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Retreat 2014 @F-L-O-W

Preview of a coaching session

Tim, one of our Inner Circle members, was reviewing a video of
him being coached by Developmentalist Mike R. Jay during last
year’s Retreat @F-L-O-W.  The following is Tim’s
testimonial and some follow-up content between him and Mike. 
Following that are some segments of the coaching session,
which was voluntary, during the retreat.

FYI: This is unsolicited – I just
reviewed some of the video of last year’s retreat and was

What Mike
does at the in-person retreats is nothing shy of phenomenal!

if a person shows up willing to play. The value there, on a
personal level, is rocking!

To see Mike
take the theoretical and make it practical simply juices all
these ideas into reality.

Hope to see
many of you there!

All the


was him "doing" me in a one on one deconstruct session.

If you want I will send it. You
might be interested in for the meta perspective of how this
system can be applied.

Mostly it is me talking about me and
my world.

Let me know if you want I will send


There is something
about this work that makes it "psychoactive".

In the
case of introversion, at least those that are leaning into
development or being dragged along by it…there is something
about this kind of work which lends itself to being a "sliver
in the mind".

Most people in the past have used
"psychoactive drugs" to stretch the mind, or to pierce the
current balloon of our perspective and I think over the years,
the Freudian work, and Jung, and others have shown that
"embedded" learning as this is problem a symptom of seems to
cause psychoactive elements to "reengineer" to the extent
possible our neurosynaptical environment, where possible.

I do think neuroplasticity is relevant, and of course is
the key in the rewiring of stage growth, otherwise we would
remain static rather than continue to be dynamics in our
developmental processes.

More than likely "genetics"
guide upper and lower limits of development, or the range at
which development is "right" for us over the course of a
lifetime. If you don’t get what you need in this life, you can
always look forward–as my ole ball coach used to say–keep
running it until you get it right. I think he was a ZEN COACH
because there is sure a lot of karma in making mistakes when
there are large people running around trying to "tackle" you.

MORE than likely, development serves some kind of
spiritual process in the world, as well as serving many of
evolution’s ideas about fitness and such. So, as we work with
psychoactive processes, we experience not only developmental
growth but spiritual redesign as well, to accommodate the new
environment of development.

While I can’t promise you
the experience Tim had, we can begin to reveal tools that have
the effect of becoming psychoactive to exercise the
neuroplasticity that all of us seem to possess in inborn
degrees–the key being to not compare or contrast, but to
experience that which serves your being, doing, having,
becoming, and contribution.

These kinds of experiences
are not for everyone, but the tools we discuss are going to be
present whether you use them, or they get used on you in this
VUCA World we have entered.



Psychoactive is correct. Mike often talks of coaching as
planting seeds that may or may not germinate and crack the
rock, crack the block.

As I watched
the video, I could glimpse the cracks when Mike would ask a
question or offer a perspective that actively opened my
psyche: big eyes, wide smile, and/or vigorous head nod.

I have not
watched this video much since last year’s retreat. Yet as Mike
often says, indeed he said it in the video, this work is being
done anyway. Stepping into the work more consciously just may
grease it more.

Also as Mike
wrote below: it is not for everyone. My caveat to that is that
Mike, from my own watching of him with others in sessions like
these, does not use the same techniques with different
individuals. Perhaps the same underlying model but it
manifests or morphs to the client.

With me, in
this video, he really plays the roles of coach, consultant,
teacher, and anti-mentor.

interesting residual to this is from the perspective of time.
To watch it from the perspective of the present, when it
happened, and to watch it from the perspective of now and to
be struck how truth deepens. His insights, and mine, made in
video, teach and touch deeply.

It is
challenging to hold those truths in the moment over moment,
through time. It is encouraging to revisit them and see how,
without much effort, I am moving toward that deeper hold on
truth. Of what I am becoming.

[Frog out of the freezer]

I want to tell you the idea that I have held for a
long time. Whether I have been able to execute the strategy or
not, is up for debate, but here’s why I developed and taught
COACH2 the way I have and why I do what I do–It’s based on
Tim’s note below.

[This is timely because I’m
struggling with this now without an answer fyi.]

the first part of my coaching career, I noticed that I just
gave advice, I was impatient and couldn’t understand why
people wouldn’t do what I asked–this included my brief foray
into coaching athletes.

Coming out of "mediation"
training in the 80s, for the USA Farm Program done with the
Farm Credit, we learned how to facilitate each sides point of
view <–definitely not coaching.

EVEN Goleman writing
in HBR 2000 – Leadership That Gets Results Noted:

"…works well when employees are already aware of their
weaknesses and want to improve, but not when they are
resistant to change…" — describing "The Coaching Style."

This last part was clear to me by the late 90’s when I
started training coaches, and in order to "avoid resistance"
to change, you have to find where people are (in transit to
where they are going) and work with them there, or no more
than 1/2 level away [Graves], this includes all: vertical,
oblique, and horizontal "levels." You have to be considerate
of their KSE level as well, if you can say level–on its side!

YET, the psychoactive elements that you could insert into
the subconscious–which btw, maybe the only thing "listening"
is a bit of a crapshoot, but often worth making a shot at if
the "opening" occurs and connection is made.

In order
to make this happen, coaches using this model HAVE TO
UNDERSTAND DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES, which means we have to be
able to have a dynamic GPS running to gauge where the person
is, where they are likely to go, and how fast they are going
to get there.

Now, teaching this is another thing
because the mechanics in intuiting/recognizing stage and
transition within a stage to know, are they beginning, middle,
or end; is a bit dicey to say the least. It requires a much
deeper understanding of meaning making than anyone
realizes–at least to do this on the fly.

AND, you want
to get some assessment data to help out, which is why I almost
insist that all the people I work with, do some personality
assessments and the LDMA, which I have found is easy and
reliable because it relies on the same mechanism that coaching
relies on for verifying data and that is "probing for
elaboration" of the person’s meaning making, or in some cases,
the sense-making models.

Without this baseline data,
it’s pretty tough to "pin the tail on the donkey" unless you
have a lot of experience and you school your intuition,
because your intuition gets fooled a lot.

In order to
insert psychoactive elements into the meaning making system,
you have to provide the person with perspective, mostly from
their own system–to avoid an immune response–and to make it
easier to fit with their system of making meaning in time and
over time. In order to do that, you have to have an
understanding of guess what?

Yep: Capability, BIAS,
Style, Level, Role, Values, and System Dynamics.

course, this is a pretty tall order to get right, but here’s
what most people don’t get and can’t grok!


Anytime you interact with
another person, you are running these dynamics and more to
establish a subconscious context for the four Fs: Fight,
Flight, Food, or Procreation…in the simplest form, and
subconsciously your 200,000 year-old genome is busily figuring
out is this friend, or foe, should I eat it, or mate with it,
should I be on guard, or laugh…etc.

All I’m doing by
naming and codifying these dynamics is merely offering a way
to understand and "train/assess" what is already happening in
each of us already; albeit with more complexity, and
hopefully, more explanatory power.

I’m not saying
everyone should learn this, but I am saying that if it’s
already going on, would you like to know how to work with it,
work on it metacognitively.


is the key to almost all forms of happiness and success in
today’s VUCA world.

Most of us are not going to be fit,
nor served up the environment on a platter, it’s going to be
more and more of a "fitness project" that most think and
especially leaders who are going to have to override a lot of
instinctual behavior that is likely going to get them into
positions of leadership.

By knowing how to begin to
"know, study, and learn" about our selves and the BEHAVIORAL
MetaDYNAMICS that are running the show, we can often–as a bit
actor–swing the momentum favorably, and if not, often know
why, and keep running that play as long as we have the ball.

While I truly believe in the power and efficacy of
Resilience and Anti-fragility, Metacognition is as important
and deserves to have the first spot in any leader’s toolkit.

As Tim reminded me of his own "metacognitive" journey, and
how as "Joe Black" says to Susan Parish near the end of the
movie when she asks what they should do…"It will come to

That’s essentially what happens, "it comes to us."

The psychoactive nature of offering clues and breadcrumbs
for the person being coached is key and requires a form of
"detachment" from your own S*** as well as a lack of worry
about whether "success" is achieved, which can be very hard on
your pocketbook as a coach–>"…people are resisting change."

Usually, when people resist change, they have found a way
to serve their values in a very important and leveraging way.
The movement away from that requires a huge shift often, which
is not possible in time, as the person is nodal, rather than
exiting that particular metacognitive frame. So as I have said
many times, it’s like trying to teach a pig to sing, it
doesn’t work, and it ANNOYS the pig.

If you grok any of
what I’m saying, you can move away from forcing, trying to get
accountability work done, except in those areas that are
supported in the values position and look at scaffolding in
the system, the role, and other external devices that would,
can get the person through until they are less-resistant to

MOST OF THE TIME, people change when they have

It’s a fact of life. People don’t really want to
or like to change (some: 1-5% run a change program, so yea,
they are the changelings).

So, understanding how to
insert psychoactive elements, usually when a person’s shields
are down is the easiest way to lay the breadcrumbs in place.
Almost all of our own change happens (that which is not
traumatic) in that way developmental, an often hiccup type
movement from one place on the developmental transit to
another, fits and starts and long periods of nodal
comfort–good, bad, or ugly.

Understanding where people
are in that transit process allows you to know human dignity
and also to interact in ways that are compassionate and
safe–usually–for the person being coached.


Coach2 session @F-L-O-W


Coach2 @F-L-O-W part 2

Coach2 @F-L-O-W Part 3

The full coach2 session is 17:46 minutes long.  To
access it, and take in the full experience, complete the form
below.  As part of our 2015 Programs @F-L-O-W, Mike will
be presenting the Coach2 training for those who enroll early.  Visit
to learn

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