Trigger, Operate, Test, Exit

At the core of anything we do, we all have basic principles that we follow. There is a formula or strategy that we run to get the resulting outcome. This is either done with conscious intention or moved to the autopilot method after having done it so many times over.

In a coaching session, the content of the story is never really that important. What we are looking for is the strategy that the client has been running to get the outcome. They might be wanting less of a particular experience in their life. Or maybe it’s to enable themselves to consistently recreate more of a particular emotion.  

In this case, we seek to understand the way the client is making sense of and uniquely experiencing their world through strategy elicitation. Here is an example with questions you could ask yourself to enable you to self-coach a particular challenge you might be experiencing.

For example, someone comes into a coaching session with the desire of feeling less sad. Just a few, from a broad range, of questions that we can draw upon, might include the following: 

  • How do you know when it’s time to be sad?
  • Its is something you see? Something you hear? Something you tell yourself? 
  • What is the first thing that needs to happen so you know it’s time to be sad? 

A simple answer (and only a single of many possible responses) could be “I don’t know, I think of a sad thought”. 

  • And what happens after that? Do you just feel sad or does something else have to happen?

    “Yes, I then think of other sad things too”
  • And then what do you make this mean? 

And so on… this is called strategy elicitation. By bringing steps into the conscious awareness it alters the client’s perception of that strategy. Just by asking these questions highlights that they are doing something to create this outcome to bring them to cause, rather than believing that life just happens to them. 

When we know that: We Drive it, We Create it, We are at Cause for it. It is very empowering in creating intentional outcomes in our lives.