A couple of weeks ago I shared a link on Facebook called “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This”. To be honest, I shared it without actually reading the whole article, just reading the first few lines. I do this if I kinda know what is in the article, but the few potent lines I had read, rumbled around me for the follow week.
Basically, the article recounted an experiment from 20 years ago when couples had to ask each other a series of increasingly personal questions and then look each other in the eyes for several minutes. Enticingly, one of the couples married 6 months later!
The questions which you can see here, start off being quite light and gentle, but towards the end they ask things which evoke personal, deep, meaningful answers like “Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?” and lastly “Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen”.
These questions do many things and we might often ask these types of deep inquiry questions in coaching, depending on the context. They enable to client to share really important things. They elicit the core personal values that the client holds. In coaching we then explore these “core values”, raising our client’s awareness of them and relating them to the coaching topic or direction at hand, checking out the influence they may have.
It is a privilege for me as a coach to hear a client’s deepest self, their real loves, fears and passions. This sort of sharing involves us becoming vulnerable, which is safe within a trusting, resonant relationship. These “vulnerabilities” allows us to see how similar we are as human beings. When we see all of those things which we actual have in common, we start to connect deeply and see our shared humanity.
You might be worried? Jen falls in love with her clients? Ahhhhh “call the police, HCPC or ICF”. But no, for me I know that sharing this deep, resonant relationship with someone allows us to connect and enable me to see how brilliant people are. When you connect at this level, people’s talents, ideas, skills, creativity etc. start to be seen by the coach but more importantly by the person themselves.
Understanding this has also helped me see how people fall in love and perhaps in the past why I have also fallen in love far too easily! Ever since I can remember, when meeting someone, even for the first time, I strive to really “see” them. I am reminded of “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer:
“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive….” You can see the rest here
Reading “The Invitation” about 15 years ago, fed my natural, inner coach and I think made me quite impatient with the usual “Hi, what do you do? Where do you live” kind of questions. After the brief niceties, I can’t help but get bored with surface stuff. I want to see the real person, what makes them ticks, what really interests them, what makes them get out of bed in the morning…yes, a natural nosiness, masquerading as coach like “curiosity”… hahaha.
So if you want to fall in love, or perhaps just connect with someone more deeply, ask them something different, invite them to share their soul…just a little bit. And if you meet me, be prepared to be asked some different questions too, but I promise not to fall in love with you x