Claire writes: “I’ve never been a fan of role play. In conversation, when the facilitator (coach or whatever is your role) invites the person we are talking with to role play a situation, we can get in a great big mess. We abandon the role we were in and start acting as someone else. It’s confusing.

In coaching, we need to make sure that the coach stays in the conversation. That’s why it’s useful to use what John Whittington describes as a cataleptic hand. This means we have three positions in the conversation – the thinker, the cataleptic hand (which represents the third person) And the coach – who stays in the coach role and bears witness to the encounter between the thinker and the hand. Sounds weird – and it works. It also saves a huge amount of time and energy and avoids the need for any acting skill!

So when we are coaching, we need to coach!”

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