Be A Sovereign Coach. Perceiving to Embrace Your Inner Coach Spontaneously. Part 2 of 4
Looking back on my journey as a coach I notice that more effective outcomes with clients were a direct result of a path of self-development essential to expansion in professional excellence. Coaching Supervisor and co-founder of the Coaching Supervision Academy, Edna Murdoch says, “Who you are is how you coach.” Simple yet profound words that I experience as truth. To appreciate how I coach I must be disciplined to witness and fully embody the unique expression of humanity that is ME.
In order to be present and fully engaged with the breadth and depth of union available when transformative moments emerge for clients, coach practitioners must refine perceiving and curiosity skills. We continuously receive and make meaning of what a client expresses and yet, as most communication experts will share, less than 15% of what’s most important occurs through the words. Pay attention to what you do perceive and what you don’t by reviewing session recordings or better yet examining written transcripts. This practice establishes a baseline for a new breadth and depth of perceiving. Your inner coach perceives the 85% available beyond the words.
Strengthening your muscle for perceiving while simultaneously sustaining full presence with a client is a lifelong development process. Being intentional about your perceiving focus provokes generating new, more impactful habits. For example, if you consistently notice that you perceive ideas and overlook emotions, practice with using emotional language in the framing of questions. Practice this outside of coaching sessions, writing down emotional language you perceive while watching a movie or listening to music. Put your brain’s neuroplasticity to work and give your brain an activity through which to build a habit for emotional perceiving, or alternatively, any perceiving method that does not come naturally when you are engaged with clients.
Rather than practicing formulaic questions or focusing on being curious with just the right words, allow multi-dimensional perceiving to be your wellspring of a boldly evocative mindset for curiosity. Clients always express exactly what is required to open the pathway toward an emergent self-discovery. Surrender to creating awareness on behalf of the client, seeing into and on behalf of the essence of that person. With this approach, curiosity is sourced directly from what the client expresses. As a coach, you are simply the delivery vehicle that stimulates deeper inquiry for the client.
Being a sovereign coach requires perceiving through a deeper, internal perspective that naturally is curious about another person and is response agile with each twist and turn a client chooses for exploring. When you are more committed to a client’s relationship with the underlying meaning that blocks getting what they want than in the information or your own understanding, your clients will accelerate gaining awareness of breakthrough thinking.
I offer one more practice I use outside of my coaching as an end of day reflection activity. Sometimes in a journal and always internally speaking out loud, I review my day. I start from the moment I wake up and review how I engaged as the day unfolds. My review is noticing what I paid most attention to and, what I became curious enough about to engage in the relationship. In the quiet at the end of the day, I then ask myself, what didn’t I pay attention to and what am I curious about myself, in that choice. The simple act of creating a question prepares me the next day to perceive the world with a wider lens.
Until the next installment, happy coaching!
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.