I spent last weekend at the CTI coaching fundamentals course. I signed up a few months ago and was really excited about the learning opportunity but also SUPER nervous about receiving public coaching and practicing new skills on a bunch of strangers. It ended up being one of the best experiences of my life. Step outside of your comfort zone – I promise you will learn a lot about yourself out there!
First off you might be wondering what CTI is. They are the Coaches Training Institute and are the largest in-person coach training school in the world. CTI’s proven co-active coaching approach enables people to achieve success and fulfillment in their work and life through a powerful coach/client alliance that promotes and enhances the lifelong process of learning.
My Greatest Takeaways
(1) Learning to really listen
During the course I learned about different levels of listening.
Level 1: This is where most people are at. You’re listening to your friend talk but at the same time you’re also thinking about the kale you need to pick up on the way home, or you’re waiting to tell a similar story that happened to you. Basically your ego is driving the conversation.
Level 2: Transitioning into level 2 listening will transform your life. Your full attention is on what your friend is saying. You have no hidden agenda or personal thoughts running through your mind. You are no longer thinking of what to say next, you’re completely absorbed in what the other person is saying. You will be amazed at the amount of information you receive from the speaker’s words, body language and tone. I find that most people are not used to being listened to at this level and tend to be appreciative and very open and honest with you.
Level 3: This involves listening at Level 2 as well as opening yourself up to your intuition. You are aware of what is being said and what is not being said. You are aware of the speaker’s words, tone, body language, and the entire mood of the room.
(2) Asking powerful questions
Powerful questions invite introspection. They get people thinking on a deeper level and lead to greater creativity and insight. Rather then offering advice to someone, asking a powerful question can help them realize they already hold the answer.
Here are some examples of powerful questions:
- What do you want?
- What will that get you?
- What are the possibilities?
- Imagine that it’s 6 months into the future. What decisions would you make today to get yourself there?
(3) Be 100% you
One day 3 of the course we took part in an exercise which was a game changer for me. We went around the room of participants and spoke of the amazing attributes that each person currently embodied and then we spoke of what we saw a glimpse of but wanted to see MORE of. Each person was then assigned an archetype that embodied the characteristics they wanted to see more of in you. For example, the group pushed me to be more confident, messier, less perfect, louder and more flamboyant, and to really show off my silly side. The archetype they chose for me was drag queen – DRAG QUEEN! For the next few hours I had full range to act like an over the top drag queen and not apologize for it. Other archetypes were Mother Teresa, Tina Turner, a hippy flower child and Indiana Jones. This exercise was a game changer for me as it revealed how I show up to the world. I knew that these traits were inside of me but I wasn’t showing them to the outside world and as a result I was only showing up 75%. By bringing awareness to it I am consciously working on acting sillier and more outgoing every day.
A drag queen – seriously – talk about jumping outside of my comfort zone!
I leave you with these challenges and questions to ponder:
Challenge 1: Be conscious of your listening for the rest of the day. When you find yourself distracted by the voice in your head, focus on the other person’s tone and body language. Work towards Level 2 and 3 listening.
Challenge 2: The next time your BFF asks you for advice ask her a powerful question. You already know that she’s creative, resourceful and whole; let her realize it too.
Inquiry: What characteristics do you hide from the world? What could you do that would allow you to show up 100%?
Daily Affirmation: “I have everything I need to live the life I dream of”