This exercise is not part of the Essence Conversation. During the Essence Conversation, the Coach works with whatever words the client has generated from the 2-3 calls they do during the 10 minute break. When the Essence Conversation is complete, a practice area can be given to complete the remaining calls so that the client has a total of 10. The Essence of Essence can be distilled from that list in a later session.
The Essence of Essence is multifaceted, like a diamond. It is made up of five words that are all nouns. The words are timeless and open, i.e., they allow for many different aspects to open up over time.
When the client has completed 10 calls, support them to edit their list. As stated in the Essence Conversation, have the client move any repeated words to the top of the list, cross off any words that are disempowering, and declare they can own the entire list.
There is no right way to arrive at the Essence of Essence. The most important aspect of this process is for you, the Coach, to trust yourself. As you see or hear the list of Essence words, read between the lines for what the words are pointing to. If you are auditory, have the client read the words out loud to you while you write down words that jump out at you. You may listen for themes and even write them down in groups according to those themes. If you are visual, you might have your client email you the whole list to generate the Essence of Essence.
The Essence words you come up with may or may not be words on the original list. For example, the words comfort, safety, mother, nurturing, and home may become the word source. Connect with yourself and your client and allow the words to show up for you. There will be some words that jump out and go “clunk” for you. Choose words that point to five distinct aspects of the person’s Essence.
Remember, the client does not get a vote on their Essence words. Their job is to report the information to you, and your job is to distill them into one cohesive name. The Essence of Essence is the name of the person’s Essence, not a list of words. Therefore, we write them vertically, not horizontally, and do not add commas or an “and” before the last word.
Once you have the five words, you can play with how to arrange them. You will find that some arrangements sound better than others. Do this work silently so that when you read the final Essence name out loud, the client gets the full impact and power of it.
As Coach, do not fall into the trap of discussing the reason for your choices. It is okay for the client to struggle a bit with the words. There is often at least one word that the client has some resistance around. They have just not owned their greatness in this area yet, and you can let them know that this is not uncommon.
Alternatively, they may feel that something was left off. If you trust yourself, your client will try the words on and eventually gain a greater relationship to themselves as their Essence of Essence. If they do not, it will be a great place for coaching.