This is What A Coaching Call is Like...May 18, 2023
The context of a coaching call should be open, professional, and friendly. The intent of the call is to allow you (the coachee) to process, organize, explore, and formulate strategies for the chosen concern. The coach is not there to advise, but stand with. To see things through the coachee's eyes, listen and to be curious. The decisions and prescriptions are ultimately decided upon by the coachee.
What is Valuable?
After initial greetings, the coach will direct the conversation towards the topic or main concern. At this point, it is best to explain the concern that you wish to address as well as the context to which the concerns lives.
The coach will listen carefully and make certain there is clear understanding. The coach may ask questions and reflect on what was stated.
The focus is to find the root of the concern and explore the how addressing this concern is meaningful or valuable.
What Lies Beneath
Different coaches receive different training. And the different trainings are interpreted differently be each individual coach. As a coach, I believe it is best to discover the root of the concern and begin exploring here. This is done by asking questions that allow for deeper exploration.
Coaching is different in many way from counseling or therapy. First, coaching is future focused. The orientation explores future possibilities. Also, a coach does not seek to diagnose or qualify the coachee using a diagnostic framework. Instead, the coach stands with the coachee in all perceived strengths and weaknesses. Then in partnership, action is taken towards a goal or end.
Often, productivity concerns, for example, are symptoms of a deeper, unnamed concern. The coachee may be avoiding a task or situation. The coachee may not have a clear definition of what productivity means to them. Or, they may not be properly directing attention. Whatever the concern, it is best to examine how it shows up in the coachee's life from the deepest accessible level.
Often, the concern brought into a coaching conversation is best explored by exploration of the concern. Exploring the context in which the concern exists, the drivers of the concern, and the meanings surrounding it. This helps develop self-awareness.
For example, exploration of beliefs can be confronting yet illuminating. Many coachee's suffer from limiting beliefs. Rather than the coach point this out, an exploration of those beliefs in action can bring about a life altering new awareness. This discovery is done in partnership between the coach and coachee.
The Paradigm Shifts In-Between
Sometimes, the best shifts in our understanding of ourselves and the concerns we bring to coaching are achieved outside of the session. Often the coaching needs to "sit" with the coachee. This can certainly be the case when conflicting values, new possibilities, and difficult to face ideas are brought to the forefront. Because we learn best through experience, the application of what is excavated in the coaching conversation is really "realized" when in the relevant moment.
The application of what is explored in the coaching conversation is not always immediately understood during the coaching conversation. A good coach will intuitively know when to gently encourage further exploration outside of the coachee's current awareness. This is helpful when the new awareness is realized and the foreshadowing comes into experience and focus.
Doing The Work
You will most likely be required to do work between the sessions. There may not be anything sexy about this, but this can be where the change in behavior truly takes place. Coaching begins by examining the thoughts that drive the feelings and cause the actions and behaviors the ultimately create our life's outcome. Coaching helps with the thoughts and feelings, but in the end the actions and outcomes are more independently executed. The coach will certainly provide some accountability, no question. However, committing to doing the work is critical to a successful coaching relationship.
All in all, the coaching conversation is a natural conversational practice allowing for self-expression, strategy, self-awareness, and achievement in a safe, confidential environment. As humans were designed to thrive in partnership, coaching aligns with this principle allowing for personal transformation and eventually, emergence into a truer, more authentic version of ourselves.
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