Good morning, good afternoon or good evening, wherever you are.
Welcome to this month’s edition of the Coaching Whisperer, a monthly newsletter for professional coaches in which I endeavour to share theories and my experiences in a way that enables you to implement them as practices in your sessions, if you feel they are useful.
In a recent LBC Mentor Coaching Program group session, I was reminded again of the need coaches often have to ensure that they are prepared (aka over-prepared) for their coaching sessions. This has various guises and, in this particular case, it consisted of a “box of tricks” at the ready, just in case. As a Five (for those of you who are familiar with the Enneagram), I well remember how often I have fallen into this same trap over the years. Something else I remember is that the more I prepared the less the session seemed to flow, in my eyes anyway!
The situation was exacerbated because, in the name of mastering this thing called coaching, I was always focusing on at least one thing that I was trying to improve in my sessions – with the consequence that I was too conscious of the improvement area and less focused on the client than I might otherwise have been.
The change for me came when I heard Michael Neill state in one of his videos (all of which are worth the watch!) that in training coaches to coach he gives them a simple two-step process:
- Show up and
- Respond to what shows up.
Once I dropped all the other things I was trying to master and simply focused on showing up and responding to what shows up, my sessions improved (in my eyes) immeasurably. Perhaps the greatest insight I got from this was to trust myself, for trusting myself was to trust that if I showed up fully, I would intuitively respond appropriately – because we all have the knowledge and “box of tricks” stored within us, ready for use when needed.
Which leads me back to the real point of this newsletter – how do we show up fully in a way that enables us to really hear what client is saying so that we can respond appropriately? To be fully present?
Well, the first thing is not to arrange back-to-back meetings and/or sessions. Give yourself the opportunity to be there fully.
Secondly, you might glance at your notes from the previous session just enough to get a feel for your client again. My notes are notoriously cryptic but enough to spark what I experienced with the client in the previous session/s.
The real preparation, however, comes in how we attune ourselves to the client immediately prior to the session. Timothy Gallwey uses the term “transposing” – his instructions are: “Put yourself in the person’s shoes and ask yourself the following questions: What am I thinking? What am I feeling? What do I want?” These are great questions as long as you remember to take your own shoes off before putting your client’s shoes on – we need to transpose ourselves and be them (as far as we are able to).
The late Doug Silsbee had a similar approach – he suggested that we ask: What is he or she sensing, feeling, thinking, judging and wanting?
That is the full “box of tricks” we need to bring into the session with us. As Michael Neill put it, we need to “be with” our clients.
In summary, then, trust yourself, attune with the client immediately prior to the session, and show up so that you can be with your client. Try it and feel the liberation your new-found level of coaching creates. I’d love to hear how you go.
Until next time!
The following masterclasses will be conducted from 16h00 to 17h00 SAST (GMT+2) on consecutive Wednesdays in June:
- 1 June: 5 Lessons I’ve learnt about building a coaching business
- 8 June: 5 Common Mistakes Coaches Make
- 15 June: 5 Ways to transform your coaching sessions – and your clients’ lives
- 22 June: 5 Coaching Tools I find indispensable
To register for any of these webinars please click on the date and follow the link.
Impact Accelerator Mentor Coaching Session
If you’d like to learn how to:
- objectively assess how effective your sessions are
- where you might focus to be even more effective
in a single session, please click on this LINK to my diary to set up this accelerator session and learn more about how this works.
Mentor Coaching Programme
If you would like to:
- master your coaching skills or
- successfully prepare for your next accreditation
My mastermind groups consist of 8 coaches who meet every two weeks for ten sessions to support each other’s business development, help solve problems and challenges, and hold each other accountable to complete things we say we’ll do. To learn more, join me for a free webinar on either MONDAY, 20 JUNE or THURSDAY, 23 JUNE at 16h00 SAST (GM+2).
I work with professional coaches who want to leave a legacy to their clients and their families. So if this is you and you have something on your mind that you would like to resolve or explore, please feel free to reach out to me using this LINK.