... and flourish

It is useful to keep coming back to the fact that we have all grown up with two mind states available to us.

We are at our best in the blue zone – confident, collaborative and creative – and in the right frame of mind for higher order learning to take place. It is evident that we want our workplaces and schools to promote this mind state.

What gets in the way is the red zone which - in our schema of things – is the childhood mind that has been encouraged to persist into adulthood rather than being allowed to fade away to be fully replaced by the adult mind – the blue zone.

Practices such as meditation and some aspects of mindfulness are designed to quieten down our red zones, but they do just that, quieten it down rather than removing it.

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Cognitive coaching – for the coach – is a way of adopting (and modelling) the practices that can cause the red zone to fade away. How it does this is to develop our response to new events so as to remain always in the blue zone.

In the past, something went wrong and our red zone would trigger, filling our mind with dread thoughts about what would people think, what’s going to happen to me, I’m no good at this, it wasn’t my fault, etc. Not at all useful for learning or being highly productive.

When it is the blue zone that triggers instead, our mind reflects: hmm, something has gone wrong, so what am I going to do about it?

This initiates a confident, collaborative and creative response.

John Corrigan