In June of 2013 In The Moment and Mentor Group Ltd started working together offering the ITM real time communication coaching to expand upon and develop their sales and performance management coaching programmes.
Mentor Group have over 16 years experience delivering training and coaching to corporate business and ITM real time communication coaching has dove tailed into their existing offers as well as enhancing existing negotiation skills training and interpersonal skills development as part of executive coaching.
How I got interested in real time communication coaching
I first got interested in real time communication when in late 2011 I noticed more and more how my therapeutic clients would often display different facial expressions and body language to the words they were saying often when talking about an emotional issue or when I asked certain questions. I sometimes picked up on this incongruence and sometimes, often when taking notes, I missed them. I knew instinctively that something was awry and decided to do a little research.
The impact of this research has been incredible and has led to In The Moment providing coaching that aids rapport building, advances negotiation skills and performance management to both individuals and groups.
I started reading the research and books of Professor Paul Ekman and his work into the universality of facial expressions and the automatic micro expressions triggered from the Amygdala when emotion is involved. I also reviewed work by Dr David Matsumoto and former FBI agentJoe Navarro to establish how this knowledge could be applied for improved rapport building when face to face or virtually such as Skype. It’s common knowledge that growing empathy is a crucial step to building trust in all relationships and this grows by developing awareness to what someone is really feeling or thinking through more accurate use of observation and instinct.
What came from this got really interesting. It is not enough to be able to spot the non verbal and verbal cues of another, what are we giving away when we are engaged in meetings, negotiations or therapeutic sessions. We cannot build empathy just by understanding another if our face and body language deceives us. In the TV show ‘Lie to me’, much is made of the cues and clues that reveal deception and other covert behaviour. At ITM we hit on the idea that being able to detect overt from covert behaviour and to identify when to step into or out of a conversation were important parts of building empathy. We went past the criminal investigations led by Tim Roth, we saw a way of developing empathy and rapport skills and their applications by being more aware to what is really going on and how to self regulate our own behaviour to bring our best into the room, any room.
Like many happy accidents, a few thoughts and ideas came together quickly and using the minimal viable product approach we started testing real time communication coaching with trusted colleagues and a few skeptics. Through review and continuing adaptation we have honed this into 3×1 hour sessions using video feedback to raise awareness, detection to what we and others give away and how to stay on track when facing , as we call them, hot point situations.