Guest Blogger: Julie Lynch
What Good Coaches Know
This past April, we were visited by Helle Bundgaard, Founder of Motivation Factor®. It was a great turnout of more than 75 seasoned coaches who offered insightful contributions, participated generously in the discussions and – most importantly – laughed at Helle’s jokes. Thank you all for a wonderful evening!
We heard Helle tell of a challenging upbringing and her near-death experience. We recognized ourselves in her tales of ironing (just the front, mind you), of marital strain and of running round and round the spinning wheel of life. We also heard mention of important coaching principles like “the power of choice”, “forgiveness”, “commitment” and “purpose”. And thanks to ICFNE’s own Lauran Star – our intrepid volunteer for the evening – we got a demonstration of just one of the many simple, straightforward and impactful Motivation Factor exercises.
What we didn’t hear too much about was Motivation Factor® itself and many of you had questions that we did not have time to answer. To remedy that, I’d like to do two things:
First, I’d like to invite you to attend a FREE webinar dedicated to providing a concise overview, an additional tool you can use for yourself and your clients, and an overview of the framework, process and certification. To register for this one hour program led by myself and Carole Sacino, click here.
Second, I’d like to provide some additional resources right here on the ICFNE blog which will address some of the details we couldn’t get to at the session.
Details on the Model, Framework, Process and Certification
The Hierarchy of Motivation is the basis for Motivation Factor® programs. The hierarchy illustrates that we must become aware of our energy drainers (Energy) and emotional triggers (Needs) before we are able to tap our Talents and commit to a guiding Purpose for lasting motivation, growth and openness to change. For coaches, just this concept alone is useful to apply to our practice as it allows us to align our strategies with the physiological reality of calming the threat response before attempting to move forward.
The Motivation Factor® framework follows the hierarchy in that there are six workshops including: Objective (to what end are you using the process?), Energy, Needs, Talents, Purpose/Passion, and Commitment.
A full Motivation Factor® program consists of those six workshops over time – say, 3 – 6 months. After each of the four core workshops (Energy, Needs, Talents and Purpose) the process calls for one on one coaching with each team member to complement the group work. In the case of applying the framework to one on one coaching (as opposed to working with teams), the modules alternate between learning the concepts in a one on one workshop format and reflecting on their application using more of a coaching format.
Underlying this approach is the all the good stuff we know about learning, growth and change. The process itself follows the learning cycle, as does each workshop and exercise.
As coaches and facilitators of change we know too well that people often don’t have the time to devote to true comprehensive change efforts. This process helps deliver what they need in a way that’s manageable for their schedule.
A very recent change in Motivation Factor programming has resulted in a new certification option. Participants are able to learn the methodology while experiencing it for themselves and receive the instructor materials and a first year license upon completion of a three-day training program. Details are here for those interested.
Certified practitioners are using the method for a variety of applications from sales training and team development to one on one life coaching and student motivation to assimilating former prisoners into mainstream life. The possibilities are literally endless as it is not so much a “program” as it is a “practice”.
The exercises are built to elicit natural – even visceral – responses in the client or team members so that the learning is extremely relevant to each individual personally and so that insights are generated from within the individual instead of being proposed.
During the Energy Drainer demonstration there was a brief moment where Lauran had an aha – something that gave her energy, something that sparked for her. THAT is the thing we look for in that exercise because from a physiological standpoint, something has clicked on a visceral level, something that the client can begin to learn to trust on their own by using the tool as it is designed: to calm the amygdala/threat response and open the mind up to positive solutions.
One of the biggest challenges I face when working with the Motivation Factor methodology is biting my tongue. Guiding the client through the exercises and letting them come to solution themselves is incredible to watch. And more often than not, the true kernel of their “stuckness” is not, in fact, what it seems to be on the surface, in the “constructive venting” portion of the exercise. That’s the value of asking what the client “wants instead.”
Good coaches know that the best insight is one’s own. Whatever methodology you use, I hope that you can take from this session four things:
- Threat response prevents learning and growth by restricting our cognitive resources
- Critical to growth is addressing threat response first (releasing the emergency brake before stepping on the gas)
- The energy drainer – the “what’s in the client’s way” is not the focus. “What they want instead” is the focus. The difference in how the client orients him/herself to that new “problem” is transformational.
- Energy is the thing you are teaching. The awareness that the client has it, that they can manage it and that they can become more resilient over time as they practice it.
Good coaches know that we’ve done well when our clients don’t need us for the same things anymore.