We named the Drop “the Drop” because it’s hard to discern. It’s a little like great meditation or great sex. When it happens, it’s obvious.
That was HOT!
WOW! My mind was BLANK!
But in the moment it’s happening, it’s sort of just happening.
We named it the Drop because it reminded us of surfing, or snowboarding, or skiing. There’s just this moment where you Drop in. It feels perfect and free. You can create the conditions for it, but when it happens it feels like it happens all on it’s own.
So How Do You Practice That?
Well, you practice it the same way you might practice surfing. You get in position, you watch the waves, and at the right moment you paddle. And you hope to catch the wave. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. But that’s okay. After all, we’re surfing, right?
Well, here’s how you can do it.
Figure Out What the Client Wants
I know this seems too simple. But this is actually very hard to do. Most coaches never figure out what a client really wants. They only learn about the strategy the client has created to get it.
You start a coaching session and you ask the client, “What would you like?”
And they say, “I’d like to make a lot of money.”
“GREAT!” you say, “Let’s come up with some ways for you to do that.”
This is how most mediocre coaching sessions go. The client and the coach talk about money, they come up with ways to make it, the client takes some action and either does or doesn’t make some money. If the client is lucky, they won’t make any money.
That might confuse you. But in truth, making money won’t give the client what they want. At least not most of the time. Because the client doesn’t want money. They want what money will give them.
YES, PLEASE ROLL YOUR EYES…
If you’re better than most coaches, you’re rolling your eyes right now. Of course you know this. But before you get too smart: SLOW DOWN, CHAMP. You probably are also not Dropping—or at least not as deeply as you could.
If you’re a good coach, you’ll say, “Hmm, money. Great. Well, why do you want money?”
And client will say, “Well, I used to have a lot of money, but then I lost it all. I need to get back to having money so I can move out of my parents’ house.”
“Great, so what you really want is to move out of your parents’ house. Great. Let’s talk about how you feel about living with your parents.”
This is pretty good coaching, I mean it’s not really about the money, right? There’s more to this story. But this still might not be the Drop. This isn’t totally what the client wants.
What Coaching Really Is
Now I’m going to make a statement about what I think coaching really is. Some people might disagree with me, so I’ll just say this is my assertion, not the truth of coaching.
For me, coaching is about helping our clients create themselves as condition-less beings.
Basically clients always have it that there’s some place else to get to. And in that place, they can have what they want, and when they have that they can be who they want to be.
This isn’t true. You can be whoever you want to be right now. You just don’t realize it.
Of course this doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done. There is. But doing has to come from a foundation of being, and being is by its very nature condition-less—or at least it can be.
This is why, if you want to be a great coach, your Drops need to move toward the condition-less. Not absolutely; you can have a great session about the conditions, but first you need to get a context of being. “Moving out of my parents’ house” is a condition. “Making money” is a condition.
For me, to truly Drop you need a context of who the person will become.
In the example we’ve been working, I might ask: “So what would moving out of your parents’ house do for you?”
“You know, I’m not sure. It just feels like I can’t be myself around them. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like I can ever be myself.”
Okay, so I cheated a little bit. Clients don’t always get there that fast, but I’m writing this narrative so I made the client easy for myself. Do you see the Drop now? Do you see the context?
The Drop is in helping the client be themselves: “I can be myself no matter where I am, no matter how much money I have, no matter where I’m living.”
THIS IS SOMETHING TO COACH AROUND. Money, living with my parents, getting a job—those are things. And you can coach around anything, but they aren’t something, not really. But being yourself, coming from yourself, that’s SOMETHING!
Okay, now for your turn: the next time you coach, figure out: what do they really want? What is the condition-less state they are trying to get to? Do this as you coach AND do it afterwards. Reflect: where is this client trying to get to? What is the condition less state they are seeking?
And see how it shifts your coaching.
A Note about Condition-less-ness
So conditions are always arising. This is normal. The odd thing about coaching a client to a condition-less state is that being there is a practice. It’s like meditation. The point of meditation is to just be. Or at least the point of Zen meditation. Just being is hard to achieve, and also you’re always achieving it.
It requires practice to just be, but you are always just being on some level. Don’t get too mixed up by this. Just remember. Your job as coach is to have the client see the possibility of a condition-less reality and get them in touch with it. NOT to put them there and keep them there permanently. Because condition-less-ness cannot be obtained, it can only be practiced.
Just like condition-less-ness, coaching mastery can’t be obtained, it can only be practiced. One of the best tools we’ve found for practicing our own coaching is the Coaching Canvas. Actually, we didn’t find it… we had to make it ourselves. We designed the Coaching Canvas as a tool to deconstruct the world’s best coaching conversations, and to learn from them.
That original creation was totally selfishly motivated—we needed a tool, and we couldn’t find one already built. So we made it ourselves. And now we’re sharing it with all of you. Get your copy here.