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What is Coaching?


Rabbi Joshua Ritchie MD   •   June 8, 2014


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There are people who have done over one hundred, and we encourage you to do as many as you can. We do also provide you a training manual of over 600 pages, a provide a textbook, we provide access to a huge, multi-media library of tapes, videos, texts that are available through, what’s called, Once you’re a member of the program, you’ll have access, so there’s a tremendous amount of material that can be gained from this program. Some people put in more time, some people put in less, it depends on you. Some people learn better by practice, some people learn better by listening to lectures, some better by watching videos, some better by reading, some by this and that – we offer many different ways for you to learn. It’s up to you to use your strengths and all that we offer you to learn the way that it’s best for you to learn.

Raquel: Is there anything that is in person?

Ritchie: I think I am very much in person right now, and if you get your webcam on, I can see you, and you can see me on the webcam. If you want to visit us in Jerusalem, we have one of our students sitting here now, you’re very welcome, we hope you’ll all come to Jerusalem and you’ll all sit here with us in the classroom. Short of that, you can join us with the webcam, and you can turn on your webcam. Most coaching is done that way. If you absolutely must have an in-person coach training, there probably are some that you can find. What we’re offering is this program which has worked very well for hundreds of people, but it might not be for everybody.

Raquel: Sorry I was just wondering in general if there was that option as well.

Ritchie: Well, it’s for you to come to Jerusalem, yeah. The option is also for you to turn on your webcam, and I can be face to face with you. You can see my face and I can see you. So those are the two options I can offer, and when you do join the practice session, it’ll be similar to this. The people who do it get very much into it, and it is very much real. There are people who do coaching in person, but as Stewart pointed out, and we work hard at training you, there are people who are more visual and enjoy being in the room with someone, but it’s possible to do a superb job of coaching, even without having the visual.

If it’s very important for you to have the visual, you can learn coaching this way, but still see all of your clients in person, that’s your choice. The training we offer is this way, and it does work for our students, but this is what we are able to offer you, and I hope it will be good for you, and if not…

Oh! I can see you! Thank you for waving – I will wave back. That’s a nice smile. Thank you. Very good. Yeah, it’s nice to see you – it does add something, doesn’t it?

Raquel: Yeah, I had to  unmute sorry.

Ritchie: Yeah, I appreciate that.

Raquel: Yeah, I don’t mind that kind. I prefer visual…

Ritchie: Yeah a lot of people do, and the majority of people, probably about 50% of modality is visual but no matter how visual you are, if you learn to use your ears and your voice, you’ll begin to learn to see with your ears, and you can help people with your voice, with your voice, you can help them see you. There are ways of painting pictures and there are ways of helping people that can bridge that gap, and as we teach, if you ever have noticed, if you really want to learn something, you sometimes close your eyes, if you really want to taste something or feel something, you’ll close your eyes, so your ability to pick up nuances, you do need a good phone connection – you can’t do good coaching if you don’t have a good connection. Sometimes the audio on WebEx is not as good as the audio by phone, so for some of our people, we suggest that they see us on WebEx but call in by phone by the conference call because sometimes you get a somewhat better audio feed through the phone conference call, so you can do both at the same time. You can have slightly better audio over the conference call, but you can still have the visual by the WebEx.

We do suggest that if you’re doing it by phone, you do have a good connection – either a really good phone or a really good cell phone or use a landline if you get a better connection that way. The audio on WebEx is sometimes very good and sometimes not so good – it depends on the system you’re going through. We do encourage that you do make sure you have a good audio, and we will help you with that. We do provide, also if people need it, we’ll send you even a headset to make sure you have a quality headset. You don’t want to work with just a phone – even if you’re working by phone you want a headset that plugs into a phone because it’s hands free, you get somewhat better quality with a headset with a earphones and a good microphone. Usually it’s good quality and you can control the volume so headset s are a great way to work. When you do your coaching, you do need better equipment. You need a quiet room, you need a good headset, you  need good phone lines.

What’s interesting is Skype doesn’t work that well – the Skype phone works well – the Skype video is not quite fast enough to pick up subtleties. If you’re really very, very visual, and you’re trying to pick up several flashes, facial expressions – some of the hidden facial expressions are come and gone in a quarter of a second, and glad to see you smile again… but you’ll miss some of those if you – the subtle changes you’ll sometimes miss because the speed of a Skype video is not quite fast enough to get super quality. So it’s true, you might want to do your work in person, but we can train you even if it’s not in person.

Raquel: Sometimes there’s problems with the phone connection or there are problems with the technology.

Ritchie: It usually does work and we usually work around it, and the other thing is we do record everything. So if you ever do miss, for any reason, you’re busy, a technical glitch or whatever, all of our programs are recorded and so you can always pick up and review, and someone was telling me in the class we had earlier today, that he has been very diligently attending all of the lectures and so on, and now that he is almost more than halfway through, he’s actually gone back to re-listen to some of the early ones and he says wow, now that he has more background, he’s picking up things in the early lectures that he missed, and so when he goes back and reviews it a second time, he gets even more out of it so that is something that is available to you – as much as you want or need, if you miss a lecture, you can catch it up, if you want to review a lecture, you can review it again. It’s all recorded and accessible both as an audio and a video, so you do have that available to you.

Besides a whole, huge library of material, there’s some superb videos, some superb audios, of other special coaches that we have some really good solution-focused and reality therapy, cognitive behavioral, where some people demonstrate and teach and mostly the demonstration is the most important where you see master coaches working with their clients and hearing them do it and you can review it a few times and pick up the nuances of how they do it because some of it does seem like magic. And there’s some demonstrations that I’ve done over the years that people particularly thought were impressive and you can review those and you’ll learn to be able to understand, you’ve heard the lecture and you see me demonstrate it, and you’ll be able to “oh, there, that’s what he’s doing,” so you’ll be able to understand a little bit of what worked. Why was I able to get their cooperation so quickly? Why was I able to get them to open up? Why was I able to get some insight and move forward? Because I’ve described it in a lecture and I demonstrate it, and you’ll be able to understand and appreciate the demonstration because you’ll see the lecture and then the demonstration and things begin to make sense.

Part of coaching is helping yourself self-discover. The other is being a role model, and a lot of learning is done from modeling. If you’ve ever learned any neurolinguistic programming, a lot of coaching goes back to neurolinguistic programming which talks about a way of helping people learn, and we will be covering that in a few lectures – as to how people learn through observation, through hearing, through emulating, through modeling, and different people learn in different ways. Some are more visual, some are more auditory, some are more kinesthetic in their movement, and we try to teach in all of those modalities and we try to teach you how to use all of those modalities since it will make you a better communicator with who you work with.

You’re aware of the modalities and use them all. It’s good to describe a word picture, it’s good to use your voice, it’s good to use imagery that brings in the predicates – as they call it – words that describe movement and feeling and if you cover the different ways people learn, different people learn more powerfully using their modalities. You said you were more visual, so you will probably learn more not only by seeing but by my describing things visually. Don’t you see how beautiful that is? Don’t you see how clear that is becoming? Don’t you see how brightening that is becoming? Let me turn that up a little brighter. You learn to use expressions like that, and your clients will appreciate that, and if they’re not visual, you’ll learn to speak their language, “oh that sounds nice,” “that’s harmonious,” or “that’s warmer.” Or if you’re kinesthetic, you’ll start saying, “I wonder how that feels to you,” “it’s not too heavy is it?” “do you think you can get moving on that?”

So you speak each person’s language. If you’re sensitive to what words they use, you’ll fairly quickly pick up what type of modalities they use, and you can start mirroring or matching their modalities and speak their language. It’s important to speak the other person’s language. People understand you better if you speak their language.

Raquel: I’m assuming that there’s a lot of insight brought into this and there’s reason to bring that in to it – like the science.

Ritchie: It would be hard for us to not, and we do love doing it, and it is such a rich resource for us both – Torah literature based and all of our experiences. As I shared earlier, the upshun of rebi was just one of the great teachers I was privileged to learn from, and there’s a lot to learn and all of you that have had good teachers, if you look back at about your greatest and best teachers, they were coaching you, if you think about it. They were helping you discover, and they were helping you build the confidence to take the next steps you were willing and able to take, and they were there to encourage you and help hold you accountable.

There are lots of various coaching techniques and methodologies and approaches and attitudes and orientation, that you’ll recognize as we go along. You’ll not only recognize them, but you’ll begin to consciously use them, and you’ll be able to skillfully use them. A lot of them you’ve probably used or seen or felt, without knowing what they were. It’s very nice to say, “ah, so that’s what he was doing!” or “so that’s what I’ve been doing!” Either way, when you begin to recognize some of these methods and techniques and questions and approaches, it empowers you to use them even more skillfully.  We do expect to expand on your repertoire. There is a thing called coaching questions which is a new part of coaching which is to ask the right questions. The training manual asks thousands in it, there’s a whole compilation of two sources, that have between them, over two thousand questions that you can be asking your questions.

We don’t test you by writing out the two thousand questions, but it is a good resource for you. Once you start to read a few hundred of them, you get the idea and the style and you’ll adapt a few of them, and some of them, you’ll use literally the way they are and some of them you’ll adapt on them, but you learn how to ask powerful questions – questions that really get people thinking, questions that get people to move and make progress and help people gain insight. It’s an art and a science, and it’s a skill you can all acquire and improve upon. OK, thank you.

We’re open to other comments or questions. It is probably getting late for some of you, but we’ll be here if any of you want to talk to us some more, and we’ll be happy to if you haven’t gotten writ


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