Here I am again after a long break and this time…coaching found me. When 4 clients contacted me in a week I knew it was time to get back in the saddle.

Yesterday at the kind invitation of Nico Samaras and his Etimy coaching platform, I had the chance to hear Vikki Brock speak about Neuroscience and our three brains! The newest discipline to link with coaching. It was so inspiring, I hardly slept.

( Vicki Brock is Master certified coach, Phd in History of Coaching: “I raise awareness so each person has a conscious choice”.)

So basically we have three brains:

– The Head brain (central nervous system): it makes meaning (logic, patterns, language, metaphor)

– the Heart brain (cardiac nervous system): processes emotions, values, beliefs, makes connections, trust

– Gut brain (enteric nervous system): survival, instinct, fight/flight, core identity.

“Flow”, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. For him the Flow is the total of head+heart+gut+individual experiences.

These neuro networks all have memory intelligence and control our decisions.

In effect this is nothing new. In Aristotle’s “Rhetoric” He already referred to influencing logos, pathos and ethos. In the Tao religion too and what are they all going to the Wizard of Oz for? Scarecrow looking for a brain (head), Tinwoodsman looking for a heart and Cowardly Lion looking for courage! (and Dorothy just wants to go home!)

But it was only in 1998 that books started to be written on the subject.

Trust your gut, listen to your heart, use your brain, as Vikki said.

There is an over- reliance in the Western World on the head brain which uses 80% of the body’s energy.

The holistic approach to coaching is to use our three brains to speak to our clients three brains and to settle ourselves.

How to detect a brain overdrive?

Gut overdrive:

Reactive, impulsive, action oriented, in emergency mode

Heart overdrive:

Concerned with self-image, impact on others, caught up in other people’s lives, living on the sidelines, waiting, hoping

Head overdrive:

Plan/prepare, what cd go wrong, too much visioning and trying to do it all, comes across as cold, calculating, impersonal

If you feel for example client too much in head, ask what the heart says? (and vice versa)

The complete leader has all 3 brains working though not automatically at the same time, with:

– own Point of View

– own values

– courage of convictions

Head leadership:

Strategy, re-thinking, reframing, developing a POV, looking for ideas inside and out

Heart leadership:

Balancing, trust, compassion, commitment, knowing what’s important, understanding and overcoming obstacles

Gut leadership

Take risks, risk and reward, integrity, tenacity, persevering, not being afraid to make tough decisions.

Step 1: Understand who I am (values/beliefs)

Step 2: determine own POV

Step 3: Have the courage to do the right thing

As coach, integrate the right mix of behaviour at the right time , at times “respectively provoking”.

Complete coaching is when coach and coachee consider the input of all three.

With thanks to speaker Vikki Brock

and Nico Samaras