From: L. Michael Hall
2021 Morpheus #5
February 3, 0 2021
Do you know the core of Meta-Coaching, that is, what is the central core when it comes to the process of coaching? The following is how I described the heart or core of Meta-Coaching in an interview that I did at the end of last year.
- Meta-Coaching is a conversation like none-other. It is deﬁnitely not a normal conversation; not at all. It is about one subject— the client’s experience and his or her hopes and dreams. It is not a two-way conversation which is what makes it very abnormal. In coaching, as the coach you focus exclusively on your client—the changes, and the unleashing that she wants.
- Meta-Coaching is a conversation absolutely based on rapport and compassion. As a result, a very unusual thing happens—the coaching conversation becomes intensely relational very quickly. Clients often experience a depth of connection and support that they experience in no other relationship and start talking about things they have never told anyone. It is extremely intimate, yet it is not about friendship. Coaching is not your way to expand your social world! In coaching, you connect emotionally with compassion and benevolent good will. It will be a dialogue of exchanging meanings. It is not a monologue, and it is certain not advice-giving! As you take your state and use it to elicit your client’s state– you create an experiential conversation for your client. So by its very nature, it is emotional.
- Meta-Coaching is an intense conversation that gets to the heart of things — meaning. You and your client go to the person’s construct of reality and into the meta-levels ... to ﬂush out the frames. As you give feedback, coaching facilitates self-discovery and self-awareness. Clients learn a lot about themselves in the process. Sometimes they learn things that they don’t want to know about themselves, that’s when the conversation gets real. And they discover that they are never the problem, where there’s a problem, the frame is always the problem.
- Meta-Coaching is a confrontative conversation designed to call the person to authenticity— to get real. It is a call for the client to come out from behind himself. Consequently as the coach, you can’t hide behind a persona. To make the conversation real, the coach has to be real and constantly challenge for authenticity. Coaching is a call to be genuine, to stop playing games, and to stop hiding.
- Meta-Coaching is a respectful conversation. Coaching only works when there is a deep and profound respect for the client’s life, ownership, and responsibility. As a coach, you respect your client’s resources capacities, and hidden talents. You say, “It is your life. I am not responsible for your beliefs, values, decisions. You are.” “I will respect your right to choose the option of not changing.” “I will not coddle or protect your excuses or evasions.” “While I will challenge you, the decision is always yours.” Coaching is an antidote to cultural limitations, misbeliefs, and toxic beliefs.
- Meta-Coaching is a goal oriented conversation about dreams and hopes. As a Coach, you initiate the conversation by asking, “What do you want to actualize in your life (#3)?” “What vision do you have about your life, what talents do you want to turn into skills, what potentials do you want to unleash and develop? Coaching is about enabling a client to develop a magniﬁcent obsession and in that way, it challenges clients to not play small or sell oneself short. And as a goal-oriented conversation, coach focuses on enabling the solving of problems (hence question #14).
Given all of that, as a coach, and especially as a Meta-Coach you will often believe in your client much more than your client may believe in himself. You challenge your clients to be more, learn more, achieve more, have more, and give more. You’re always pushing them to stretch out of their comfort zones. You therefore have to be more real as you challenge them to get real. In a word, you operate as a change agent par excellence.
- Meta-Coach is a structural approach to coaching which means that it is not about hoping and guessing that what you’re doing will work. With the structural approach, Meta-Coaches do not need to guess about what they are do or what to do next. They know. “Get rapport and go inside. Go deep inside. Interrogate your client’s experience so that you can fully describe it— better than your client can describe it.” Meta-Coaches are able to answer the systemic coaching question, “How do you know what to do, when to do it, with whom, how to do it, and why?”
As a Meta-Coach, if you are unclear, you immediately ask primary and meta-questions. These are your primary tools for exploring which brings about clariﬁcation. Meta-Coaches start from the position that they do not understand and then seek to understand a client on his terms. Pursing clarify is often the only intervention that you need.
Finally, as a Meta-Coach, you are an Awakener. Your job is to awaken clients to the wild and wonderful range of possibilities before them. Your job is to inspire people to live life more fully and passionately. Your job is to invite your clients to get real.
Now you know the heart and soul of Meta-Coaching. And if you want to become truly effective, eﬃcient, and professional as a Meta-Coach, take these key items of coaching and fully integrate them into yourself and your way of coaching. Do that and you will become a great change agent and be an inﬂuence for good in the world!