Trouble finding clarity? Invite your entire self to the conversation

As an avid reader and observer of my environment and systems, I am always looking for new information, ideas, and perspectives--at least I thought I did until this past week during Minnesota's International Coaching Federation chapter webinar.


The topic: Five Knowledge Centers Coaching, developed by Eric Kohner, Krister Lowe and Pim Harder of The Team Coaching Zone. Their model: a powerful yet simplistic process for getting in touch with one's Five Knowledge Centers. Because the five centers each have distinctive functions, they interact and deliver messages in different ways, making their collective message more powerful and clear. Kohner, Lowe and Harder describe the Five Knowledge Centers as:


     Head    +    Heart    +   Hands   +   Gut        +   Groin

    (reason)      (love)        (action)     (intuition)    (passion)  + interaction with nature

(surrounding ecosystem)

How It Works

During the webinar Kohner requested a volunteer to be coached in a live-demo. The fact that this was taking place on a live- webinar with an unknown audience, and a coach who was a complete stranger to me, I volunteered. To begin, he asked what I wanted to coach on. I chose growing INspiring SIGHT, my recently launched full-time business. Beginning with the heart, Eric asked questions related to each of the Five Knowledge Centers. He asked what my heart was telling me, what my hands were telling me... and so on. He gradually moved through all the centers, ending with the head. Along with his questions, he asked me to put down my pen, stand up and move locations in the room as we shifted between the knowledge centers (Even though he couldn't see that I was taking notes, he could tell I was distracted by doing something else).

It's all connected

In the process of moving around the room and answering questions related to my five knowledge centers, I noticed each of my answers were confirming what the previous knowledge center had been telling me--only in a slightly different way. The results were astonishing and it became clear that when listening to just one or two of my knowledge centers, I was in limbo and self-doubt reigned the day. When listening to all Five Knowledge Centers, self-doubt vanished and I was overcome by a resounding peace--grounded in the fact that the work I am doing through my business, INspiring SIGHT, is exactly what I was called to do in the world.

Individually, my knowledge centers didn't paint the entire picture--but collectively, they confirmed everything I have been doing up to this point in my life has been preparing me for the work I am doing right now. It wasn't until I listened to my entire system that I was able to uncover the answers I already possessed. 

Leaning into listening

I realized my, heart, gut and groin have long been passionately telling me society is yearning to become real and emotionally connected to itself--individually, inter-personally, in community and in the workplace. I knew I could play a role in moving that forward but when listening only to my head and hands I left room for doubt to creep in and would find myself caught-up in the relentless messages and 'doing' our society so aptly rewards. It wasn't until I listened to my collective system that my intuition was confirmed and I knew I was on the right path. One knowledge center after another nudged me toward clarity as if to say--It is time.

What I learned

How ironic that I didn't approach my own self-awareness in a systemic way even though for over twenty-five years I had been doing so with others. With information from my entire system, my answers came confidently and quickly.  I had long been listening to people talk about their workplaces--I heard their yearning to be humanized, to feel, to be respected and to make positive contributions to the greater whole. This live-coaching demonstration confirmed for me that I have a role to play in helping to fill that need and that my passion for human capacity building must be nurtured and continue.

It is time for me to get to work!


What if business and organizational systems identified and listened to their knowledge centers?

If an organization were to listen to all parts of their system, what might they learn? Would they arrive at solutions more quickly?

If just one live demo coaching session can so easily demonstrate the necessity of listening to all parts of a system, what might happen if this practice was applied on an ongoing basis?


Mary Kay Delvo