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Let us not shy away from asking – ‘How do you feel?’

Susan David in her TED talk says emotions are data, when you label emotions correctly you get the brain in readiness mode to move into action. She adds : acceptance of the emotions and accuracy in identifying the right emotion are important for emotional agility. Therefore, concluding - that emotions are directive, we own our emotions - they don’t own us. In the book, Creative Visualization that covers the power of Visualization Shakti Gwain – says human systems move in the direction of the image of the future. If the image of future is not clear, exploring feelings & emotions helps - asking questions around emotions helps because feelings acts as wipers and helps sharpen that image of the future. A client is master of intent while a coach is a master of the process. The past is a story, future is also a story - depending on what story we say will decide if we are a hero or victim in the future. Coaching is best at a feeling level. What is it that the client is fearing e.g. Fear of failure or Fear of insult/humiliation or Fear of falling from one’s own identity and what is the client’s biggest motivation to overcome this fear? Ask your client what is that emotion telling you - that helps you go even deeper in exploring. An example to illustrate the power of emotions/feelings: A client might be anxious when speaking to a senior manager they don’t get on well with. This affects the Physiology of the body – increased heart rate, perspiration, stomach churning. This in turn creates an emotional state in the client – fear or nervousness perhaps. From here the client will develop certain feelings toward the senior manager. They will also think in a certain way towards this person. All these are internal manifestations for the client. However, they then become externally visible in the person’s subsequent behaviours and performance toward and with the manager. By unpacking and understanding the physiology, emotions, feelings and thoughts the client can begin to manage and control them more. Thus developing a more healthy approach and being able to make more healthy informed decisions. For a coach, identifying key thoughts and feelings with a client open up powerful dialogue. Understanding and exploring causes, reasons, history builds powerful platforms for the client developing more logical, rational and meaningful behavioural outcomes. In doing so they create new neural pathways in the brain which enable more healthy future habits and response mechanisms to people and situations. Before delving deeper into a clients thoughts, feelings and emotions the coach has to establish a strong relationship with the client.

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