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A - Z Coaching and Mentoring - This week's extract explores ‘Senses’ and how paying attention to how your client makes ‘sense’ of their world can be powerful information to help build rapport.

Don't forget if you have a special request for a definition of a coaching term or principle, just let us know! Perfect for anyone studying for an ILM Coaching & Mentoring qualification, or as a refresher for experienced coaches.

Ss

Senses - People take in information through the five senses or modalities (sight, sound, touch, smell and taste). This is sometimes described as VAK (visual, auditory and kinesthetic) or VAKOG, where olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste) factors have been included.

Paying attention to how your client makes ‘sense’ of their world can be powerful information as you can use it to build rapport. VAKOG are sometimes called the five representational systems.

The first step is to pay attention to the words the client is using, as they will give clues about their preferred sense at that moment. Some brief examples of sensory language (predicates) are shown in the table below.

When the coach has identified the dominant sense, they can adapt their language and match the client with similar words from the same sensory group(s). Their communication is then likely to make more sense at the unconscious level.

V A K O G

bright

bird's eye view

perceive

perspective

see

eye-to-eye

tunnel vision

view

watch

see what I mean

looking closely

a hazy notion

blind spot

show me

look back on this

accent

articulate

ask

call on

tell me

same wavelength

living in harmony

humming

double Dutch

turn a deaf ear

that rings a bell

music to my ears

on a good note

run

walk

grip

slipped my mind

smooth

warm

get in touch

sharp tongue

surfing the web

feel it in my bones

tension in the air

warm-hearted

project is running

scent

stink

whiff

reek

fresh

idea

smell a rat

fishy situation

nose for the business

sniff out the problem

flavour

sweet

mouth-watering

succulent

chewy

no appetite for it

sour

juicy idea

spicy

bitter pill to swallow

sweet person

an acid comment

Table - Examples of Predicates

Taken from the A-Z Coaching Handbook by Clare Smale where you will find a comprehensive A-Z, plus a full list of references.

 

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