This excerpt is long enough as is, so I've cut it way short here and send me an e-mail: John@JohnMiltonFogg.com (because I want to connect directly with people who are interested in this work) and I'll give you the entire 48-page Special Report of Chapters 7 & 8 in PDF format.
If you are a coach or are being coached, it's a must read. Heady at times, but all "heart" (intuition) too, as you will soon learn.
What Is a Mentor-Coach?
Without the support of right questions from a good mentor-coach, I do not believe any one of us has even the slightest chance of becoming an effortless high performer.As you hear me say that, do you have any curiosity at all about why I never use the word "mentor" alone, but always link it with the word "coach?" It's because most people imagine a mentor to be a giver of good advice, just as most people look outside themselves for answers. Instead of rewarding this behavior, a good mentor-coach asks questions to help us look inside ourselves for answers. And, since no amount of good advice could ever enable us to become effortless high performers, a good mentor-coach never gives advice.
In Chapter 6, I mentioned how important it is to have our locus of control be based internally rather than externally. Having an internal locus of control means we have a habit of asking ourselves questions that help us look deep within ourselves for answers needed to guide our own lives. This virtually defines an effortless high performer. It also makes it clear why we don't need an advice-giving mentor.
Whenever we allow someone to give us "good advice," we inadvertently allow them to reinforce an unhealthy dependency on looking outside ourselves for answers.One easy way to spot advice givers is by their use of the word "should," whether directly or by implication. Another is their eagerness to offer opinions.
The challenge of developing a good mentor-coaching relationship presents an interesting dilemma. We have more control over asking questions that support another person's growth than we do over finding someone who will ask questions that support our own growth. To find someone who will learn to ask the questions needed to support our growth is a very tall order! One solution to this dilemma is to choose a promising partner and ask them to pick up their own copy of Breaking the Rules and join us in working to master the practices offered here. We can then practice our newly developing skills by asking questions of each other. The remainder of this chapter is devoted to the task of learning to be a good mentor-coach.
Let's begin by looking at a set of four influence factors found in the background of every effortless high performer I have studied. These four factors provide a preliminary definition of the ideal mentor-coach. As we move through the descriptions, I will convey as many tangible and intangible aspects of these four influence factors as I can put into words.
First, I will simply list the four outcome states.
1. Feeling believed in.We will now take a much deeper look at each of these factors.
2. Being asked right questions.
3. Learning to fully trust ourselves through
4. Developing our own validation framework.
If I am to be the supplier of the first influence factor for you—to be your ideal mentor-coach—I must remember to relate to you at all times as if you already possess every answer you need for guiding your own life. It certainly doesn't feed my ego to operate with you in this manner, but it is the truth, and I can learn to do it. I must also remind myself that advice is the very last thing you need from me.
The second influence factor is so closely tied to the first that I will expand on it a bit before going into more detail on the first. Just because we already possess all the answers we ever need for guiding our own lives, doesn't mean we have full conscious access to them.
It can be quite another matter for us to gain access to our answers, and our chances of doing so on our own are slim to none—without an outside supply of right questions.Therefore, if I am to supply this second influence factor, I must offer questions which allow you to gain access to the answers you already have inside you. In other words…
Your need for correctly framed questions from me is infinitely greater than your need for advice.Remember, the desired outcome of all four influence factors is a locus of control firmly rooted inside of us, rather than outside. It seems that the best way to assure this result is through a special verbal communication process with someone who truly honors the strength of our inner knowing. In this way we can become deeply connected to the feeling that we are trusted, honored and believed in as a human being.
Yet, while feeling honored and believed in is profoundly empowering, it can only sustain itself if we are also being asked right questions. Only in this way can our answers from within be drawn out and brought up into our conscious awareness.
Once we are consciously aware of these answers, we can then choose to act on them and have them validated through life's experiences. The longer we are exposed to the potent combination of having our feelings truly honored, and then being asked properly framed questions, the more self-sustaining the entire process becomes. In other words, there is a conditioning effect from being continually exposed to properly framed questions. The analytical mind is, after all, programmable, and its programming occurs through repetition. There is also a conditioning effect of having our internally sourced answers continually validate themselves in our everyday lives.
The third set of influence factors relates to self-trust. It has to do with the special support we need from another person in order for our conscious, rational self to become truly trusting of our inner, intuitive self at the deepest level.
Our preferred way to do this is to develop a mentor-coaching relationship in which we can be completely open with our innermost feelings. With this special person we can then experience full self-expression. In other words, we need to experience a communication relationship in which we can be as open and vulnerable as needed without feeling threatened in any way.
The principle at work here is this:
We can only trust that part of ourselves which we have revealed to another person and had validated instead of violated.This prompts our next question. How much of ourselves do we wish to be able to trust? Ultimately, we need to be able to fully trust ourselves both alone and in the presence of others, and this is exactly what happens when this third set of influence factors is present. Most importantly, the more of ourselves we can trust, the better our chances of becoming an effortless high performer.
The fourth set of influence factors is needed to make each of the others self-sustaining. It relies on the development of what I call a "validation framework," and must occur if we are to be able to validate our own insights and inner knowing—without being dependent on others for either permission or approval.
The most effective validation framework I know of is an ever-evolving vision of an ideal "something." It is a matter of choosing to wonder what an ideal (something) might look like. (Chapter 20 describes this in much more detail.) The item we decide to wonder about is most effective if it fully captures our imagination and takes years to completely fall into place.
As you can probably see, it is technically possible to complete this step of establishing a validation framework on our own. In most cases, however, it will require the support of a good mentor-coach to make it happen. Once it is in place, we will feel amazingly free to move forward and take what others may see as huge risks without being unduly concerned over any apparent lack of support from others around us.
These are the conditions or influence factors found to produce effortless high performers. Every one I have studied can identify exactly who supplied this set of influences in their life. The consistency of this finding has led me to view the above set of influence factors as an appropriate and fully achievable definition of the ideal corporate culture as well. It most certainly qualifies as the ideal culture for the family dinner table, and perhaps for educational institutions as well, although I admit we may be a long way away from any readiness on the part of educators to consider such an option.
The success we described in Chapter 1 with the software development project occurred in large part as a result of immersing 200 of the 400 people on the project into a highly concentrated experience of the above conditions. This was done as a part of a dozen two-day team dialogues we conducted for that organization.
It's now time for your mentor-coach to wrap up this section with another question or two.
What two or three ideas struck you the most from the above description of conditions found in the backgrounds of effortless high performers?
In what part of your life are you already experiencing many of these growth-inspiring conditions?
What part of your life might get the biggest boost from having more of these conditions present?
Which are you more strongly drawn to: being a good mentor-coach for someone else, or finding a good one for yourself?
When you put this information alongside everything else presented so far, what is your feeling about its importance to you personally? What is the most important factor affecting that feeling?
There's more. Lots more. And if you want it, send me an e-mail: John@JohnMiltonFogg.com (because I want to connect directly with people who are interested in this work) and I'll give you the entire 48-page Special Report of Chapters 7 & 8 in PDF format.
BTW, although the book Breaking The Rules is "out-of-print" you can find isolated copies and used ones on the web. You can also have the e-book for $9.95 here: http://TransformingMLM.com
So, please let me know what you appreciate most about Kurt & Patricia's perspective. I'd be excited to pass on any and all of your comments to them.
I appreciate you.