Edie Seashore: On Coaching

52 min read

Edie:  Absolutely. I think that one of the things a lot of people have given away is their control of their own behavior and of their own destiny. They think other people are to be blamed for what’s happening to them. Also, they’re not aware of how often they are still working on belief systems that were built into them at a time in which they really didn’t know they had choices because they built it into them by society or by those who were guiding them, family or whatever.

These belief systems are what make us very often respond to things automatically rather than stopping to take a look and asking: “is this really a choice that will help me to go in the direction I would like to go in, and is it working for me still?” Recognizing that this is something that was actually built in at a time when we weren’t able to choose whether to accept it or not, and now we can. Now we can take a look at some of those belief systems and get rid of them, build a new one in. We’re always operating off some kind of a belief system.

For instance, when the women’s movement came in, when a lot of the movements came in, I think they began to alter a lot of our belief systems and our automatic responses to what we thought society had built into us, such as women are supposed to be seen and not heard. Well, whose idea was that anyway? So, given a choice, would that work for us, or would we rather have a different belief system?  We had to do a lot of those.  Some people still have to do a lot of those because they didn’t realize yet that they can or should or could do these. I think that choice gives us a way to define ourselves to make the kind of impact that we want to make to be clearer on our intentions and to be in control of our own destiny.

Dorothy:  Edie, such a large part of coaching is creating a space for reflection.

Edie:  Exactly.

Dorothy:  As I listen to you, it’s interesting to see how embedded this is in your phenomenological use of yourself, where this is so in your skin that you do this. It’s interesting to even hear that there was John Glidewell who made choice points a famous concept and how you took this into the repertoire of your wisdom and delivery. And it is very much part of assisting people to heighten their awareness to look at how they, with awareness, can choose something different. That’s now part of the ICF competencies.

Edie:  Exactly.

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