Coaching – A Chat with Moments Ranging from Ignition to Inferno
Coaching then. I quite often hear people say “it’s just a professional name for a bit of a chat isn’t it?” well in a funny way yes it is. Yet what a chat it can often turn out to be. You see chatting does take place during a coaching session, it has to, but there are some other much more important things that take place between the coach and their client. These things are ‘moments’ of pure joy when the client, after going through a process of positive enquiry experiences a flash of realisation when the solution to their problem, or the way forward when they are stuck, or they can see a light to help move them in the best direction happens, just like the ignition of a spark in their mind. As coaches, we see this happen before us not only in what the client say but also in their non-verbal communication. It is at this point that coaches are reminded that what we do is never ever about us; it is always about the client. As Peter Stark once said “Emotional Intelligence is when you finally realise it’s not about you.”
This week I have been coaching lots of different people, through stress, personal branding and reputation, management skills and NLP anchoring techniques for confidence. Each time the Client is guided through the session to define the barriers and permissions, that the session will challenge them but never judge them, and that they will need to have some sort of outcome in mind. This way they know what to expect and to relax and let the coaching process begin.
As the sessions begin, the Client is encouraged to talk about themselves, their experiences and in turn be questioned and challenged on how and why certain things have affected them or why they chose a certain path and how it made them respond or react or even feel. As the Client starts to sink into the session, a bit like a comfy cushion, it is possible to observe a ‘slowing down’ in responses as they think things through and consider what they are saying more carefully. This offers them what I like to call ‘emotional room to maneuver’ so that there is a congruence between what they are saying and what they are actually feeling. It is at this point that any blockages or stumbling blocks are explored in more detail and it is here where the spark forms.
As the Client starts to work their way through different outcomes and scenarios ideas start to formulate and pathways open up before them. They start to kick things around, testing out the ‘what ifs’ and ‘how could I’s” so that answers, solutions and ideas begin to appear. This is where the spark grows into a little flame.
The oxygen that feeds the flame is the encouragement and permission that is given to the Client to formulate and try out their new approach, in a way that helps them to see different insights, outcomes and points of view. This allows the Client to feel safe and that the outcome, which may yet be far from perfect, could get them where they want to go.
At this point the Client can often become really excited, anticipative or charged up about implementing something or moving forward in their plan towards their desired outcome, all of which helps to fan the flames into a full on fire. It is here that the Coach may adjourn the session and leave them to return to their life or work to engage with things.
If on the following session things have gone well or even not so well, the Coach observes either a full on inferno, where the Client is excited to update and report back or alternatively, a Client with a slightly quenched fire that needs rekindling to maintain momentum and readdress some of the areas that need help. Either way the fire still needs to burn.
As Coaches this process is highly rewarding and depending on the Client the amount of time it takes to reach an outcome can vary. I have clients that have only needed one or two sessions, others like to extend the process a bit and some like to have a constant contact, as I said earlier, it is not about me, it is about them and what they want.
When you think about coaching and before you discount the humble Coach as just someone who comes in for a chat, bear in mind chatting plays a part, so does a lot of other stuff, that arguably is far more important. In some cases it can be highly transformational, life changing even. So, how are you? What is going on in your world? How can I help you? Fancy a bit of a chat?
Thanks for reading this blog, if you need support or help and would like to explore some Coaching for yourself have a look at the One to One Coaching section of this site or call me in confidence on 07979 537824 or email Simon@serialtrainer7.com.