Becoming an Optimal Performance Leader: Using the principle of non-judgment to find the real reasons
Written by Roelien Piron, August 2019
For trainers, coaches, teachers and managers it is important to find the real reason and to be non-judgemental. It is important that we have some idea of the real reasons why people react to stress the way that they do - otherwise, we cannot do a lot to help them. Your role is crucial because you want to be non-judgemental when observing and coaching your participants, but that’s not always easy.
Be aware that you might be subject to framing effects which influence the way you interpret the signals and clues that you see.
Sometimes people do not tell you or are not aware of the real reason(s) for their behavior. The good news is that there are indirect ways in which you can gain a better understanding of the individual’s situation. Once you have done this you are in a better position to make sure the person is able to reflect.
Some people find it difficult to reflect upon their thoughts and feelings, but since we cannot read minds we have to train them to improve their self-awareness!
However, every trainer, coach, teacher, and manager is constantly framing.
Take a look at this definition of framing from Noam Shpancer in Psychology Today.
Framing is a feature of our brain's architecture. Our minds react to the context in which something is embedded, not just to the thing itself. The cover influences our judgment of the book. (...) Framing is one way the brain finds patterns in chaos (its primary survival function) and creates meaning out of meaninglessness.
So, framing is not something we can wholly avoid. It is necessary for us to be able to understand the world and give meaning to things; without it all we would experience is a constant flow of unorganized information from the world. Despite this, our framing is something that we can develop a greater awareness of.
Putting this knowledge of framing, and the symptoms of stress and relief into practice, we can learn how to get to the root cause of people’s reactions to stress.
When you want to dig a little deeper and get to the real reasons for the stress, you should avoid asking judgmental questions. Here I have made a list of questions you could ask instead.
Instead of directly asking ‘why are you reacting in this way’ or ‘what has happened to you in the past to make you this way?’ you can ask something like ‘how does this make you feel’ or ‘can you see any connection between this and your private life?’.
This works well as it encourages the person to think, and when they have had the chance to really think about what is going on, they may open up to you a little more.
If you are indirect and ask open questions, it is good as you give people the opportunity to think and maybe open up later. It is all about encouraging self-awareness, it’s not about finding out as much as you can about the person’s private life. That is not important. What is important is that you are able to help them to move forward!
At Mind5 Training B.V. we use sports as a tool to find the real reason.
Sports is a great way to simulate stress and to train bodily and interoceptive awareness. When you experience stress you can feel it in your body.
With Mind5® Training we pay attention to the unconscious mind to help people understand how they respond under pressure, which patterns they have and which beliefs are preventing them from achieving their goals.