When I begin to work with a new coaching client, our first objective is to teach them how to open up to become the most coachable. I define “coachability” as “the ability to receive from other people”. As I talked about in my dysfunctional independence blog, our need to be independent has made us less coachable. I believe the skill of coachability has been lost. Also refer to my vulnerability blog where I discuss that vulnerability is “a willingness to be changed by somebody else”.
One of the obstacles to coachability can be storytelling. Whether I am working with someone individually or with a group in the Mountain Experience, people can get into telling stories. A story is simply someone’s mind and ego repeating what they have already decided about the situation. Monologues, storytelling, control the situation and are simply about sharing a viewpoint with someone else. To really make change and create vulnerability, we have to drop the monologue, the story, and make it into a dialogue.
Often, when somebody is continuously talking, I tell them to hold on. I explain that we are currently in a place of storytelling, which will get us nowhere. I suggest moving to a place of dialogue, where we can have growth and evolution.
As a small caveat, there is nothing wrong with storytelling in and of itself. It is a powerful way to communicate and share your experience with people. However, in the context in creating change through Inquiry method, it is simply ineffective.
With this blog, as I do with most of my blogs, I suggest simply keeping this observation in your mind. This can lead you to greater awareness. As you go through your week, try to notice when people are in dialogue and when people are in monologue. Look out for when they were doing it, and when it was working. Look out for it with your employees, with your family, with your friends, and most especially with your self.