Friday, April 15, 2011

3D Juggling 523: Pain

Jane writes: "Pain is a strange thing.  It can be strong, it can be mild, it can be chronic, and it can be frightening.  However it feels it’s impossible for anyone else to understand what it’s like for you.  And sometimes, fortunately, it’s over.  I recently cared for my daughter through her labour and was reminded that, when the pain of labour is over and a healthy new life is delivered, the memory of the pain soon fades away to make way for pleasure and wonder at what is possible as a result of real effort.

How does pain relate to coaching?  Well, we don’t aim to inflict physical pain, although we find that helping people to identify and articulate the consequences of not taking action in a given situation can be painful for them.   So is facing up to the truth about a situation and what this means.  Recognising the impact of how we have behaved up to now can hurt as well. 

We have found that where we are direct and honest with people, so that they can be truthful, they grasp responsibility for taking actions that they might not otherwise have contemplated.  Facing the personal consequences of not taking action can be a powerful motivator, as can understanding that the pain to come will deliver a reward that will include pleasure and wonder about what is possible as a result of real effort.

Many executives have developed a high pain threshold, so sometimes we have to be very direct and challenging to jolt them into action.  We do this carefully, mindful of the ethical guidelines and competencies of the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Where do you need to feel pain so that it will lead to learning and change? Think about it..."

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to

No comments: