As a coach I am interested to find out more about how different methods for guiding people in dealing with their challenges work. When Judith offered to demonstrate the method she had adopted, I immediately agreed. On Tuesday morning we went into the woods where we had a really nice talk and demonstration of this method.
Clean language and metaphors
She uses ‘clean language’ combined with metaphors. She does much more than that, but that is what she has demonstrated. In the clean language part you repeat the exact words the coachee uses. That way you are not interpreting anything, so you don’t force the person into a certain direction.
As a coach you are there to walk along somebody else’s path. You can point out the directions, but the coachee will decide which way to go and at what pace. In this method the coach guides a person through the metaphor by asking questions about what it looks like and what the connection is to the challenge you are facing. The coachee connects the dots, not the coach.
As we were walking in the woods, it must have inspired me to choose a tree as metaphor. Here is the story I would like to share with you, as it might inspire you to gain new insights as well. That, bytheway, is not part of the method as you were to choose your own metaphor.
My wish was to be able to keep standing whenever a storm comes up.
The tree from my story is like the one in Shawshank redemption, where Red (Morgan Freeman) goes to at the end of the movie and finds Andy’s letter (played by Tim Robbins), so they can be reunited again and live the life they want outside prison. (The photo is the actual tree, it’s from www.ecorazzi.com) It’s this big tree with very large branches. The tree represents the key to freedom in this movie, which is something I value very much as well.
The tree is on a hill without any other trees, standing strong. In my vison there is a meadow with some sheep eating grass and butterflies flying around. The tree has this fresh green leaves like you see in spring and many roots which enter the earth. You can’t see them, but they are very strong.
What happens is that the tree suffers in storms, the wind blowing in its face, hail falling on its head and because of that it loses branches and leaves. The tree cannot hide in a storm, it has to wait until it is over. It cannot brace itself. In the real world the oak tree from the movie was cut in two during a storm and it was still able to survive.
The tree is able to recuperate, leaves and branches grow back. How? Because of the strong roots from which nutrition is directed to all parts of the tree. So whatever the circumstances the tree is in, it can always restore itself.
What lessons did I learn?
At least in this story it can. I believe it is important to stay connected to your roots. In this case I perceive roots to be different things in life. On one side it is about family and the place where you are from. For me it is also the part which is invisible to the eye: your beliefs, your wishes, the person you are and stand for.
There are many things happening in our lives which make our branches break off as we suffer some damage. We feel hurt and we would like to crawl back in our caves. The solution as I see it is to go back to a part of the tree and connect to it: the roots.
When you connect to your beliefs and your inner strength, you are in fact connected with your roots, they are always there. It is about being yourself, accepting who you are and what it is you want from life and go for it. That is when you realize your roots are strong and you will not give up. You will survive negative emotions and the pain you have suffered. You will recuperate and you will be able to stay strong.