Suffering & Gratitude
In coaching conversations, a leader’s presenting issues (and those that later unfold) may be accompanied in subtle or obvious ways by the denser emotions of anger, sadness, and fear that represent one form or another of suffering.
Although the tendency of the leader may be to discount or push quickly past the emotions and suffering, it is territory rich with meaning, insight, and data – and a connecting point where surface stories may connect with larger hidden stories. Here are some questions that help explore and mine the denser emotional openings.
Conversely, in your conversation with a leader you may hear an opening around the lighter emotions of gratitude, where the leader is grateful about something, feels a deep sense of joy or accomplishment, fullness, or a moment of grace. Those emotions are valuable for revealing and reinforcing the generative and healing forces within the leader.
As with the denser emotions, the tendency might be to skip over these openings as well, yet they too offer opportunities for a meaningful savoring of the physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual experiences that accompany gratitude. Here are some questions that help explore and mine the lighter emotional openings.
Taking time with exploring emotions anchors a leader’s awareness of the high points that will help counter-balance the rough times. And it helps him or her to feel the architecture and anatomy of their being – to have another snapshot of their essence and the arc of their spirit.