Claire writes: “The technical term is dissonance. The reality is that sometimes people will say one thing and their body language and whole demeanour will be saying something else. Sometimes there is just a mismatch, but usually something else is going on. The skill of the coach or, in fact, the good friend or colleague is to say what you see. No interpretation. No inference. Just to say what you notice. I have seen huge power in simple interventions like that in coaching which I have observed over the last couple of weeks.
It’s the simplicity which carries the power. When a friend tells you how excited they are about all the extra work they’ve taken on, yet they look weighed down, the power is just to say what you notice. Quick reaction often forces us into: Are you sure you’re not working too hard? I think you may have taken on too much. You must be careful. Those comments often produce defensiveness in their receivers. Simple is powerful: I hear you telling me how exciting the work is. And I see your body looking exhausted. What’s that about?
It works with what you hear, as well!”