“If the past was the age of adding to one’s mind, now is the age of subtracting what is in his mind.
A person who subtracts his minds in this time will recover his original nature.”
Transformational coaching is different in a number of ways from traditional coaching. As a transformational coach, you use distinctions and “leverage points” for creating the kind of profound, life-transforming shifts that aren’t necessarily evident in the FUEL methods and GROW models that are standard in the coaching world. In this article, you’re going to discover the secret formula for profound coaching transformations.
One of the things I love doing is 3-day transformational coaching “intensives” with my clients. The purpose of these sessions is for the client to experience a profound re-ordering of how they experience reality, to help them establish a new ‘foundation’ for living, and to create the specific results they desire (or something even better, as I’ll explain in a moment).
Back in 2014, I did an intensive with Ian. Ian runs a very successful SME business, but he had hired me because he felt stuck; he couldn’t move forward and get to where he wanted to in his work, his relationships and his life in general. He wanted clarity of direction and the ability to move forward. We made a short list of the problems he wanted solved, the changes he wanted to make and the results he wanted to create as a result of our session . About 45 minutes into our first session, he said, “I need a formula for how we’re going to work together over these three days. I need a formula for how this transformation is going to work.”
My first response was a mild panic. I didn’t have a formula, and I felt anxious about it. Ian had paid me a large sum of money, and I wasn’t going to be able to give him what he needed! Fortunately, I woke up quickly to the fact that my feelings of panic and anxiety weren’t telling me about my client, my abilities or my lack of a formula. My feelings were alerting me to the principle of Thought taking an anxious form in the moment. The moment I insightfully saw this, I fell out of my thinking and back into the moment, at which point the solution arrived. I told Ian, “Here’s the first part of the formula”, and wrote on the whiteboard:
Ian + Misunderstanding = Stuck
I explained that his experience of being stuck was coming from a fundamental misunderstanding of where his experience was coming from. I told him that the misunderstanding was perfectly innocent and natural, and said “You have the innate capacity within you to see through this misunderstanding and wake up to a rich, fulfilling experience of life.” I explained that the misunderstanding about where your experience was coming from also led to a misunderstanding about who you really are, and what you’re up to in life. Earlier in the session, Ian had told me that when he was a young man, he was very happy-go-lucky, spontaneous and carefree. As he grew older, he had become more serious and busy-minded, and said he longed for the sense of freedom, fun and happiness that he used to enjoy. I told him he was going to love the second part of the formula:
Ian – Misunderstanding = Clarity, freedom, fun, spontaneity, fulfilment, love and happiness
To my delight, Ian said “Great, that’s exactly the formula I need. Let’s go.”
Over the next 3 days, Ian had one insight after another. As he started to “see through” the misunderstanding about where his experience was coming from (what I refer to as the “outside-in misunderstanding”), he began to relax into his true identity, and wake up to the beauty of life. One of the fascinating parts of this was when, on the third day, we reviewed the list of outcomes Ian had made on the first day, and he started laughing. One by one, as we went through his list of objectives, we found that each objective fell into one of the following categories:
– The problem no longer existed, or…
– The solution was now obvious, and he felt capable and motivated to resolve the problem, or…
– The urgency was gone, and he felt comfortable and confident that the solution would emerge in due course.
– The change no longer seemed important, or…
– The change had already happened, or…
– The urgency was gone, and he was happy to let it emerge in an organic way.
– The result no longer seemed important, or…
– The result had been replaced by something much more inspiring and natural for him, or…
– The way forward was obvious, and he felt ready and excited to start creating it.
I love this part of the transformational coaching process. As the client falls out of their misunderstanding, they fall into a new sense of clarity, freedom and possibility. As you start waking up to your true nature, you realise just how much power you have to create a life that deeply inspires you. And speaking to you as a coach, it’s a wonderful way to work. Instead of trying to help the client solve their problems, overcome obstacles and figure out what steps to take, you focus in a different direction: creating a space for them to have a profound transformation. And what emerges from that transformation is a client who has the solutions to their problems, the capacity to overcome obstacles and to create whatever their inspired to create.
In the months following his intensive, Ian’s life continued to transform. As well as a new sense of energy in his business, and a strong sense of personal direction, he began enjoying deeper than ever connections in his personal relationships, and more fun and spontaneity. Very importantly, he no longer felt stuck, and was enjoying sharing his new clarity with colleagues and loved ones. As a side-note, Ian’s “formula” ended up finding its way into my book, The Little Book of Clarity as The Clarity Equation:
CLARITY equals Capacity minus Contamination
By the way, I create space to do one Clarity Life Transformation Intensive per month. If you’d like to explore the possibility of doing an intensive with me, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Intensive” or find out more by visiting https://www.jamiesmart.com/clarity-1-1-intensive/
PS If you want to learn how to become a transformational coach, you might be a good fit for The Certified Clarity Coach Training Programme. You can find the details and submit your application at https://www.jamiesmart.com/
PPS I ended up writing about Ian in my new book, the Sunday Times Bestseller, RESULTS: Think Less, Achieve More. If you want to hear Ian’s side of the story in his own words, you can check out episode one of The Results Mindset Podcast which you can find on iTunes or on my website at www.JamieSmart.com/
PPPS If you’re a transformation professional and want to learn more about what I’ve talked about here, as well as grow your practice, head over to the Exponential Practice Professional Group. You can join for free now here: https://www.jamiesmart.com/exponential-practice/. See you there!