Extract © Nick Drake-Knight
The Complete Guide to Continue & Begin Fast Coaching®
Drake-Knight,N., Pollinger, 2016.
Plagiarists will be ridiculed mercilessly.

CB_0018 How do you think that went

Milton Erickson was the master of analogue marking. Erickson is known as the father of modern ‘conversational’ hypnotherapy.

Erickson used non-verbal cues to complement his verbal and tonal emphasis. By subtle shifts in body position, direction of speech and through minor motor movements he would covertly ‘mark’ significant messages in his communication to create emphasis. The mark would be recognised unconsciously by his patient, but not at a conscious level of thought. Erickson was a sophisticated communicator and catalyst of personal change.

In New Code Continue & Begin Fast Coaching® we use analogue marking as an overt non-verbal message in three simple patterns. The patterns are used by me (NDK) intuitively in Old Code. In New Code we promote the patterns explicitly to each new Certified Coach:

Analogue Mark – Pattern 1
At the start of self-assessment a coachee will sometimes (often!) respond by highlighting her development needs – a stimulus response to being asked about her performance. A skilled Continue & Begin® coach will take hold of an imaginary ‘box’ of the coachee’s development needs and move them to one side, accompanied by the inst6ruction;

“Let’s park these over here for now. We can review those later. Now, what were you pleased with?”

Analogue Mark – Pattern 2
At Begin To time we can return to the ‘box of development needs’. We can take hold of the box (remember, placed to one side earlier) and bring it back to centre stage, “Now, there were a few things you had in mind…”

Analogue Mark – Pattern 3
We use a hand movement to initiate thinking about something new. By making a circling motion of the hand, palm down, we can talk about “There may be some things you’d like to (or, “You said you wanted to…”) do differently…” and then raise the arm upwards pointing towards a higher plane “…and maybe even better”.

The analogue mark focuses attention and stimulates thinking about performance improvement.

Analogue Mark – Pattern 4
During Can’t to Can Belief Busting® we can use an analogue mark to initiate an exploration of possibility. This is a key stage in Can’t to Can® and a mark can work wonders in stimulating thoughts of future potential.

At the ‘benefits’ stage of Can’t to Can® (in New Code see Future Feeling) we can ease the coachee’s passage towards accepting at least the possibility of ‘Can’ by asking her to “…just imagine for a moment, some future time and place where you can do that thing… (skill, activity, competency, behaviour)…”

As we ask the question we can look up raising our arm, palm upwards, and stare far into the distance in an image of awe and wonderment. The impact of this little piece of drama is an increased likelihood that the coachee will accept there may be a future time and space where it is at least possible to do ‘the thing’ she has initially said she can’t do.

Analogue Mark – Pattern 5
At Future Feeling stage in both Continue & Begin® and Can’t to Can® we can use a simple analogue mark to emphasise feeling by leaning forward and holding our hand to our heart as we ask the question, “And how will that make you feel, being able to do that really well?”

The verbal question is reinforced by the non-verbal mark.

Analogue Mark – Pattern 6
At action plan stage in both Continue & Begin® and Can’t to Can® it is essential we gain a definitive commitment to do the thing she said she would do. Our analogue mark here is a simple one, it is to ‘lock on with laser vision’ and look deeply into the coachee’s eyes as we ask whichever commitment question the coach thinks appropriate for the circumstances and the coachee, for example, “Is this something you’re going to do?”
This is a super assertive mark which leaves the coachee in no doubt the coach is serious about implementation and not just verbal commitment.

Immediately after the intense eye contact we can alleviate any discomfort by smiling and making a light hearted comment such as “Well that’s good alright then!”, or similar.

Analogue marks are powerful non-verbal communication patterns which impact at an unconscious level. Used well they add panache and elegance to the Continue & Begin® coach’s communication repertoire.