In the final category of challenging conversation we look at the a type of reluctance which is tricky to handle in coaching. The Victim.
The victim is caught in a cycle of negative thinking. They believe that other people or environmental factors prevent them from progressing. They demonstrate a reluctance to explore possible solutions and seem to come up against many excuses as to why a course of action will not work.
Although they might reluctantly commit to action, they carry out actions only if fair weather prevails.They feel that they have little or no control over their lives.
● This behaviour set often comes from deeply held beliefs about a person’s self-worth. The victim requires sensitive handling and coaches must tread very carefully.
● Reframe to help build self-esteem and confidence. ”So these things are against you, at present, what can you do, that you have control or influence over?”
● Challenge unhelpful generalizations – ‘They made me feel like this’ or ‘She caused me to miss the bus by keeping me talking too long’. Ask ‘Who exactly made you feel like this?’ followed by ‘How specifically did they make you feel like this?
● Challenge nominalizations – ‘No one likes me’ and ‘Everyone thinks like me’.
● Reach back into the past for positive experiences where they were successful. ”When in the past have you been successful in overcoming barriers? What did you do then? Who could you use what you learned there now?”
● Use the incisive questions that temporarily lift the limiting thoughts and allow people to see past them. In response to ‘They made me feel like this’ a coach might reply ‘If they hadn’t made you feel like this, how might you feel?’
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