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  October 14, 2019


Generally speaking, the knowledge of the universe can be distributed into three broad categories: what you know, what you know you don't know, and what you don't know you don't know. Normally, we only have access to the first two categories: what we know and what we know we don't know. And for business-as-usual, that's all we usually need.

The catch is, moving beyond business-as-usual, getting to breakthroughs, requires us to move into the "what we don't know we don't know" arena. So how do you get at what you don't know you don't know? Generally the way most people come into awareness of that third category is when there's a breakdown of some kind. Getting a flat tire can make you acutely aware of what you don't know you don't know about changing tires.

Another way you can have access to what you don't know you don't know is through your relationship with someone who is as committed as you are to your commitments, but who stands outside your perceptual box -- in other words, a coach.

If you pay close attention to all your speaking and listening, to your internal and external conversations, you'll hear a lot of implicit and explicit assumptions about "the way the world is", about what is and isn't possible. What frequently happens in life is that we forget that these conversations are simply interpretations. They become, instead, the limiting beliefs that shape our perceptual boxes.

Because a coach's vision is not constrained by the same set of limiting beliefs as yours, the coach can enable you to see the possibilities outside your box that you would not otherwise be able to see. And, what the coach enables you to see can make an enormous difference in your ability to achieve the breakthrough results you're committed to achieving.

Without coaching, you have no way of knowing what's outside your box, other than through breakdowns. The level of results achievable remains constrained by the way you habitually interpret things; by what you don't know you don't know. Coaching makes possible the reinterpreting of events so that a quantum shift, or breakthrough, in results can naturally occur.

At the heart of coaching is the coaching relationship. Together, the coach and the player are committed to a partnership that is dedicated toward significant improvement -- a breakthrough - in results. The player produces the result, but the level and quality of the result is generated out of the partnership with the coach. The player's performance is modified through the communication, the speaking and listening, that takes place within that partnership.

Essential Elements of Coaching

  1. Willingness to go beyond what’s already been achieved
  2. Partnership, mutuality, relationship
  3. Commitment to producing a result and enacting a vision
  4. Compassion, sense of humanity, non-judgemental acceptance, love
  5. Communication (speaking-and-listening) for action
  6. Responsiveness to the coach’s interpretation
  7. Honouring the uniqueness of each player, relationship, and situation
  8. Practice and preparation
  9. Giving-and-receiving
  10. “team” sensitivity
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