Does ‘Spar Coaching’ appeal to you?

I was driving today and thinking about the range of clients whom I coach. Many enjoy the EP7 process while others prefer the EP7 content and being taken through the specific process. They prefer a more intuitive freestyle delivery because this is how they find they absorb information most effectively.

I greatly enjoy clients who don’t fit a structured process because it allows me to just rely on being in flow and a session ends up being an adventure with spontaneously created but very personally relevant metaphors, analogies and realisations that could not have been thought of without that free-flow environment. This contributes in a profound way to the understanding of issues that are holding a client back: it creates motivation for purposeful change. So much so that such clients often keep recalling the impact of those sessions as major turning points.

A type of coaching session which fits into this overarching freestyle is what I call “Spar Coaching”. This is a very interesting technique where a client chooses to defend her position and play out the version that is not working for the person. They sense it’s not healthy, but it has such a strong hold over them. This makes it easier to just expose it by openly expressing from that point of view. What is very important in this situation is the trust and respect we have already established in the coach-client relationship as a client trusts that exposing it brings no judgement from me but gets to test it properly against me as soundboard.

“Spar Coaching” works in the following way: a client defends and argues for her version and my role is to challenge that version with logic, facts, science, metaphors, analogies, her own personal experiences and mine. I also include comparisons to clearly identifiable patterns of nature and how relevant they have proven to be in business and community behaviour.

What this means is, the more we spar, the more relevance I have to create for her so that her brain undergoes an intense level of cognitive dissonance until we reach a tipping point. We do not know when and how this will show up – it is definitely an adventure. However, often in 2 hours, one can reach a tipping point depending on the trauma which bonds the person to a range of assumptions. Once those assumptions are held to the light of perspective and logic, they are seen by the client to be quite ridiculous.

Once we remove the fog which keeps her from confronting this level of ridiculousness, the tipping point is experienced as shock. That’s right! Trauma is the shock that moves us into a version of being that seeks to protect us from being hurt the same way again. This level of shock from “Spar Coaching” moves us into a version which reclaims the balance between protection and growth – that missing growth ingredient means abundance, opportunities and thriving can be made possible again.

So what an interesting term came to me today: Spar Coaching.

This may be a term I use more often because when you can spar with purpose to let the truth bubble to the surface to set you free, this respectful style of healthy debate can work wonders for those sick of being stuck but unable to see the logic of being anything different that would set them free.

It is exactly like a sport with the intention to discover a way out of the struggle. The light-hearted nature allows the client to laugh as the ridiculous is dismantled, one piece at a time, revealing the deception and making way for the truth of how to be which guarantees success.


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