When I thought about writing this blog post, I began nursing the feeling of how my hands will move across my keypads, how my ears will listen to the session all over, then re-learn the beautiful lessons I got. Then, I finally moved off the bed and started writing.
The paragraph above was is only 49 words. It looked like a simple thing. It wasn’t. Everything I wrote there was a process, that took a couple of minutes to finally get to penning this down.
Often, when someone does something, one of the first question we ask is, ‘why (intention) did you do (action) that?’
Actually, we are not asking people about the action, we are asking something more. This is where the T.E.A comes in.
The T.E.A model highlights the fact that our Thoughts, Emotions and Actions have strong connections to each other, in relation to the experiences of our lives. One change (positive or negative) or tweak to any of these 3 will most likely lead to change.
Our everyday experience is a chain reaction.
Your Thoughts lead to your Emotions, which lead to your Actions, which lead to your Results.
Your results reinforce your initial thoughts so they become self-fulfilling prophecies. After proving yourself (accepting that line of thoughts) right over and over again, your thoughts become beliefs.
Beliefs then become automatic thoughts that drive your behaviors. In other words, habits.
How To Deploy T.E.A In Coaching
One thing I have experienced is that when I think about things I can’t do, I automatically just don’t do it. All the feelings I get tend towards why it is the wrong time and how I need so many other things to make it happen.
Recently, I spoke at a conference called ‘School of Champions – Magnitudo’ and I decided the all the participants into 4 groups. There were exercises they had to do as a group.
One of the exercises was for the groups to think together and highlight 3 things – ‘what they know, what they do and what they care about’
One of the groups started saying, ‘oh, this is going to be a tough task’. Actually, at the end of the task, it was that same group that highlighted the least number of those 3 things.
I realized that beyond an individual’s thoughts that leads to certain results, collective thoughts can also lead to similar results.
I moved closer to the team and asked them, ‘what are the things people have told you in the past that know how to do and care about?’ Right there, they thought about that exercise ad was able to highlight more points.
My take away from this experience was this:
Sometimes, you may not know what the thoughts of the coachee are, or even the way they feel about something, but we can see their actions.
Using the T.E.A model, we can start from the Actions and walk the way back to where they thoughts generated from.
Just listening to them and reframing the question moved their thoughts in a different direction and the result they produced became different too.
One ways of identify where our thoughts are initiated from are:
Journaling: You need to document your triggers. Then, work towards running away from it. Mark the pattern of what happens to you again and again. It can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health.
Be aware and sensitive about why you react to a certain thing. Also, note the triggers of positivity, you want to move closer to those things too. For example, your best music, your best food, the best place to go, best things to watch and so on.
Working With Our Emotions
The Atlas of Emotion: was commissioned by the Dalai Lama, his purpose is “ In order to find the new world we needed a map, and in order for us to find a calm mind we need a map of our emotions”.
The simple, but not easy, goal of this Atlas is to help us be aware of our emotions. Awareness of our emotions means understanding how they are triggered, what they feel like and how we respond.
Awareness itself is a strategy; it helps us understand our emotion experiences. We do not want to get rid of our emotions; we want strategies that help us respond in helpful, constructive ways.
Working On Our Actions
Actions are the product of both thoughts and our emotions. When we are able to tweak both things to serve us in the best way, then our actions will get a new direction too.