Discernment is the ability to judge people and situations well.
It’s an important topic to pay attention to as a coach. You want your clients to be able to use and develop their discernment. So they can make the choices that work well for them.
So, for starters, you want to make sure that your frame of reference, your character, your experience, don’t infringe on your client’s ability to discern what is right for them.
This is a central part of the teachings in Soul-based Coaching: how not to get in the way with your stuff, no matter how useful it *could* be, but let your clients soul-knowing lead the way first and foremost.
But I also want to share some more explicit input on how Soul-based Coaching supports our client’s discernment.
Part of encouraging our clients to connect with their inner knowing, is to help them learn how to discern between the different ways of knowing they have. Often, the mind knows different things than the heart does. There is knowing in eyes, in wombs, in the sphere around the sun.
Parts of the knowing can consist of internalised messages from the ‘outside’: ‘shoulds’, ‘have to’s’, ‘ought to’s’. The voice of a parent or grandparent. Parts of the knowing may be old ways of keeping oneself safe in threatening experiences.
When Soul-based Coaches help clients discover their inner landscape, all of these aspects will have a voice. Not all internalised outer voices are bad. Not all inner voices are just beneficial. Part of what Soul-based Coaches show their client, is how to listen to all the different perspectives, so the client can choose what relationship they want with each voice, and can start rearranging their inner landscape in a way that is appropriate to who they are now, and where they are now in their lives. (And not everything has to be ‘solved’ in order for a client to have a much better experience in life.)
Asking what various parts of the inner landscape would like to have happen is a great way in to invite these different perspectives to the table.
When clients are exploring situations in the outer world and want to find out if they are ‘right’, safe, supportive, nourishing or not, we help them develop their own way of knowing. Their own way of discerning. How do they know their inner signal for ‘safe’/ ‘good’ or whatever label they choose?
The more your clients come to know about their own way of making sense and judging the world, the easier it is for them to navigate the ever-changing world.
One important thing to realise, is that when people have had severely traumatic experiences, they may no longer trust their own way of determining whether someone or something is safe or not. If this is a key issue in the work you are doing, we recommend you refer them to a trauma-informed therapist (and we do offer additional resources and referrals to our students as well within our coach training).
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