What’s Brewing? T.E.A.

I recently bumped into a friend who was struggling to increase her social media presence as an artist. No matter what she was doing, she simply wasn’t getting the traction that was needed. In addition, she decided to quit full-time employment, to fully focus on being an independent artist. I’ve known her a couple years now, and whilst I’ve seen her skills as an artist grow, there seems to be a lingering doubtful shadow of her skills, commitment, direction and growth as an artist. I encouraged her to have coffee with me, an opportunity for me to practise some coaching with her.

First response, “I just need a friend to hear me out”.

Second response, “I don’t think I can afford you”.

Third response, “What else can be different talking with you and everyone else?”

BINGO! Having just completed the T.E.A module, I pounced on the opportunity to test my new found skills and knowledge of the topic.

All the three elements of T.E.A. (Thoughts, Emotions and Actions) influences one another in many different ways, and outcomes. Often, what we thought a person might do (action), feel (emotions) and think (thoughts) are different than what it actually is. Through coaching, use of powerful questions, we can move the barometer towards reframed thoughts, transformed emotions and reviewed actions, a more constructive, optimistic way moving forward.

Designed by Shereen Kaur

Let’s digest the example of my friend’s reaction to my offer for help. Her actions, emotions and thoughts may not necessarily follow a linear path, however, the aim is to bring her to a degree of awareness, and practical action points, getting her unstuck from her current situation.

From her first statement, “I just need a friend to hear me out”, it will transpire to a chit-chat session, for her to be able to have some relief, and that creates an emotional connection with her. However, my intent was to move her from a state of relief to excitement, moving the needle to where it matters, so that she can find different actions to work on.

Her second statement seems to stem from a place of dread, that it seems coaching is expensive, and if we had our session, the process will be costly for her. Hence she will come to the conversation withdrawn, cautious, and distant.

Designed by Shereen Kaur

Similarly to her third statement… a negative thought, a heavy emotion, displays through disengaged actions. The challenge as a coach is swing the pendulum to create more openness, reflective presence in order to push the coachee towards expanding their skills, knowledge.

Top 10 questions that I have in mind would be to check on her current state, help her build her new story, and drive her towards inspired actions.

  1. How are you feeling about your art this point?
  2. How would you like to feel about your art?
  3. What can you do to move from feeling A… to feeling B?
  4. What is holding you back?
  5. What kind of artist do you envision yourself to be?
  6. Why do you want to be so? Dig even deeper…. what else?
  7. What is success to you as this artist?
  8. Who can help you through this process?
  9. How would you prioritize your actions? What can you start first today? this week?
  10. On a scale of 1 – 10, how motivated are you with your actions?

Back to T.E.A., as a coach, it was certainly challenging to navigate between thoughts, emotions, and actions. In a conversation, it is never linear, transparent, and it took every ounce of my focus, coaching mindset to listen actively, and asking deeper, powerful questions.

I also discovered, a few questions that seem to have its catalytic power on my friend, to spark that Ah-Ha moment.

  1. How do you feel when you start the day, and how do you feel throughout the day?
  2. What did you do when felt no progress?
  3. Did it work? And….
  4. What is one thing that you would do differently?
  5. Is there a plan? a 6-month plan?
  6. What did you do when it doesn’t work?
  7. Who do you rely on for support?
  8. What is the purpose of art for you?
  9. Have you tested the idea?
  10. What will happen if you do that?

Finally, she shared her key take-aways from the session with me:

  1. She had to work on her state and story as an artist. She was so focused on just her skills, without thinking much about her identity, her values, her motivation.
  2. She also identified an action planning intention to which she will focus on mid-term goals as an artist and not just social media popularity.
  3. She needs to identify her emotions for the day, work on consistent practices for establishing positive mindfulness rituals, and abundance mindset.

I took away so much learning from this session with her. I believe I learnt so much more about my skills as much I hoped that I provided her the same value, and even more.

  • The simplistic T.E.A. module is so powerful to enable and empower the coachee to identify their different thoughts, emotions and actions. As soon we are able to identify the emotion, you can quite rightly nail down the thoughts and decode the action.
  • Listening actively, plays such a vital role to really hear what the coachee is sharing. Honing in, and zooming in to patterns, phobias, beliefs, habits, create moments of connection with the coachee.
  • It took a lot of effort to refrain myself from jumping in to offer advise, as it was a topic that I am so deeply passionate about. I kept reminding myself before, during and even after the session, that I am acting as her coach, not as a friend, or fellow artist.

Saving the best for last, she thanked me, and said that she came expecting answers from me, however, she found that all her answers were within her. And she didn’t know why it was never verbalised or acted on.

That made my day!

Published by Shereen Kaur

Coach, Consultant, Wellness Advocate, Artist, Mom

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