What’s that?!

“Uuuh, what’s that?!? … I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something just happened…”

It was during a recent supervision group. Something in her voice had changed. Very subtly, not more than a little tremor, but I got a sense that there was something behind the words she spoke.

And indeed, a door opened, and the “I’ve only got a little thing that probably won’t take much time to discuss” suddenly got big and significant, and allowed her to work through some stuff.

On some level she knew it was there, but wasn’t sure whether it’s okay to talk about it in a supervision space.

Suffice to say that it was more than okay, as it connected a lot of dots to what she had been bringing in the past. It allowed for some catharsis as she held beautifully by the group. After all, supervision has a restorative function.

It also goes to show that what’s going on outside of the coaching room almost always in some way finds its way in. Sometimes subtly, sometimes with bells on!

I believe the same is true for all kinds of work, but definitely extra significant when we work in relationship with others. Whether that’s teams, or 1:1 – it’s just so important to pay attention to how the outside affects the inside. And it may be that people need an invitation to connect the dots, in a safe, non-judgemental space.

“Being able to play back thoughts and feelings at the periphery of awareness”, is how Hawkins & Smith (2006) described Level 4 of their 4-level listening model. And it’s a skill you can learn.

No need to name “it” correctly even, but really important to acknowledge any shifts you are noticing. Especially when you get an intuitive sense that there’s something significant there. If they don’t want to open that door, that’s okay. Usually they brush it off or ignore it, if that’s the case. If it’s important, it’ll come back. The invitation to open up is the important part. And it can simply start by getting curious about something that just happened right in front of you.

“I see you”, is what you’re saying, essentially – even if you may not know exactly what you’re looking at.


New Content: IFS Coaching


I slow down when I’m in Guthrie’s presence. It happened on Tuesday when he was our guest in the Coaching Lab, and I also noticed it during this episode for Animas’s Coaching Uncaged podcast. And how inspiring it is to meet someone with such a clear mission and conviction as to his approach to working with people. IFS is so much more than therapy or coaching. I cannot recommend you enough to check this one out. You can watch and listen to this episode.