The Shift from Rescuer to Coach
Two weeks ago, we wrote about the Victim-to-Creator shift and last week the Persecutor-to-Challenger shift. This week we describe the Coach role, which is the positive alternative, or antidote, to the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) role of Rescuer.
Together, the three TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)® roles represent the best of who you are as a human being. A Creator says: “I take responsibility for my life and what I want to create.” The Challenger in you focuses on continuous learning and telling the truth about current reality.
The Coach completes the triad by asking questions of self and others (for instance, “What do I/You/We want?”). They inquire in support of creating outcomes, assessing current realities, and identifying and committing to Baby Steps.
Curiosity is the foundational skill for the Coach role. Coaches are curious and listen deeply as supportive co-creating partners in the discovery process. Whereas a Rescuer thinks their ideas and ways of helping and intervening is best (even when not asked). As a Coach you explore and investigate alternatives and new ideas. You and those you support listen to learn and discern options for action and actually relish the “not knowing” what will arise.
If the Rescuer role is your “go-to” role in the DDT, you likely know what it feels like to be preoccupied with helping and pleasing others. Or you may not see your Rescuing pattern because you are too close to it, and may not understand how the Rescuer blocks learning and growth in others. If you do for others what they can do for themselves, eventually you train people to rely on you, which disables them, creating dependency on you.
The Coach, on the other hand, sees the other as a Creator (whether or not they see themselves that way) and as powerful and capable of discerning and clarifying their own needs and desires. Here are three core, affirming beliefs that guide the Coach role. (And you do not need to be a professional coach to embrace this role).
Belief #1: I have faith in the wisdom that lies within each human being.
The Coach has faith in the Creator essence that lies within each human being. With this conviction, a Coach allows time for the individual’s unique learning process to unfold, while holding them as ultimately whole, complete, and capable to can make their own choices.
Belief #2: I trust the discovery process.
A Coach trusts the discovery process, which begins with curiosity, and holds the tension while something that is not yet clear or understood, emerges. As clarity arises, they assist in discerning the way forward, partnering and supporting others as they manifest what they want.
Belief #3: I leave the power with others as they clarify what they want.
A Coach understands that when people discover their own path, they are more creative and innovative. The “aha” moments that arise from unearthing what matters most, clears away their confusion and opens them to new possibilities that generates energy for action.
Inquiry with curiosity requires that you understand what you know and don’t know. If you are not free from “knowing” you will not ask powerful questions. At best, they will be “leading questions” and/or closed-ended questions that rob the other person of their reflective process that supports them in arriving at what is true for them. At worst, you will do for others what is theirs to do and deprive them of the opportunity to create what they want.
Whether in your personal or professional life, embrace your Coach role in supporting others to clarify what they most desire and want in life. And as a Creator, open yourself to being a Coach—and being coached!