SILM® is an integrative framework that links different theoretical perspectives applied in coaching psychology* practice. It models how mental processes and body systems appear to interact such that our wonderful human minds and the person we are emerge in the World.
Understanding how different mental modes, such as logical thinking and unconscious creativity interact with our emotions, can help individuals and groups develop their full potential and experience of our complex World.
The aim is psychological flexibility, to change mental mode at will, then transcend that self-consciousness, to engage again with our situation in the World. The learner driver has to think about changing manual gear, but once that skill is mastered, total attention can be focussed on the road ahead.
It can help to imagine shifting mental mode, from say intuitive (brainstorming solutions), to logic (assessing likely outcomes), as if changing gear in a "mental gearbox" that can move through time and space.
SILM® is a theoretical foundation to underpin coaching practice as we address the complexity of our being in the World. The sportsperson steps out of the game to analyze and perfect skill using the material and logic modes, but then returns to the world of competition in the moment with all modes in a state of synchroized flow, maximising those honed unconscious coping skills with a subtle intuitive monitoring and adjustment to performance and strategy.
The SILM® approach encourages coachees to observe and reflect upon patterns in their behaviour, knowing self is paramount. Psychological theory can help us to understand how we function as an organism, i.e. "fight ot flight", but if we look in the mirror and see that we always fight when challenged, and understand that alienates us from others, then we may come to realise that respectful negotiation is more productive, raising the possibility of peaceful resolution, and maintaining the relationship for mutual benefit in the future.
Whether in the natural world or the arbiatrary worlds we construct, our way of being in situ is culture specific. In aboriginal culture the way of being is one of "liyan" (feeling; Appleby, 1998). That bush is the local chemist, that one a food store, and the root of another a source of water. The brahminy kites screeching, then diving, are warning of the salt-water crocs. To another, alien to the aboriginal culture and environment, it's just the wild inhospitable bush, noisy birds and potential dangers you can't see. To understand a person and their world, the coach must listen and learn.
The coachee brings not only his or her culture to the coaching relationship, but their unique way of adapting, or struggle to adapt. The coach's "curious enquiry" will help to foster a positive coaching relationship as the journey begins beyond the known. There can be no evidence, only discovery. Know self, know world, know how.