Discomfort Zone Training Support


The Dream Model


D = determine what the person wants as a desired outcome of the   conversation

R = reflect on the experiences, beliefs, and emotions expressed

E = explore possible sources of blind spots and resistance

A = acknowledge the emerging awareness

M = make sure there is a plan or commitment for what is next


If you attended one of Marcia’s presentations, you can ask her for a pdf copy of the slides. Here is a sample presentation you might find helpful:  ICF Philippines Keynote Reynolds

You can also watch this slide show:


Listening with Your Head, Heart and Gut – Exercise Guidelines

1. Sit in chair and become a witness to your body. Just notice how your body feels; there is no need to change anything unless you feel like it.

2. Feel where your body is making contact with the chair. Feel where you have placed your feet

3. Notice your emotional state. Do you feel sad? Calm? Tired? Impatient? Whatever you feel, see if you can relax and release it so you become open to the process you are about to step into.

4. Focus on your breathing. Feel the movement of your body up and down as your breath moves in and out. Feel the temperature of the air as you inhale it into your body. Let your body relax as the air flows out. If you notice specific sports of tension relating to your emotions, breathe into these spots. As you breathe out, let the tension flow out of your body.

5. Notice your mental state. See your thoughts float through your head. Notice one thought, then another. Like a scientist, just notice.

6. Picture an elevator in your brain. The door is open. Allow all of your thoughts, judgments and opinions to float into the empty elevator. When they are safely inside, watch the door close, leaving your mind free of thoughts.

Now say the word, “curious” to yourself. Feel the word “curious.”  When you open your eyes, try to stay open and curious. If you notice thoughts drift into your brain, let them float away. Listen without talking but with pure curiosity, to your partner.

( If doing this as an exercise with others, have the listener and talker stop after one minute. Then instruct the listener to write down the one question he or she wants to ask that emerged from having a curious, open mind.)

Now, return to the elevator in your mind. The door is still closed.

Watch the elevator float slowly down your body, through your head, through your neck, and see it settle quietly in your chest next to your heart. Recall someone or something you deeply care about. Or maybe it’s a special place you go to that opens your heart. As the elevator door open, see this person, thing, or place that fills you with gratitude, happiness, love, or compassion. Take a deep breath in, smile and say the word you feel, such as “love,” “happy,” or “grateful” and feel your heart expand.

This time when you listen, listen from your open heart. What is he or she excited about? Angry? Guilty? Worried? What does he or she want more than anything? What is he or she upset about not getting? After you listen, you can write down a one-sentence reflection you like to share and one question. Okay, now listen for one minute from your open heart.

(If you are doing this as an exercise, have the listener and talker stop after one minute. Then instruct the listener to write down the one brief reflection and one question they want to share that emerged from his or her heart.)

Now, see the elevator with the person, thing or place you deeply care about. Say goodbye as you watch the door close, keeping them safely inside.

The elevator floats slowly down your body, down your center, down your core and comes to rest at the spot just below your navel. There is a warm glow coming from the elevator door. Watch the door slowly open. There is nothing inside, just the warm glow emanating through the door.

Keep your awareness on this center point. Feel the warmth and strength from the glow. Recall a time you felt gutsy and determined – a time your spoke up or did something in spite of your fear. Recall how you felt as you took action or spoke your mind. As you inhale, say the word “courage” to yourself. Let the word settle into the core of your body just below your navel before you exhale. Keep breathing with your mind on your center, your point of strength.

This time when you listen to your partner, receive the words, feelings, gestures, and pauses through your center. What is he or she protecting? What is driving their choices? What would they rather be doing? Listen for what is stopping them from moving forward and getting what they want. Take a deep breath in and listen deeply from the center of your body.

(If you are doing this as an exercise, stop the conversation and have the listener share one reflection and ask one question. Then give the pair another 4 minutes to bring the conversation to a completion even if the problem is not solved.)

Look at your questions. How did they differ?

Did you have a difficult time accessing one center more than the other two? People say to me, “I can do the gut, but listening to my heart feels awkward.” Or I’ve heard, “I wear my heart on my sleeve, but sharing what I sense from my gut doesn’t fit my style.” Depending on your personality, you will find it easier to access on of your centers over the other. People who tend to be helpers listen more easily from their heart than their gut. On the other hand, risk-takers who moves quickly on instinct find it easier to listen from their gut than their heart. I am a born risk-taker. I have to consciously open my heart when I coach, teach, or argue with my partner. This makes me feel a bit vulnerable, but it’s effective.


DOWNLOAD THE VIDEO to help explain how the process works in the brain…


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