

The Coach Prepares

By John Rowe

Balboa Press

Copyright © 2015 John Rowe
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-5043-3448-8



I hear 'Come in, come in,' and so I do. There is a slim man, in his forties tapping away at a laptop, who must be Joe Raywood.

'Please, sit down, sit down. Apologies. I find that if I don't write things down straight away, I tend to forget.'

'Nice laptop ... expensive.'

'Yes. I'm seeing new clients all the time, and it helps create an impression. The trouble is, it's probably the wrong impression. Anyway that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.' Then, still typing, 'What brings you to coaching?'

I'm taken aback. This isn't the way you are meant to start a coaching session.

'Are you okay?' he asks.

'Yes. Yes. I was just ... thinking.'

'Anything interesting?' Tap, tap ...

'I was just observing your technique.'

'I'm not sure I follow. What technique?'

I stop myself from saying my point exactly,' This is coaching, isn't it?'

'Yes,' he replies. Tap, tap ...

'I don't mean to be rude but ...'

'There's no need to justify yourself.'

'I didn't think I was.'

'Please. Go on. You were saying ...?'

'Well, it's my understanding that coaches are meant to start their sessions in a certain way ... I wonder if you could stop typing?'

'Sure ... Nearly there ... And what way is that?' Tap, tap ...

'Okay. One that makes the client feel secure, able to say what they want. Would you please ...?'

'There, done. And what draws you to that conclusion?' he asks.

'Sorry, what conclusion?'

'That coaches should start their sessions in a certain way?'

'I've done a course.'

'Ah. And you feel that all of this is missing in the way we started?'

'Yes. And, well, you also asked, 'Are you okay?"

'I wondered if you were.'

'It's my understanding that closed questions were not to be used in coaching.'

'Ah. Anything else?'

'Well, the whole thing ... it just doesn't feel professional.'

'What do you mean by professional?'

'Well, organized, ordered. We just seem to be chatting.'

'Anything else?'

'You kept me waiting as you were typing up your notes.'

'Anything else?'

'Well, these are the major things. There are some others, but they are less important.'

'Basically, you're unhappy with how this session has begun. Right?'

'It's my understanding that it should be more, well, respectful. Of course, I am by no means an expert, it's just ...'

'I've a question for you, if that's all right? It's another closed question, so ...'

'One moment please ... I am now open and ready.'

'Right. Do you currently feel that you can say whatever you want?'

'Apologies, I was expecting a coaching question. What was it again?'

'Do you feel that you are able to say whatever you want to, in this room?'

'What here, now?'

'Yes. In this room, right now.'

'Yes. I do.'

'And outside, in school, do you feel the same?'

'No. I don't.'

'So, there must be an element of trust between us already,' he said.

'I'm not sure I ...'

'You trust me and feel safe enough to say what you want to say, even if it's a personal and professional criticism of me, and we've only been talking for, what, two minutes?'

'I suppose.'

'So, why would I go through a superficial procedure, a type of learnt introductory pattern, to attain something that I know happens naturally?'


'You're here because you want to advance your training as a coach. From this perspective isn't the real question, surely, how can you inspire trust in a very real way, as quickly and genuinely as possible?'

'I would need to think about that.'

'Also, don't you think that predictable procedures might encourage predictable and therefore superficial outcomes for the client?'

'I'm sure there are clients who need that sort of structure to their sessions.'

'Well, I have coached over two thousand sessions, and observed a lot more as well. In all of that time I have never met or observed a client who needed the structure you describe. Coaches yes, but clients no. If a client's that vulnerable then I think I would refer them to counseling.'

'What on earth do we do then, just sit and chat?'

'We have real, energetic conversations in real time such as the one we are having now. And by the way, I find that closed questioning really works if you want to accentuate a point. It encourages the client to be decisive. It also enables a more natural type of conversation. Wouldn't you agree?'

'So, let me get this clear. According to you there is absolutely no need for structure in coaching?'

'YOUSITT coaching does pass through a structure, a system ...'

'Ah ha.'

'... but it's extremely broad and evolves over the length of the course; it is focused on maintaining the momentum towards the goal. The individual sessions contain a sense of naturally improvised shaping, rather than repeated structuring. They find their own way. We don't pass through set phases every time we meet.'

'I would have thought it common sense to give a structure for the coach to follow.'

'I would have thought it to be common sense not to, especially if we are trying to inspire genuine and naturally energetic conversation and a genuine result.'

'But couldn't it be said that all of this, that you are doing right now, is part of your, if I may say so, thinly veiled technique? The typing at the start, the keeping me waiting, the amount you talk?'

'No. I hardly ever use hidden technique with the client because it disempowers us both. It makes the coach a manipulator rather than an inspiration, and it's hard to find a positive slant to this description. If forward motion is only achieved with the manipulation of the coach, then how can it possibly be genuine or sustainable?'

'What? So we don't use technique ... at all?'

'I'm not saying that, although it's an interesting idea. What I am saying is this: if the coach is to be inspirational then developing a sense of genuine communication with the client far outweighs the use of generic technique.'

'And how can anyone possibly train to be a coach ... if that's true?'

'We look at what coaches really need to do, rather than focusing on the predictable demonstration of what we think we should do. So coaching can become....'

'... not so demonstrated, I comprehend the theory, but in practice ... it's impossible to do that in schools. Well, certainly in this one.'

'Really? What are you and I doing now? People tell me this a lot, and almost all of them go on to achieve what they said could not be done.'

'I find that hard to believe.'

'If it wasn't the case why would sixty teachers a week give up their valuable free time to work with me in these sessions? And why is there a waiting list of thirty?'

'I would have to ask them.'

Joe paused for a moment. 'I would really like you to consider what I am about to ask. Ready?'

'Wait please. Okay. I am now open and ready.'

'Just because we don't understand how to do something, does that mean that it's actually impossible to do?'

'Ah, a proper question. Thank you.'

'And your answer?'

'I will have to come back to you on that.'

'What do you think about it right now?'

'If I am pushed I would have to say that ... in some ways ... it's possibly true.'

'Have you been to India?

'Pardon? I don't see ... I tend to stick to Europe.'

'I have, the Himalayas, in the rainy season. What struck me were the men, women, and children who were mending the roads with absolutely no tools or materials, just finding rocks and putting them into place with the wet mud. I heard that many die each year. They literally get washed away. Surely adapting what we think about coaching might be a little tricky, but it certainly isn't anything like impossible.'

'You may have a point.'

'Surely, the more we invest in the certainty of things that can't be done, the more energy we put into holding them in their place. So, instead of forward motion we dig our heels into the ground trying to keep things as they are. The most interesting part of YOUSITT is the YOU, that we look at the individual behind the technique, who the coach really is, as a person. It can be uncomfortable if we are used to hiding. But this is where the answer to being a great coach lies. What do you think?'

'I think you talk an awful lot for a coach.'

'This may be true. But what do you think, that the coach must become an open, natural, fluid communicator or not?'

'I'm not sure.'

'Not sure of what?'

'I'm a little confused. I'm used to having more time to work out the answers.'

'Look at it this way. Are you interested in encouraging a sense of self in your clients?'

'Yes. Of course.'

'Then, surely there must be a sense of self present in you, as you coach, in order to inspire it, if not you are venturing into do as I say not as I do territory, and this is a dangerous place to be if you are trying to inspire something genuine. It's the same if you are hiding yourself behind repeated technique and old patterns, even slightly. This creates a sense of hypocrisy in the room that your clients will have to battle to overcome, and therefore they will find it almost impossible to genuinely progress.'

'I'm not sure that you are being clear enough. Where's the hypocrisy?'

'That you are trying to inspire confidence in your client's sense of self while demonstrating the opposite, yourself hiding behind things, not knowing how to come out, not trusting in your spontaneity. It happens a lot in schools and can be quite funny if you think about it. Yesterday I was walking down the corridor and heard a teacher using quite an aggressive tone to criticize a student for not being creative enough. He didn't seem to realize that his desperation was actively blocking the one thing he was trying to encourage, free thought. How often do you hear 'BE QUIET' shouted at the class without any awareness of the irony?'

I paused for thought. He really did talk a lot for a coach. Is this coaching or mentoring? What on earth ...? How do you ...?

'It all makes sense. Doesn't it?'

And at that moment a slight thought whispered past. Had I really got so used to things as they were that I couldn't see clearly? No ... of course not. Clarity has always been my strong point.

'It's funny how things sneak up,' he said. 'I was a teacher for twenty years, and for all of that time I did the same. Looking back, the job was so demanding and so personal that the protective barriers went up very early on, especially when it came to genuine communication. It felt too exposing. I went into survival mode and stayed there for years.'

'Yes. I ...'

'Conversely, I think it's also the reason why teachers are now looking for honesty, and are attracted to it. Things are moving on and it's about time. Coaching can be something real, and most would give anything for that type of change.'

'Yes. ... And ... I can't find my words. I had thought ...'

* * *

We had gone on to discuss the nature of coaching and what it was at its most fundamental level. I had been set a task, between the sessions, of creative thinking around the topic. The exercise was pretty straightforward, if not somewhat ridiculous. I was to sit down for five minutes a day in silence with a blank piece of paper and ask myself one simple question: what is coaching in its most basic form? I was then to jot down my responses, no matter how bizarre they might seem. This was to be repeated daily, each time developing the ideas from before. The temptation, evidently, would be to think in the shower, or on the drive to school, but I had been warned against this. Apparently, it's all about giving your mind a purposeful chance to think creatively in the environment in which you are going to coach. Joe made this point very clearly: 'If you don't give your mind a space to think creatively in school then creative ideas will never come to you in that place, especially if you are a teacher running from pillar to post for eight hours a day. Coaching at its best, and most fun, revolves around the freedom, the game, the art, of creative and spontaneous thought,' he had said.



'What? Not typing today?'

'It's lunch. I didn't used to take it, but now I do. So, how did the creative thinking go?'

'Well, before we start I have a question.'

'Absolutely not. There is a definite structure to these sessions that we must follow to the letter.'

'What! But I thought ... Oh, another joke.'

'I find a little goes a long way. But it does bring up an interesting point.'

'What? That coaches are allowed to amuse themselves at their client's expense?'

'There's always that. I was thinking more that if we were using a usual coaching model then you would have to wait to ask your question, and therefore the natural momentum, the excitement, would be deadened, and the pace would be slowed. Don't you think?'

'I wouldn't call it excitement but there you go. Okay. I was thinking about things on the drive to school, I know we weren't meant to but I was. I think far more clearly then. I'm sure my colleagues feel the same. Are you really saying that who the coach is as a person is more important than how they coach?'

'Yes. That's exactly what I am saying. It's the quality of the person behind the technique that turns the technique into a quality experience for the client. A high level of skill alone will never progress the client beyond a certain point. Many of the people I train to be coaches are already coaching before they come along, with no training at all, and are doing a good job because their heart is in the right place and they are empathetic and well intentioned. On the other hand, I have seen some very experienced coaches relying so heavily on certain reflective techniques that they have sounded like stereotypically bad therapists, almost like priests in a confessional, and they have created such a heavy atmosphere in the room that forward motion has been practically impossible for the client. You talked last session about vulnerable children and adults, a coach pretending to be a psychotherapist is a real danger.'

'We are in agreement on that one.'

'But it's much more obvious than that. Imagine you are waiting at the photocopier and there are two other teachers there with you: one is bitter and defensive, always moaning and blaming others for their predicament, the other is a genuinely balanced, open, strong and free flowing type, easy to be with. Now, the negative character calls you over and tells you that you are to spend half an hour a week, for a year, one-to-one, being coached by him in a small room. He says it as brightly and positively as he possibly can. How do you feel?'

'Well, he seems to be making an effort. I suppose I would spend time with him. It would depend if he has anything interesting to say.'

'Imagine they both have the same amount of knowledge.'

'I don't see how that's possible.'

'It's a visualization, just go with the flow. And it's not what you would do it's what you are doing, in your imagination. It's a great way to bypass learnt behaviour. Forget you are a teacher. How are you honestly feeling?'

'I'm thinking how to get away from him. I don't like his company ... Will that do?'

'And why's that?'

'Because he would be ...'

'Because his is ...'

'Because he is hard work to be with.'

'And can you be yourself with him?'

'He is trying to be encouraging. Suddenly I feel quite sorry for him.'

'The other teacher then calls you over and, using exactly the same phraseology and inflection, informs you of the same thing.'

'I am relieved to be away from the other. I like being with this one and I suppose I am a little more encouraged to do it ... to work with her.'

'Why is that?'

'Because it's a more pleasurable experience to be with this person. I'm sure anyone would think the same.'

'And which of the two do you feel it's more possible to move forwards with?'

'This one, obviously.'

'So, even though they have said exactly the same thing in exactly the same way, you have chosen one above the other.'

'One over the other. Yes.'

'Okay. Exercise over. How do you feel?'


'So, is it such a stretch to believe that the same is true of coaching? When it comes to natural momentum no amount of technique can inspire forward motion if the coach themselves is stuck so deeply in the mire that they can't get out. From here, could it not be argued that whatever level of negativity, or doubt, or low expectation we bring to the session as coaches, it unintentionally affects the forward motion of the client, to varying degrees?'

'I was under the impression that visualization required far more preparation than that.'

'It can be done quickly or slowly. By doing it quickly, especially within the natural course of the dialogue, you can catch the client before they've had time to block themselves, and so it can produce great results. Okay. Back to the question: can you see that who the coach is, as a person, is important to the client's success?'

'I would have to think about it.'

'And if I pushed you for an answer now?'

'Like I said, I would have to think about it. Perhaps you might consider giving people more time to come up with their answers. You might get better results. And by the way, I thought we didn't use any hidden technique.'

'What do you mean?'

'The visualization.'

'This technique was not hidden. If you recall, during the exercise I explained that the visualization was about bypassing learnt responses. This means that rather than the technique being used on the client, the technique is used by the client, so they can find out what they need to know.'


Excerpted from The YOUSITT Momentum by John Rowe. Copyright © 2015 John Rowe. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Introduction, ix,
Winter Term, 1,
Spring Term, 105,
Summer Term, 203,
Bibliography, 291,

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