“A conversation with a coach is unlike any other conversation” (Stephen Hedger)
It’s taken me way too long to really appreciate the full significance of those words. Yes clearly this is the case. But it is much deeper than that! Really??!
Yes because a conversation with a coach is a special type of two way exchange. The client deep (in my case) in her turmoil. The coach has to listen – and by that I mean really listen to reach the core of what that turmoil is. How else can he know which tools to use to help. And it was this that was basically giving me the heebie-jeebies! I’d convinced myself that I am not a good listener.
I’d failed to keep my focus on Stephen’s statement! A coaching conversation is totally different. I will be there to listen and really listen. Not to sit and take notes (gosh I found that irritating when I went to see a psychologist during one of my failed attempts in the beginning to get help). And I suddenly realised the significance of the ice-breaker session we did at the beginning of that NLP Course I attended. Something I was finding difficult to explain to one of my friends who, quite rightly, queried what had been achieved by such an in-depth exercise!
I now believe we were being encouraged to LISTEN. Really concentrate at a level of attentiveness which goes way beyond what any of us would probably do normally. Because those of us who want to become coaches will need to reach this level of attentiveness so we really hear what the client is saying – and so be able to use their words – not to paraphrase, or put our own spin on them. What is interesting is that even two weeks later I can still remember quite a lot of what the others in my group said and in some cases the words they used. I can’t remember their names – but I didn’t need to – we were all wearing name badges.
And during that session I had no desire whatsoever to interrupt any of the group. I had no desire to help them out – I wanted them to be able to do it for themselves (which is what we’d been asked to do) and I found myself silently egging them on to achieve it. I didn’t interrupt!
I’m just kicking myself on how slow I am for the penny to drop!!