Expert Series: Coaching Military Veterans and More Part 3 of 4

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Part 3 of 4

Foundations – Attuning Deeply


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So we have looked at a few distinctions regarding working with veterans.  For the most part, they are mission-minded, mission-focused, seek a sense of camaraderie and need to feel trusted and able to trust.  

When I work with anyone, I’m always coaching through the lens of IPNB. Defined by GAINS (Global Association for Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies)  “IPNB is an interdisciplinary field that provides a “whole elephant” view of human functioning and flourishing.* IPNB offers a comprehensive and scientifically grounded theory of healthy relating, illuminating the ongoing interactions of the mind, the brain, and relationships.”

Understanding how the brain and mind work increases a coach’s ability to share insight from an empathetic viewpoint and increases the sense of trust, which ultimately lays down the tracks for a strong coaching foundation – much needed for working with veterans.

With an empathic approach to coaching, we are handling the process objectively, and yet also taking into consideration another person’s perspective – (cognitive empathy,) as well as how another person feels (emotional empathy.) Many researchers have studied how parts of the brain integrate to help us connect with others – to engage the mind.  When we can connect to another in a way that allows us to feel possibly what they are feeling – to be in their shoes so to speak – we are attuning and our messages resonate.

Veterans will do the goal setting. Yet to move them more deeply into a transformational space, you want to inspire their connection to Purpose, Personal Power and Identity. This may be one of the most overlooked issues in transitioning.  Part of gaining your veteran client’s trust enough so she or he will move deeper into self-reflection starts with your determination to connect minds.  Being open, willing to suspend judgment and being present, creates a path for attunement.  This melding of appreciation creates even more pathways to have open communication – think of it as a linking of minds and mapping for long-term potential. Since many veterans are more direct with language and not always forthcoming with thoughts or emotions it is paramount to intensify open communication. This supports your coaching and also models for future experiences they may have in the civilian setting.

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About the Author:

Jessi LaCosta is a CCE-Board Certified Coach, Author, Professional Speaker & founder of BlueRio Strategies and its Hawk Collaborative. LaCosta is known for groundbreaking training approaches for coaches at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels.  She is proud to have launched the USA’s first ever *BCC-Approved Coach Training course with a focus on supporting veterans in their life-mapping and transitions to the civilian sector. LaCosta also offers innovative BCC-approved leadership and resilience coach training.

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Author: Garry T. Schleifer

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