The two ways to use an exercise in coaching

Dutch version here

When I started out as a trainer, somewhere in the beginning of the 90’s,  my only goal was giving people insight.

For me, personal growth was all about insight. I even was so naive as to expect my participants to get the one insight I wanted them to get. I designed my training’s that way: now you will see the light I want you to see.

I saw it as a failure when people didn’t see this light. I was jealous of other trainers who had more guts to push harder, so they could break through the resistance of their participants.

Soon I learned that my weakness was not a weakness but just being prudent and considerate. I learned that not everyone is ready for everything at the same time.

So I learned to trust my ability in sensing what it was that people were ready for. I guided them to take that step. I learned them to deal with their own resistance.

But still it was about a breakthrough, an insight, an experience.

And for a long time I thought that that was it: with this new way of seeing themselves and the world, nothing would be the same, ever!

That was true, but  I was wrong thinking they were ready to take on the world.

Because they weren’t.

Having an insight doesn’t automatically give you the skills to cope with life. It’s a condition, not a guarantee.

So while the first, very important function of an exercise is creating an insight, an experience,

The second one is about growing and learning.

Technically knowing how to throw a spear doesn’t win you the match.

Breaking through your resistance in a controlled exercise doesn’t mean your resistance is gone.

So there are the exercises that you give as homework: taking little steps, trying out. Again and again. And remember about the 40% rule. (Read about that here)

And if you want to know what kind of thing your clients need to learn, take a look here.

It doesn’t stop at being aware!

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