Coaching and the … THREE brains?

Creative Commons "Internal Organs of the Human Body from The Household Physician, 1905" by WIlliam Creswell is licensed under CC BY 2.0>
Creative Commons “Internal Organs of the Human Body from The Household Physician, 1905” by William Creswell is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Brain science has proven that the body contains not one but three brains – neural networks in the head, heart, and gut. The head uses logic to make meaning. The heart processes feelings, core values, and relationships. And the gut is grounded in our identity and self-preservation instincts. It is also the nurturer of courage.

The most effective coaching will help clients access all three brains. For example, my default is to think a problem to death. I need a coach who will help me get out of my head and tap into my emotions and sense of self. On the other hand, a person who tends to go immediately to the heart may need coaching prompts to think through the logistics of a particular goal.

Many coaches move between these brains intuitively, and my coaching and the brain class has helped me clarify the distinctions between them. This knowledge will enable me to pinpoint better where coachees are coming from and where they might need to be challenged to go. I look forward to implementing this new understanding to help my clients!

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