I’ve been a coach for more than fifteen years now and I love it. I have also been a coach client for just as long. As a coach, of course I want the method I see work miracles with my clients to work for me to, and so I get coached regularly by my own coach. There are several things I like about it but here are the three I love:
I love the special feeling of being absolutely present with someone in the moment. Listening with all my senses, knowing the other person is opening and sharing. There is something very special happening in that moment and as a coach I consider it a gift worth holding high.
As a client I pick my coaches on their ability to be present with me in the moment. That is why I appreciate the opportunity given by most professional coaches to have an hour sample session before deciding whether to move on. As a client I can feel what it is like to work with this person. Do I feel the presence?
The challenge as a coach is to keep yourself clear, unbiased, unattached to your own solutions and instead stay alert, present with the client and curious. Whenever a coach falls out of that and get caught up in own thoughts the effect of coaching goes down. It is in the clear, open presence that the power of coaching comes through the strongest.
A coaching conversation is always aiming somewhere. The coach skills of goalsetting, designing actions and managing progress speaks to the action-oriented part of me. Yet it is always combined with creating awareness which helps prevent jumping to conclusions and rushing off in the wrong direction.
The first thing to do in a coaching conversation is to get a grip on where this specific clients want to go with this specific conversation. It is their choice and it is my job as a coach to help sort it out. When I am the client I often come to coaching with a head buzzing of competing goals and thoughts and I just love the knowledge that this session will help me sort it out, find direction and get going again.
When working with a client I love that sense of things coming together that happens when awareness of core values, deeper purpose and true goals align with stepping to action. We’re not just talking. We are creating direction from it, making sure things happen and that energy is used wisely.
Coaching is a process working in many different levels of energy. It can shift within the session and as a coach I consider it my task to match up the energy of the client. Sometimes in calming down, sometimes in adding in, mostly just reflecting as it happens and let that reflection of what is work in the presence of coaching.
As a client I can feel my energy rising as I prepare for my coaching. During the conversation I can be quite exhausted by all the mind-blowing thinking and perspectives changing making the world shake beneath me. Yet always leaving session calmly reliant on my ability to take on the challenge I created.
As a coach I love following that in the dance of the moment that is coaching. I listen for when energy reflects in clients’ voice and when it drops. These are valuable clues to what is really going on and where the true ambition is. When we are doing the things we want the way we want to we are in a strong energy flow that helps us get there. When we are working against ourselves we are causing obstacles that don’t have to be there. Coaching is aiming at being in that positive energy and from in there face the obstacles. Not avoiding what is challenging but daring to go further.
It is not all positive thinking, it is a huge dose of realism taken in with the power of knowing what you want, why you want it and what it will bring you. Not at all “happy thinking and balloons” but a pure energy more looking like wind and water – moving, creating flows, energizing turbines. I just love it when energy flows and I can see it coming together and driving the change that wants to be.