Getting To The Heart And Guts Of Results
Are clients getting the results they are looking for?
Clients these days want quick fixes – they want to get results and know they are getting results. People are time poor and looking for instant gratification.
Interesting then, that there is a move away from traditional goal setting. Life is moving so fast, that goals change too quickly. Instead we look for a trajectory to point us in the right direction, then work dynamically to keep moving forwards.
So, let’s explore a different way of looking at how we can help clients achieve results?
The Field of mBraining
The field of mBraining, coaching with multiple brains – head, heart and gut, was developed from 2007 and launched in 2012 by Grant Soosalu and Marvin Oka. mBraining is a wonderful amalgamation of ancient wisdom and the very latest, cutting edge, neuroscience. Weaving mBraining into client sessions – focused on getting results – is one way to rethink what we are doing and how we are doing it as coaches in a fast-changing world.
Using Your Three Brains
1. The Head Brain
Many coaching models work with the head brain in goal setting: what do you know about where you are, what do you think about where you want to be and what is the plan that will take you to that place?
mBraining is different, it uses three intelligences, or brains, instead of just the head brain. Using knowledge of the ‘Prime Functions’ of each of the brains, a multiple brain integration techniques coach (mBIT Coach), will coach to head, heart and gut in an optimal sequence, to ensure that any ‘goals’ or trajectories set are congruent with the whole person, and therefore much more likely to be followed through.
2. The Heart Brain
An mBIT Coach will work with the heart. The Prime Functions of the heart are emotions and feelings, our values (what is important) and relational affect – our connection with others. In relation to achieving results – what questions around those Prime Functions might be useful to ask the heart?
- What is truly important to you about this?
- Who else may be affected by the results?
- How do you feel when you imagine having those results?
There are many reasons why goals may not be achieved, for example:
- negative emotions such as fear holding you back
- not caring enough to stick with it
- not being motivated enough to take action.
Framing questions to explore any blocks in these areas will help you to work with the client to find a way around any obstacles.
Letting the heart lead, is also different from some forms of coaching. It is a great way to explore who is (or might be) impacted and ensure a wise decision is made moving forwards. And, with a focus on Compassion (the Highest Expression of the Heart Brain) the coach can ensure that compassion (of all involved) is also central to the process.
3. The Gut Brain
The gut is also key in achieving results. The Prime Functions of the gut are identity, safety and security and mobilisation and taking action. And, courage is the highest expression of the gut. It is easy to understand that courage is required to take action (to get moving on something). Regardless of how clear a goal is at head level, if the gut does not take action, nothing will change.
Questions to the gut brain may include:
- What does the gut need to take action on this?
- Who are you being when you are ‘in flow’ on this result?
- Is it safe for you to take this action?
If we explore again, reasons for not achieving results, they may include:
- failing to take action;
- defending a current position,
- clients being stuck in their old ways;
- clients may give up when things don’t go well immediately.
Again, specifically exploring any blocks at gut level, will enable the client to get aligned and commit fully to any change. The risk, otherwise, is a client takes some action, comes across an internal block or conflict, then they give up and are worse off than before they started exploring their desired change. Any poor self-image could be intensified.
Ensuring the client feels safe at gut level then is essential, before any action plan, or tasking is set.
The Difference That Makes The Difference
One last point to reflect on: what happens when something external happens, outside of the clients’ control, that makes the change impossible to achieve? What processes has the client got to be agile and flexible? By understanding the gut functions and how to work with the gut, opens up possibilities for the client to overcome obstacles in the moment, and a heart based understanding, helps the client to remain engaged with what they truly desire.
A shift of focus to process or behaviours (and away from a fixed end point) can enable people to keep moving forward towards achieving results, regardless of the circumstances. And a skilled mBIT Coach can then work at a deeper ontological level with the client to work with a longer term focus around deeper identity issues (for example, for the client to be someone who achieves results over time – not just this result now).
We would suggest that it is including heart and gut then that will be the difference that makes the difference. Coaches are generally very good at working at head level to ‘think’ about what clients want (though it may not be in line with what their heart truly wants, or what their gut will take action on); we can encourage our clients to write lists and make plans; we can create amazing detail, making goals specific and ensuring they are measurable, we can get a client to agree a completion date, we can analyse with our clients what their input is (and could be) and we can assess with them whether the goal is reasonable and achievable for them.
Our concern is that we are trying to do many of the functions of heart and gut at head level and that the head can tell all sorts of believable stories, which, when put under pressure do not hold up in reality – so new years’ resolutions do not get met and results remain a paper trail. By bringing in wider embodied intelligences we believe it is far more likely that results will be achieved. The key is to get all three brains aligned with the agreed way forward.
Results then are more complex than one brain can work with alone. If clients are serious about getting results then as a coach, using mBraining, you can help them to achieve that by working with head, heart and gut brains, encouraging clients to embody results and achievement, which will offer longer lasting impact. mBraining is a fabulous way to learn how to use the heart and gut brains alongside the head brain. Do get in touch if you would like to know more.
For more information – this is a great book to explain mBraining.
This disclaimer informs readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.
Dr Suzanne Henwood is a Master Coach and Master Trainer of mBraining and an NLP Trainer.
Suzanne is based in Auckland, New Zealand and her speciality is as a stress and anxiety coach. She has a passion for heart based communication, leadership and psychological safety in the workplace. She travels globally to train mBIT Coaches, mBIT Master Coaches and mBIT Trainers.
Suzanne is a published author and contributes regularly to several magazines including: Worldwide Coaching Magazine; The Great health Guide and Rapport.