When we coach clients we work with them to access perspectives that feel empowering and useful.
For example, a client may be having struggles with a particular relationship with a colleague at work. We’d invite the client to share what’s currently coming up for them in that dynamic, what emotions and thoughts are triggered by that relationship. We’d then start looking at the challenge from different angles, we might get into the shoes of an old boss who was really encouraging – what advice might that boss have about the relationship? We may look at the issue from the perspective of five years down the line – does it even matter anymore? We might look at that relationship from the perspective of a really great moment you had with that colleague – is it possible to cultivate that dynamic again?
With each perspective we invite our clients to really feel how it feels to see the challenge in that new way, and to see whether they can identify any actions they could implement in order to move things forward.
In this example, it might be that the client chooses to remember that moment when they were working well with their colleague in the past, maybe it was when they were talking about a particular project over a coffee in a nice coffee shop. And so the action could be to invite that colleague to coffee again, to try to re-build that connection, to mend what might have become broken.
But, it can be super hard, once we get back into the work place, or into the challenging situation, to remember that we have access to that alternative perspective. To remember that we can feel differently about that person. That’s when ‘anchors’ can be really useful.
Anchors are ways to bring us back to helpful perspectives. They are songs, pieces of jewellery, body postures, images, certain smells, mantras, visualisations.
With our client in this example, the smell of coffee might bring them back to their helpful perspective, an image of themselves and their colleague at the time when they were getting along might trigger the helpful perspective, a few deep breaths and taking a pause might bring them back to that helpful perspective. And then when in that helpful perspective again, they might just feel able to reach out to initiate a shift in the relationship.
I invite you today to think about your anchors, and how they might be able to help you move forward in positive and helpful ways.
With love as always, Hannah and Team Bird