Building a practice of toggling among these three zones begins with curiosity. When we notice our clients are operating from their middle zone, we can ask questions such as, “What’s happening in your body right now?” or “What’s alive for you emotionally right now?” or “What’s happening around you in this moment?” These questions emphasize the present, and being in one of these mindful zones requires a client’s undivided attention, much like meditation.
After practicing this toggling in a session, challenging or requesting a client to continue the practice for a short period each day outside of the session can be a helpful way to build this new skill. Once the client becomes familiar with the experience of stepping into the inner and outer zones, we can integrate questions that encourage moving among all of the zones in a single experience. To incorporate the middle zone, we can ask questions such as, “What was that experience of being in your inner/outer zone like for you?” or “What might this emotional clue be telling you?” Eventually, with practice, the client will be able to move seamlessly among the zones and capture the holistic experience of awareness, enriching their perspective and capacity for creative thinking and problem solving.
© 2019 Emily Mitnick
This article was originally published on ICF Coaching World.
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