Robert Dilts: getting in the ‘right state’ for coaching

The first exercise we want to share with you has been developed by Robert Dilts, whom one of our team has been lucky enough to receive training from on several occasions.

He tells us: “Robert is a fantastic example of someone who genuinely ‘walks the talk’. He is one of those trainers whom you believe continues to apply the learning he gathers and shares with others into his personal practice. Because of this, I find there are many phrases I heard first from him popping into my head – and out of my mouth – during a coaching session! I always try and credit him when they do: but he has inspired so many coaches around the world, it is sometimes difficult to know when ‘Robert’ ends, and simply good coaching practices begins.”

Why we’re sharing Robert’s exercise with you:

Many of the coaches we work with are based in humanitarian roles which are extremely pressured, with multiple demands placed on them. When preparing for a coaching session, they need consciously to find ways to switch from dealing with the urgent issues facing them that day, to creating a safe and reflective space for their coachee. When we have shared Robert’s quick exercise to help get in a resourceful ‘coaching state’, they have told us they have found it very beneficial.

Coaching Story recommends: Robert Dilts and Finding Your “Inner Zone of Excellence”

Robert Dilts is one of the pioneers of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and a world-renowned coach and trainer. He has developed a short exercise that can really help you in ‘getting into the zone’ before a coaching session. Below is how Robert, in his own words, describes the process. Try it!

Sit or stand in a comfortable position with both feet flat on the floor and your spine erect but relaxed (ie “in your axis”). Check that your breathing is regular and from the belly. (Shallow, short or rapid breathing from the chest would indicate that you are in a stressed mode.)

Bring your attention to the soles of your feet (ie put your “mind” into your feet). Become aware of the universe of sensations in the bottoms of your feet. Feel the surface of your heels, toes, arches and the balls of your feet.

Begin to expand your awareness to include the physical reality (the 3-dimensional space) of your feet and then move up through your lower legs, knees, thighs, pelvis and hips. Become aware of your belly centre and say to yourself, “I am here.”

Continuing to stay aware of your lower body, move your awareness up through your spine, solar plexus, lungs, rib cage and chest. Focus on your heart centre and say to yourself, “I am open.”

Expand your attention to move up through your shoulders, upper arms, elbows, lower arms, wrists, hands and finders, and up through your neck, throat, face, skull and brain. Bring your awareness to the centre in your head, behind your eyes, and say to yourself, “I am awake. I am alert and clear.”

Staying in contact with the ongoing physical sensations in your body and the three centres, become aware of all the space above you, reaching into the sky: all of the space below you, going into the centre of the Earth; all of the space to your left; all of the space to your right; all of the space behind you; all of the space in front of you. Say to yourself, “I am ready.”

Copyright: Robert Dilts