Coaching with Sid

How To Coach Your Clients To Transform Self Sabotage Into Self Mastery.

sent by Siddharth Anantharam    |  November 2, 2023

sent by Siddharth Anantharam
November 2, 2023

Why is it so challenging for people to make lasting changes, even when the stakes are sky-high?

The Struggle is Real: High-Performers are No Exception

Unmasking The Enemy Within: Understanding Self-Sabotage.

Here are two simple examples:

Example 1: The Weight-Regain Conundrum:

The Competing Commitment: Gaining back the weight isn't just a hiccup; it's a glaring symptom. What lies beneath is a competing commitment, perhaps a fear of attention or an unconscious belief that they don't deserve to be healthy. Until we anchor into that deeper issue, no diet in the world will provide a lasting solution.

Example 2: The Financial Instability Loop

The Competing Commitment: Again, this isn't just about poor budgeting skills or lack of financial acumen. There's a deeper, hidden commitment that's pulling the strings. Perhaps Anna associates financial stability with a loss of freedom or spontaneity in life.

Hidden somewhere in both these scenarios is an ASSUMPTION or a BELIEF that is sub consciously protecting them from taking conscious action towards their goal.

Which is why as a coach if you only “coach the problem” without coaching the “person having the problem” you are missing out!

Harvard professors Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey coined this phenomenon as “Immunity to Change,” a subconscious mechanism designed to “protect us,” sometimes to our own detriment.

Here is a simple 4 step inquiry process that helps you draw out a person’s competing commitment.

1. Clearly Define The Goal

Ask your client to clearly define what their Change or Improvement goal is.

It is very important to ensure that the goal is clearly defined and there is a strong commitment to make changes.

Coaching Question: What would you like to see changed at life or at work that would make you more effective or more fulfilled?

Why is this goal important for you and for the people you care about?

2. Identify Counterproductive Behaviors

What do they do or not do that stands in the way of their goal?

In other words, looking at his behavior, what does he do that is counterproductive or hinders the goal, or conversely what does he NOT do that if he did, would support the goal?

Coaching Question: What are YOU doing / not doing right now that gets in the way of you achieving your goal?

3. Visualize Doing The Opposite

Now, ask your client to imagine doing the opposite of what he says he does, or does not do. Does he feel any discomfort, fear or anxiety?

The intention here is to find out what the individual is protecting himself against.

For example, if he tends to bully his way into a conversation when his goal is to create a trusting relationship, how would it feel to take a step back and just listen? Is there discomfort in that? What emotions come up? What does he fear? What would be lost of his identity if he adopted this new behavior?

Coaching Question: Imagine yourself doing the opposite of the harmful behavior. Do you feel any discomfort, worry or vague fear? Why do you think that exists?

By continuing to do the harmful behavior or habit, what are you trying to protect yourself against?

4. Spot the Hidden Belief

Identify the core ASSUMPTION or BELIEF that’s driving their behavior.

Have them write this down clearly so it becomes a clear insight.

Coaching Question: What do you believe or assume to be true?

What are you learning about your hidden beliefs and assumptions through this exercise?

3 Different Scenarios of Competing Commitments in Action

What distinction resonates most with you in your coaching journey? Share your thoughts and let’s learn together.

Leave a Comment

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