As I’m working on my upcoming book about internal coaching, I notice a definite shift from what I thought the book was going to be, to what the book is becoming. I’m interviewing internal coaches who I had never met before, from countries and cultures that I’m less familiar with. This is bringing a truly different perspective to my original ideas about the book.
And that’s exactly what getting an outside perspective can do for you as it shifts your thinking away from what you “know” to be true. Sound familiar? That’s exactly what a coach does!
As coaches, we want to introduce new perspectives, but in a way that includes some similarities and overlap. It’s about finding that common ground. It’s important to show the client or the other person that you see them and where they’re coming from, while still bringing something new for them to consider.
With my book interviews, it was about many people bringing many perspectives, but a single coach can ask different questions and still introduce several perspectives. One coach I know does this through something called somatic coaching. According to Strozzi Institute, somatic coaching “moves the center of learning from the head into the body, giving you and your clients access to all aspects of your intelligence—intellectual, emotional, and physical.”
She will frequently ask clients to go sit in the seat of the person they are discussing, whether that’s a co-worker, a customer, a family member, a boss, a team member, or someone else. She’ll have her client actually get up and walk to get them into their body. She doesn’t want them to just think and talk about how that person might feel, but to actually physically occupy their chair and sense it on a deeper level.
It’s only when you really experience these shifts that you get how important they are. We often spend time with people who think like we do, and not even realize how it limits our worldview.
Try asking yourself some simple questions: How can I gain a different perspective on this topic? Who are those people that get me out of my regular thought patterns?
You don’t need these kinds of divergent perspectives for everything you do, but there are certain decision points, crossroads, and even reflective moments when it’s good to pause and take stock.