24 nov. 2008

The Inner FOR

By coaching there is no transfer of knowledge or content, but there is help to transfer – from one place to another – a person’s points of view, which allows that person to multiply his or her perspective on the problem and its desired resolution. Because, being too close to the problem and even seeing it with the same eye of our mind, what is far appears to be grey and rarely has a form – a background that we usually don’t take into account or that we focus on only when we deliberately explore it. The search for a solution to a problem is the likely moment of such trips, and we often fumble in that grey area like in a place seldom attended. In coaching we call the frame of such closer thoughts of a human being a Frame of Reference, meaning the inner forum.

FORUM, (FOR in Romanian), dictionary: public market in ancient Rome where socio-political, religious and economic life was concentrated and where trials were held; in the collocation FORUM = inner consciousness.

FOR, coaching: Frame of Reference, a private market of the modern man where his personal and professional life is concentrated; the place in which he finds problems and judges solutions; in the collocation ”expand Frame of Reference (FOR)” = coaching.

The expression from the title seemed a little pleonastic, until I saw that drawing made by Brancusi: “relativement, tel que moi”, beautifully translated in English as “my inner self, somehow”. This drawing resemblance with a usually drawing of someone consciousness is obvious - into an expanded reference frame, of course.

Someone’s frame of reference is that thing that carries his life – towards failure or towards success. Coaching is the rethinking and reconfiguring of one life’s “ inner market”.

Obviously, the ”expand frame of reference” type of coaching (broadening the frame of reference) may be referred too as ”lateral coaching”, ”edge coaching” and, why not, ”fence coaching”: the person gets to realize that he sits on the fence of a much smaller territory than the one he actually could rule and manage profitable.

Brancusi said: “It’s not hard to do something; but to get yourself up for it.” Coaching gets you in that state – it’s a shortcut in a world that’s eager to inform, constantly forgetting (and sometimes it’s painful: ”I don’t know what to do!”) to form, to get formed. Coaching transforms this “I don’t know!” from “freeze” to “go”. We have been used to get scared when we found ourselves in the situation to say “I don’t know”. Through coaching I understood how, with the help of a coach, reaching “I don’t know” is the chance to reach a better option for your future, it’s the chance to see the destination more clearly and to better understand destiny.
Often, knowing what to do means you thought of either the worst scenario, or the best. What you think you must do is your reaction to something outside your control - that scenario. Both situations require you as a participant, not an author. With a coach, you have the opportunity to build the best scenario from your point of view and to prepare for action of doing what needs to be done so you get the result you want.

Archimedes said: “Give me a point of support, and I shall move the Earth.” The coach is the support that you need to move the Earth as you wish, in a form that you want, for your own good. Because a master coach never gets tired of telling us that ”coaching is about linguistic”, here is what other interesting frame is opened by the great Greek’s sentence, translated in proper English: “Give me where to stand, and I will move the earth.” Interaction with a coach gives you a place to stand from which you are able to move the Earth where you want it to be.

What’s great is that, after a coaching program that you chose to attend, you get support in yourself (to better stand!), whatever the problem: any and every inner trip ends well because you learned to find any path and you know how to choose the best pattern.

What does a coach do to help you? Most often, he is silent! Silence broadens the frame of reference: it’s like a bigger room, in which all the objects appear to be different and in which even you appear to be different to yourself. You will want to ask questions. He will have the honor to answer with “I don’t know” to any of your questions in order to help you understand you have your own answer. Sometimes, he’ll ask you questions. Almost never: “Why?”, most often: “How?”. Unlike silence - which is a skill, a craft developed through practice, asking questions is something more: it’s an art, it’s a trained gift. Because, besides extending the frame of reference, the question determines someone to search in a specific place, it lights some other small light bulbs in that space in which we look for the key, like in a well-known joke. If it’s good, the question enlightens.

Coaching gave me the opportunity to understand a simple thing: one question has as many answers as how many people respond!
There are several questions to which the answer is the same:
Coaching? Yes (ENTER)

Magda Bunea

(for Business-Edu Magazine, ”Coaching 07”, conference in Bucharest)