Many people are bit concerned about what’s involved in working with coach due to misconceptions about what coaching really is.
Some worry that it’ll be like some kind of counselling or therapy where they’ll be asked to rake over the past and dig up all manner of painful or irrelevant stuff while others are concerned that coaching is just some kind of glorified way of remaining accountable; a kind of ‘time management’ system to make sure things get done.
Others still, confuse it with mentoring where the coach is considered to be the teacher and they some kind of student.
Coaching with me is nothing like that.
Above all, I believe that coaching is about helping clients to gain the clarity about what they want and what’s important in their lives, what’s keeping them from experiencing it and the creation of strategies to make it not only possible but highly probable.
I want my clients to enjoy, value and look forward to coaching with me so I tend to employ a light touch, a little levity and laughter and a prefer to create genuine sense of exploration and curiosity around the work we do together.
Of course, sometimes the exploration will lead to strong emotions (both light and dark) and I’ve no problem with provoking them when they’re the best tool to get to the truth about what’s keeping my clients stuck, but that’s not the aim and focus of our time together, more of a consequence of what can happen when identifying the real barriers that keep people stuck and struggling… after all, facing the truth can be hard!
(Note: Whilst my coaching is future-facing doesn’t require ‘poking around in dark places’ for it to work, those who’re not ready to talk about or share their personal feelings and emotions about their situations and struggles are unlikely to get any real benefit from working with me)
In short, when I’m coaching my clients I’m not their counsellor or therapist, I’m not their teacher or mentor but rather, I’m the person who’s there to draw out their own answers and their own truths about where they are, where they want to go and what’s keeping them from getting there and then guiding them toward developing the systems, strategies and skills toward making that happen.
There is a metaphor that I love that sums this approach up beautifully.
It suggests that we are all diamonds covered in horse-shit, covered in nail polish.
The idea is that we are all born as beautiful diamonds – the innocent beautiful person that we truly are.
Over the years we pick up habits and beliefs from others – well meaning parents and teachers and peers. We begin to accumulate anxieties, fears and doubts. We become unsure of who we really are and we question whether we are good enough.
We begin to believe this – the layer of horse-shit – is really who we are and we don’t like this person so we pretend to be someone else, a person that we think others want us to be.
We feel we need to hide ourselves – and so we cover the horse-shit in nail polish and present that shiny image to the world.
I help my clients get peel away the nail-polish, throw away the horse-shit and get back to who they really are… the diamond!