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Episode 26

The Counter-Intuitive Coaching Shift

Jim Dethmer

As coaches, we often see our role as helping our clients create the life they actually desire. And this is a fine role indeed, but what if it were possible to tap into an even greater potential?

Conscious leadership expert Jim Dethmer, has a map that shows us just how far our coaching can extend. He walks Joel through the four states of consciousness from which we can coach, and how each one leads to a fundamentally different outcome for us and our clients.

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The Four States of Awareness

We can view our experience of life as being directed by one of four states of consciousness; to me/by me/through me/as me. These are states (like dreaming) not stages, meaning they are transient rather than enduring.

They are also the states from which we coach, and it’s possible to move through all four in one session. The key is to develop the capacity to notice which one you’re coaching from.

The four states are:

  1. To me: Life is happening to me (victim consciousness). Something out there is the cause of my experience (external locus of control).
  1. By me: Life is happening by me (creator consciousness). How am I responding to this situation (internal locus of control)?
  1. Through me: Life is intelligent and wants to happen through me (awareness of being a channel for life).
  1. As me: I am the life flowing through me (non-dual awareness).

When they first encounter this model coaches often think that they are “good” coaches if they coach from through me or as me and “bad” coaches if they coach from to me or by me, when in fact each one has value. The practice is about noticing and then bringing loving compassion to whatever state you’re in.

To me would be when your state is reliant upon whether your client is happy with you, whether you have enough clients to pay your bills, etc. To me is also very familiar, as the state that most people live most of their lives in. Most clients therefore come to coaching from victim consciousness (to solve the problem they believe is ruining their lives).

In to me you get to be right about the way you see the world – it’s black and white, there’s little capacity to live with polarity. Often clients want to stay there also because it allows them to avoid feelings that feel too scary to them.

Transitioning Between the States

The gateway from to me to by me is the choice to take 100% responsibility. To understand that it is not the circumstance but how the mind if being with the circumstance that defines your experience.

In by me you choose to become the creator of your experience and develop a set of capacities that make you skillful at creating what you want. As coaches we do this with coaching techniques.

The gateway to through me is surrender; letting go and starting to flow with what is happening. Technique moves into the background and instead we sit with the question “What wants to come through us here in this moment?” At this point we are no longer a directional creator as in by me. Deep listening becomes possible (to self, to client, to relationship, to source/love/God).

In as me the ME is gone; not as a cognitive construct but as a direct experience. This requires the capacity to be in non-dual awareness, which for most people involves deep meditation practice. The Coaching from Source course focuses on through me as the space that people can move into without extensive non-dual practice or experience.

Resources Mentioned:

About Jim

Jim Dethmer
Jim Dethmer

Jim Dethmer is a coach, speaker, author, and founding partner at The Conscious Leadership Group. He has personally worked with over 150 CEOs and their teams to integrate conscious leadership into their organizations.

Jim also leads monthly Forums for select leaders in Chicago and New York and trains coaches through The Conscious Leadership Group.

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