I want to return to Linda Aspey’s article – see below – in which she questions our insistence on so many questions. Much of what we are currently learning about coaching comes from the discipline of neuroscience and Linda illustrates succinctly why this new information is so important for us. She says that,
“ there’s an increasing amount of neuropsychological research to show how creating the right conditions can quieten the amygdala and create feelings of safety, trust and attachment, generating approach hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. These hormones make it possible to really explore thinking and generate new thoughts unhindered by fear. It seems the 10 components of the Thinking Environment offer this capacity in spades. How this works is explained further in Paul Brown’s and Virginia Brown’s forthcoming book ‘Neuropsychology for Coaches: understanding the basics’.
It is crucial to the whole process to give clients sustained and complete attention. Listening to what they say and being fascinated by what they might say next. Not waiting patiently when they are silent, but waiting expectantly. It means making it comfortable for them to feel uncomfortable, enabling them to dig deep to find the answers and create the shifts they seek. It means relying on my presence rather than my questions, letting go of my need to assess, analyse, interpret, look for themes or give them ‘aha’ moments. They will find their own. ……..
Do you find you spend more time thinking about asking good questions than creating conditions for people to think well?”
Linda Aspey – “These articles were first published in AICTP journal, Summer/Autumn 2012. Reprinted with permission.”
If you want to know more about neuroscience, especially as it illuminates core coaching processes, you can discover more by googling Daniel Seigel or David Rock or listening to them on You Tube.
Edna Murdoch 2013