Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Coaching Outside the Box

March 12, 2010 by Jeanne Vandermeer  
Filed under Life Coaching

Ben Fletcher at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom devised a study to get people to break their usual habits. Each day the subjects picked a different option from poles of contrasting behaviors — lively/quiet, introvert/extrovert, reactive/proactive — and behaved according to this assignment.

So an introverted person, for example, would act as an extrovert for an entire day. Additionally, twice weekly, they had to stretch to behave in a way outside their usual life pattern – eating or reading something they would never have done.

What do you think was the biggest change in the group?

The remarkable finding was that after four months, the subjects had lost an average of eleven pounds. And six months later, almost all had kept the weight off; some continued to lose weight. This was not a diet, but a study focusing on change and its impact.

The Underlying Principle

Requiring people to change routine behavior makes them actually think about decisions rather than habitually choosing a default mode without consideration. In having to actually process decisions actively, they exercised their choice and decision-making abilities, extending to other choices such as what to eat, and what not to. Once becoming aware of actively making choices, they could decide what’s in their best interest.

“The box” most of us are in is the result of programming and conditioning. And it is self-created in adulthood. Recognizing yourself as the author, the creator of your story challenges an assumed model and leads to the deeper question, “How do I create something else instead?” And, “What will the ‘something else’ be?” Coach outside the box and watch your clients flourish!

Dave Krueger is Dean of Curriculum at Coach Training Alliance and CEO of MentorPath™, an executive coaching firm helping professionals write the next chapter of their life

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