You’re Sitting Too Close To The Screen

Toku McCree
2 min readMay 12, 2021

After having spent weeks watching a group of 15 incredible coaches training week after week 90% of them got better whenever they didn’t sit so close to the screen.

No, I’m not talking about ergonomics or visual fatigue. I’m talking energetically.

Most coaches tend to get right up in there with their clients. There is nothing outside their visual field except for what the client is saying. When you sit that close all you can see is the drama.

Pull back a little bit and you’ll become aware of the conversation and relationships they have to their problems and desires. This is the frame of the screen. But from here all you can see are solutions.

Pull back a little further and you can see that the frame is inside a space. This is the context they are speaking and living inside. Now you can start to point out that context and work with it.

Pull back a little further and you can see the whole room around the screen. Or the map of interlocking context inside the client’s life and the world in general. Now you can see larger patterns, new options, and the impact of various contexts and ways of being.

Pull back even further and you can see the viewer (you as the coach) and all the stuff going on for them. Now you can notice your own reactions, account for them, and use them in your coaching.

Pull back even further and you can see a second screen which is your context and reality. Now you can talk about the context of coaching and reality itself. You can also own and be with your own humanity as a coach.

Pull even further back and you can see the witness. The one who is witnessing all the screens and is able to be fully engaged while also being fully unattached. Now you can be and coach from that place.

Pull back even further and you can see the abyss under the ground. The nothingness that pervades all being. Now you can talk from a depth beyond your humanity and speak for the universe itself.

You don’t have to pull back this far. It takes a fair amount of practice and it may not be the best place to coach from. But it IS helpful to notice how close to the screen you’re sitting.

Because often it’s too close.

Photo by Oğuzhan Akdoğan on Unsplash
Toku McCree

Executive coach and writer. I’ve toured with rock bands, trained as a zen monk, and taught preschool. My hope is that my writing makes you think.