People open up and find their voices when we help them to be mindful. By this it means getting them to reflect on their experiences in the present moment without judging them.
Doing this helps the transformational
process to take place as they realise how their actions are impacting
themselves or others. The result is they often rise to new heights of ambition
and ability, discovering, and in the process, finding powerful new solutions to
even the most persistent and complex of challenges.
This is when conversation becomes evocative as it sets in motion the process of raising people’s consciousness, which in turn raises increased self-awareness, self-knowledge, and even a self-monitor for them to track their future actions and behaviours until they become good habits.
Coaches need to remember that there is no way to foster learning and growth apart from mindfulness. When there is mindfulness in learning, every conversation whether positive or negative, will be well-transferred into life experience.
But when conversations are full of pressure, demands and on the instructional “how-to do it” type, people then take hard-hitting consciousness into their efforts to improve performance at a superficial and mechanical level. They try to remember doing the things and not doing them wrong.
However, when conversations are full of empathy, requests, and with curious “what-if’,’ people become more willing and able to play with variables and make appropriate just-in-time innovations. They want to try new things, dare to fail and try again and again.
Understanding this, evocative coaches enjoy listening to stories, expressing empathy, asking questions and co-creating experiments that increase mindfulness.
By demonstrating an appreciative interest in the person, including the fullness of their experience, evocative coaches expand awareness to include what is happening in the moment, what needs are being stimulated, and what strategies or approaches are working better than others.
Assisting people to attend to such matters facilitates “natural learning”. According to Paulo Freire (2000), he called such facilitation as the raising of a “critical consciousness’’ that engages learners in “reading their world”. The goal of critical consciousness, according to Freire, is for people to become active agents in the creation of their own lives and the democratic ideal in society.
A clear and accurate appreciation of the present moment, without generalisations, exaggerations or evaluative judgments, is critical to continuous skill and performance improvements. One must recognise what is really going on. Evocative coaches learn to listen for the observational core behind stories and then, through empathy and inquiry, make those dynamics known to the teacher. It is not a matter of pointing them out, it is rather a matter of helping people to recognise and understand those dynamics for themselves.
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