Discomfort Zone Training Support
Look Here for more tips and resource supporting Reflective and Emotional Intelligence.
YOU CAN USE THE TIPS ON THIS PAGE FOR YOURSELF OR TO IMPROVE HOW YOU TEACH COACHING IN THE DISCOMFORT ZONE
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
CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE QUESTIONS PEOPLE MIGHT ASK WHEN USING THE DREAM MODEL
Listening with Your Head, Heart and Gut – Visualization Guidelines
Visualization for Opening Your Head, Heart and Gut
- Sit in chair and become a witness to your body. Close your eyes or shift your gaze downward. Notice how your body feels. Shift your position to feel comfortable while sitting upright.
- Feel where your body is making contact with the chair. Feel where you have placed your feet.
- 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.
- 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 spots of tension relating to your emotions, breathe into these spots. As you breathe out, let the tension flow out of your body.
- Bring your awareness into your brain. Picture an elevator sitting in the center of your mind. The door is open. Allow your thoughts, judgments and opinions to float into the empty elevator. When they are safely inside, see the door close, leaving your mind free of thoughts. Say the word “curious” to yourself. Breathe in and feel curiosity open your mind. (If you are doing this visualization as a part of a listening exercise, ask the listeners to open their eyes and look at the talker, staying curious and open but not talking. The talker will share a dilemma they are facing for one minute. At the end of the minute, stop the interaction and ask the listeners to write one question that emerged from their curious, open mind while listening.)
- Return to the elevator in your mind. The door is still closed. Watch the elevator float slowly down your body, through your neck, into your chest, and see it settle in the spot next to your heart. Recall someone or a pet you deeply care about. Or maybe it’s a special place you go to that opens your heart. As the elevator door opens, see the person, pet, or place that fills you with gratitude, happiness, or love. Take a deep breath in, say the word you feel, such as “love,” “happy,” or “grateful.” Feel your heart expand. (For the listening exercise, ask the listeners to open their eyes, ask the question they wrote when listening with their brain, but listen to the response with an open heart for one minute. At the end of the minute, stop the interaction and ask the listeners to write one observation and one question that emerged from listening with an open heart.)
- Return to the elevator next to your heart. Say goodbye to the person, pet, or place as the door closes. The elevator floats slowly down your body, down your center, and comes to rest at the spot just below your navel. There is a warm glow coming from the elevator door. When the door opens, there is nothing inside but the warm glow. Feel the warmth of this glow. Recall a time you felt gutsy and determined—a time you spoke up or did something in spite of your fear. Remember 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 center of your body before you exhale. Keep breathing with your mind on your center, you point of strength. (For the listening exercise, ask the listeners to open their eyes, share the observation and question they wrote when listening with their heart, but listen to the response with an open gut for one minute. At the end of the minute, stop the interaction and ask the listeners to share one observation and one question that emerged from listening with an open gut. Then give the pair another 5 minutes for the talker to respond and close out the conversation even if the problem isn’t solved…it’s a listening, not coaching exercise. Debrief the exercise by asking the talkers first if the questions differed and what was the impact. Then ask the listeners if they noticed a difference, and if one part of their nervous system was difficult to access.)
Consider if you had a difficult time accessing one part of the nervous system. I’ve heard, “I can do the gut, but listening to my heart feels awkward,” or “I am always listening with my heart. Sharing what I sense from my gut feels scary.” People who tend to be helpers listen more easily from their heart than their gut. Risk-takers who move quickly on instinct find it easier to listen from their gut than their heart. In your daily interactions, practice receiving from your most vulnerable place to balance the three large organs of your nervous system. This practice will help you open and align your entire nervous system when coaching.
DOWNLOAD THE VIDEO to help explain how the process works in the brain…