Perhaps quite an unexpected descriptor for its corporate origins, my experience of coaching thus far has and will forever have the gloss of the magical. My first coaching session I received as a client ended when I had an Eureka moment. I had an awakening and the basis of the problem fell apart and problem solved. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to really see the situation clearly. Ta-dah!
Contrary to the typical paradigm of hiring someone to dish out advice, this rush of self-discovery in coaching and training is made possible precisely because I was not told what to do. As I became a coach myself, I came to realize that there is no fixed ‘coaching-hat’ to wear. Instead of an adviser, an executive coach has to play a myriad of subtly different roles as a facilitator, a director, a listening ear, a mirror, a catalyst and more to engage the client in a process of loosening the hold of what is already present and obvious on them so that they can begin to explore what is on the other side. Kind of like looking into the box to see what is inside in order to get out of it. At times, it is simply about giving a safe space for someone to reflect upon their lives and to air their deepest thoughts. We soften what is fixed and draw people out into what is possible. It never ceases to amaze me how a simple conversation when skillfully conducted can go so deep and make so much difference in so little time. Like an expert contortionist maneuvering around an obstacle course, the most artful of coaches are able to facilitate their clients into untangling their problems by themselves as they inquire into what is at the crux the problem. This brings to mind the ancient Chinese Proverb, “it takes one who tied the bell on the tiger's neck to untie it”.
Yes, behind a successful executive coach is hard work and a successful business, there are the technicalities and skills to hone and pick up, clarity to sharpen, experience to be gain, there is always self-work that can be done so that we may continue to carry the fire of what is possible for the people we work with and I take it on gladly so that I can pass on the magic of what my accredited coaches have done for me. I believe we are all here to lend a hand. Coaching is a way to do this. There are so many great rewards to be had in this profession. It is a new way of living.
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