Be A Better Coach – Go Beyond. Part 1 of 4
Every single day we have the opportunity to be a better coach. That’s the good news and the challenge to recognize. The options for how to pursue the opportunity are endless. How do we choose what to pursue? The step I begin with every day is to remember to be a student of my own work, to replace any notion of being an expert or having achieved a level of mastery with being a beginner, diligent, available to be surprised and ignited by each client exchange. I am available, inside myself, to question my preferences, habits, assumptions, bias and all the things I’ve learned.
Practices that allow me to quiet the swirling threads of knowledge, experience, and awareness are essential for being present, fully and authentically. Whatever we choose for being centered and mindful about our energy, it’s important to be consistent and disciplined with the practices so that when a moment arises that stretches our resolve to be present, we have the internal memory to pause, center and restore our presence. Some days and some clients are easier than others. Steady practice is our best resource on the harder days and with the more challenging clients.
My first priority to be a better coach is to be in, for and with each client moment spontaneously. Notice if a skeptical thought just surfaced. Pause and center. Reflect for a moment on a recent interaction with a client that touched you deeply. Breathe into the memory of the moment and notice the emotions that moment evoked. Allow that emotion to recall the specifics of the exchange. Most likely it was respectful silence that stimulated something profound to emerge from the client. That silent moment was likely preceded by an open-end question. A question you did not know the answer to, asked fully in wonder, on behalf of the client. The question was simple, weaving the words the client said out loud that carried meaning and energy. The question invited the client to examine another layer of relationship with the topic or issue. The client trusted your sincerity to receive whatever answer surfaced and to be in partnership as that new point of view or declaration became real when it was shared.
In this type of moments together, we go beyond with our client. We transcend the obvious, the comfortable and the known so that client learning and vitality are generated.
About the Author:
Janet M. Harvey, ICF Master Certified Coach, Certified Mentor Coach, Accredited Coaching Supervisor, ICF Global Past President, and ICF Foundation Board President, has 30 years of experience as both a corporate and entrepreneurial business executive. An early adopter for creating a coach-centered workplace, Janet has worked with global organizations and teams of leaders within to establish a generative, resilient and high-performance culture through a coaching approach to leading and managing success. Janet Harvey brings her executive and entrepreneurial experience as CEO for inviteCHANGE, leaders in sustainable excellence through a signature transformative coaching and learning process for people, processes and systems. Clients and audiences around the globe speak of Janet as bold, curious, provocative, challenging, yet respectful and compassionate in her leadership roles.
The Expert Series is brought to you by choice Magazine as part of our ongoing efforts to bring opportunities for learning and growth to the coaching community. Delivered in four parts every two weeks, each series covers useful topics for business development and coaching insights, serving the needs of leaders in all areas and walks of life. Archived copies of the previous series can be found here.