Cut the Bungee Cord of Traumatic Events with Behaviour Change Techniques

Have you ever felt stuck in an endless cycle of toxic behaviour? Even though you recognise the patterns and try to move forward, you just can’t seem to change how you act. This happens because we fail to utilise effective behaviour change techniques. Without them, it’s akin to wearing a bungee cord around your waist — even as you take steps forward, you eventually get pulled back to your old ways.

In this episode, I share my thoughts on the two things that frustrate me about how accredited bodies teach coaching and how to disrupt them. I talk about the role of non-directive and directive styles in the whole spectrum of coaching. Likewise, I highlight behaviour change techniques and the importance of getting to the root cause of behavioural patterns to change them.

If you want to learn behaviour change techniques and cut your bungee cord, tune in to this week’s episode!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Discover the importance of recognising behavioural patterns.
  2. Learn about the importance of therapeutic-based techniques in uncovering and neutralising root causes of behavioural patterns.
  3. Find out what it means to be an executive coach in this day and age.


  • Visit Angela’s website to learn more about her coaching! 

Episode Highlights

[02:11] The Woes of Non-Directive Coaching

  • Non-directive coaching pushes leaders to lead their people in a supportive, questioning, and empowering way.
  • But C-suite leaders are often surrounded by ‘yes’ people. Executive coaching, therefore, needs to present more of a challenge to these leaders.
  • These leaders need different perspectives to understand the way their people react to their leadership style and position.
  • Assuming that all C-suite leaders have all the answers stops them from seeing a broader picture.
  • Leaders benefit from experiencing the whole spectrum of the coaching spectrum, including both non-directive and directive coaching.

[4:21] Therapy and Directive Coaching Style

  • The directive style includes advice, consultation, and therapy.
  • The therapeutic aspect of coaching keeps people focused on the present and the future they want to create. 
  • However, it doesn’t look backwards at what might be causing toxic behaviours. It is not the most efficient of behaviour change techniques. 

[5:14] Patterns of Behaviour

  • People run patterns of behaviour over and over again. 
  • No amount of coaching will change those behaviours until you have uncovered and tackled their root cause.
  • Some people who present a pattern of behaviour may not even be aware that it is there.

[6:06] Behaviour Change Techniques for a Client’s Pattern

  • Before working with a client, Angela always asks them to write a synopsis of their life to spot their patterns.
  • Angela has a senior leader client who got stuck in a pattern of running away when somebody higher in the hierarchy makes him feel helpless. 
  • He still felt the same way, even after doing a lot of forward-focused work. Angela’s first question to him was about what the first experience reminded him of.
  • The client revealed an experience of humiliation and physical abuse in primary school. He just sat and took it. 
  • Throughout his childhood, there were several instances of this behavioural pattern. He didn’t speak up for himself even once.

[11:02] A Look into the Neuroscience Perspective

  • There are two places where we store memories in our brain. 
  • The first is the giant filing cabinet where all our memories are stored. These memories have no way of creating an emotional response in us.
  • The second is the amygdala, where our traumatic memories are stored. These memories are like little landmines waiting to get stepped on, triggering an emotional response.
  • For the senior leader client, the first traumatic experience where he froze created his present behaviour.

[13:15] The Importance of Behaviour Change Techniques

  • The older we get, the more shame, guilt, anger, and frustration builds up as we recognise that our emotional responses aren’t helpful.
  • Trying to pour positivity on something toxic residing inside you will result in the dilution of the positivity.
  • You have to get to the root cause of patterns and neutralise them using therapeutic-based behaviour change techniques, like the Havening Technique or EFT.
  • Without implementing these behaviour change techniques, you are simply running forward with a bungee cord attached to your waist.  You will revert to the conditioning endlessly.

[15:46] Unlocking Your Behavioural Patterns

  • What are your patterns that make you facepalm?
  • When was the first time these patterns showed up for you?
  • We don’t have many conscious memories before six years old. Working with a therapist will help you unlock the earlier memories.
  • With the use of behaviour change techniques, you can then address the root cause.

[16:40] The Executive Coaching Arena

  • Coaching involves the whole coaching arena, including therapy.
  • Coaching can be non-directive, directive, provocative, challenging, or advisory. It offers different perspectives, and brings valuable expertise depending on the case.
  • An executive coach is there to co-create value. They need to have as much credence in the situation as the client and bring their expertise to unlock root causes.
  • Simply talking about changing habits and behaviours is not enough. We have to work with the subconscious and apply behaviour change techniques.
  • Only after neutralising the root cause can you make some progress.

5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode

[03:46] ‘Assuming that all of the C-suite leaders have all of the answers inside of them really, I suppose, stops them from seeing a broader picture stops them from seeing diversity and different perspectives.’

[05:30] ‘No amount of coaching about the way that you want to change those behaviours will change the behaviour until you have tackled the root cause.’

[14:33] ‘If you’re trying to pour positivity on something that is toxic, that is residing inside of you, then the positivity is going to be diluted very quickly. You have to get to the root causes of your patterns.’

[17:22] ‘An executive coach for me is there to co-create value. The executive coach needs to have as much credence in the situation as the client does, and bring their expertise to really unlock these root causes.’

[17:49] “Simply talking about changing habits and changing behaviours is not enough. We have to work with the subconscious.’

Enjoy this Podcast?

We all have toxic cycles of behaviour that we want to break. We hope you learned a thing or two from Angela’s advice on behaviour change techniques. If you enjoyed today’s episode of The Mindset Mentor Meets…, then hit subscribe and share it with your friends!

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To meeting inspiration,

Angela Cox