How to Use “If I could handle that, I can handle this!” Stories in Coaching

 

One of the story genres that are especially helpful to coaches or anybody helping people face a major challenge is the “If I could handle THAT, I can handle THIS” story.

By sharing your own “If I could handle THAT, I can handle THIS” story with a client–or if you’re a manager, with a team member or your whole team–and then asking them to share their own version of this experience, you can help them shift from a state of disempowerment where they cannot see any possibilities to one of empowerment, where they can.

Because one’s emotional and physiological state affects how one perceives a situation–e.g., if you’re tired, problems look bigger than when you’re rested–helping someone shift to a more powerful emotional and physiological state helps them shift their perception. They are able to see the situation in a very different way; they are able to see possibilities and options where before they could not.

Telling an “If I could handle THAT, I can handle THIS” or a “I didn’t think I could do it…but I did!” story well doesn’t just help shift the listener’s state.

 

 

It also triggers the listener’s mind to search for similar experiences in their memory bank.

Think about what happens when someone shares an experience with you.

You find yourself thinking of your own version of that experience.

When you share a “If I could handle THAT, I can handle THIS” or a “I didn’t think I could do it…but I did!”story with a person, they aren’t just taking in your story.

Their mind is connecting YOUR story with their own version of that experience.

This further shifts their emotional/physiological state.

Then, having them share their own experience, accesses that state even more.

Now…in this emotional/physiological state, they are FAR more capable of seeing solutions and believing they can solve the problem.

Here is a brief excerpt from a program on resilience where I share my own “If I could handle THAT, I can handle THIS” story with the group and ask them to do the same with a partner, and then discuss how to use this when helping their team navigate the major technology initiative their organization was undergoing.

About the Author

Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.