Even when we are going well our thinking can become mired in repetitive patterns or denial
Receiving focussed attention can bring clarity, highlight choices and stimulate engagement
Coaching for clarity can help you develop a clear picture of your current situation. This is sometimes enough. However you may also wish to plan a way forward and coaching can help you to develop and execute a plan while keeping in view the big picture of where you are going. Empowerment is not an easy option and you can expect support as you take on responsibility and authority. I have always found that working through concerns together with clients allows them to release remarkable energy and enthusiasm.
My coaching approach
I like to use the following diagram to describe my approach to coaching:
We view our world through a lens composed of our presuppositions and beliefs.
This leads to particular behaviours, which, in unexamined life may not be effective ways of being.
My role as coach is first, through conversation, to get alongside my client, to see the world as they see it.
My role is then to offer new distinctions and practices to assist the client to understand and change their behaviours where they choose.
You can expect a similar structure to each conversation
Marketing our offer is based on the conversations we have with clients, referrals, observing interactions and media such as this website.
Openings happen as we become aware of requirements for coaching. We will open a discussion about whether coaching could help with your particular situation. As James Flaherty says in “Coaching – Evoking Excellence in Others”, if you flag someone down on the highway and offer to teach them how to change a flat tyre, you can expect a rude response. But if you find someone with a flat-tyre looking at their jack and spanner kit and scratching their heads you may find them more receptive to your tutorial.
In contracting we like to spend time with new clients to establish what they want to achieve in coaching, to discuss what we could achieve together, to invite the client’s commitment and deal with possible obstacles to our work together. This process may take a few sessions in itself. Not all of us know exactly what we want from a coaching intervention. We believe the client wants clarity rather than advice and the clarity emerging from this process has a value all of its own. If the contracting process takes a long time we will agree an interim contract for the exploratory work.
When we are ready we will start our coaching conversations, each following the same pattern:
- We will have time to check in, reconnect and and address your immediate concerns (if you are parked in a tow-away zone, you may find it difficult to focus on our session) and other check-in considerations.
- In exploration, you will have opportunity to lay out, in conversation, the issues you would like to address.
- Towards the end of the exploration process, you will be asked to specify exactly which issue you would like to address and we will decide how best to do this. We could decide to hold a “Thinking Partnership” or you may wish to find patterns and models in issues or information you have brought to the session. We may also decide to talk through issues of Personal Mastery.
- The agreement on the focus of our conversation will initiate the clarifying part of our session. We will work on your subject matter. As the coach I will use whatever tools and techniques I feel will bring clarity.
- Clarity comes in varying degrees in the conversation and when it is appropriate, we will begin to bring the conversation to the place of closure.
- As we close, we will review our session and agree next steps.