A Coach’s Secret Weapon: Attentional Posture

An excellent coach is not necessarily exceptionally smart or innovative. What makes coaches uniquely valuable, when compared to normal people, is what we call – Attentional Posture.

Attentional posture is the act of putting your attention on three key areas:

1- A client’s way of being

2- Context

3- Relationship to the given topic

When done well, attentional posture takes listening to a new level. You won’t just hear what a client says. You will watch the client closely, listening to their words, taking in their body language, staying attuned to what they share, and noticing what they DON’T say as well.

This is a topic we dive deep into in our Zenith Coaching Certification Program. I will be breaking down each topic in our next newsletter. To read more sign up for our email list here (check the top right corner).

  1. Way of being

This includes your clients’ posture, attitude, tone, energy, volume, body language, physical appearance, and facial expressions. 

Example: If you notice partway through the session that the client’s shoulders have started to slump and their energy is lower. Then, they sight heavily. You might say something like: “That was a big sigh! And it seems like your energy shifted. What’s happening for you right now?”

  1. Context

Context refers to the client’s history, parts, patterns, and lenses.

Example: While a client is talking about his new girlfriend, he shares that he is having a hard time relaxing enough to fully enjoy their connection. As you listen and ask questions, both you and the client become aware that a part of him  believes he is unlovable. You ask for permission to work with this part. Coming from a gentle, open curiosity, you begin to ask it questions. 

  1. Relationship to a given topic

Consider someone’s relationship to a specific area by default, their desired relationship to this topic, and the journey between the two.

Example: A client is working on a goal around creating more income. She shares that, growing up, her family’s finances were strained and they constantly told her how scary it was to be a responsible adult.

Your client confides in you that she still thinks a lot about these conversations, and that the idea of building her income keeps her up at night. A coach could invite an exploration: “Would you tell me a bit more about the relationship to money that you inherited? And what’s the relationship to money that you would like to create?”

This is a topic we dive deep into in our Zenith Coaching Certification Program. The waitlist for 2024 cohort is now available here: https://theconnectioninstitute.net/coachingprogram/

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