What does a Three Principles coach actually ‘do’? What is it like as you transition from traditional coaching to the Three Principles? Liz Scott visited went to the Three Principles School on Salt Spring Island and met up with Elsie Spittle.
Meeting up with Elsie Spittle
Elsie Spittle coaches and mentors people all over the world. Along with Chip Chipman she runs the Three Principles School on Salt Spring island. When I met up with her in 2014 I was fairly new to the 3Ps, I was keen to pick her brains in this interview. Here’s a synopsis of what she said (you can view the interview at the bottom of the page with the two videos).
Transition and confusion
Some coaches experience a period of confusion as they transition from a traditional coaching approach to a principles-based approach. If you’ve trained in a variety of theories and techniques then you might feel slightly naked (in a metaphorical way) as you engage with clients from a principles-based approach. There can be a dilemma. On the one hand you don’t feel grounded enough to only coach from the principles and on the other hand your collection of traditional coaching tools no longer feels relevant.
There are two things to trust if you find yourself in this position. The first thing is to trust the insight(s) that you’ve had. In other words trust what you’ve seen. You will have seen something for yourself that has touched/moved or shifted your internal perspective of the world. This is the place to put your trust.
The second thing is to share what you know. The temptation can be to listen to others or read books and share the insights of others. It doesn’t work like this. The power you have as a coach comes from you sharing what you know to be true – this is what has a deep impact with the client.
The power of ‘being in the moment’
The coaching toolbox can be a bit of a comfort-blanket. Coaches want to help their clients as best as they can and often have trained in and learned a variety of techniques. They want to support their client in finding the answer; this can be by using interventions from approaches like NLP, EFT or TA. When we listen to our client and we have half an ear on trying to find the right tool or technique then we lose the art of being present.
Principles-based coaching has an unknown quality to each session. There is a vitality and freshness when you are in the moment. You are able to hear beyond the words of your client and to tap in to a deeper wisdom within you.
It is from this place of presence that our client feels connection. Presence isn’t something you ‘do’, presence is you being settled into your wisdom.
Elsie Spittle and principles-based Coaching
The two interview segments below were recorded whilst I (Liz) was attending the Three Principles School on Salt Spring island in 2014. It was incredibly helpful to hear what Elsie said to the questions that were foremost in my mind.
Interview part one.
Interview part two
About Liz Scott & Stuart Newberry
Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are Coaching Skills trainers and 3P practitioners. They help develop coaching cultures within schools and organisations. Liz & Stu use their understanding of the 3Ps within their training and are experiencing great successes and results in the organisations they are working in. Download an Introduction to the Three Principles here. Find out more about Liz & Stu at Liz Scott Coaching and Training
Elsie Spittle: to learn more about Elsie Spittle you can visit her website here