I went to Georgetown University to learn how to be a leadership coach. My academic training introduced me to the art and science of coaching another person. I had a journal from those days back in 2010, and I often go back and read it. On the first day of the first week of my training, I wrote: an essential part of being a coach is learning to deconstruct another person’s story, so I can understand how they create meaning. I must be curious to be a good coach.
This concept of curiosity and being willing to deconstruct a story is not just crucial for me – it is also fundamentally important for the client. However, there are a lot of leaders who do not know how to be in a coach/client engagement and often struggle to get value out of this vital relationship.
So, what does it mean to be a good client?
I have come across a lot of different people in my ten years of coaching. There are those in pain trying to recover from a professional setback. Others are anxious to promote and want to soak in as much professional development as possible to be prepared. Some clients feel stuck and unmotivated; they need someone to help them get clear on all their possibilities. Certain leaders have clear objectives and bring them into a coaching relationship. And then others do not know the first thing about being coached, but they want to take advantage of an opportunity and see where it takes them.
Here are two tips that apply to every client, especially those in the last category.
There are other ways to be a good client, but these two are fundamental. When I know someone is ready to share their story and is willing to stay open and reflect – growth is inevitable!
In my next post, I will talk about the importance of having clear objectives when working with a coach and how to prepare for the coaching sessions.
Do I know my own story? Who has heard it?
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
The more I work with leaders, the more distinctions I see in how people handle change. Nothing lasts forever and most endings bring an emotional response. Sometimes it is a celebratory reaction or a liberation. We breathe a sigh of relief that a welcomed change has finally arrived. Most often, though, transition brings a sense of loss, and if we are not careful, we can get gripped in multiple ways.
What if we were able to experience an ending with no grip?
What if instead of being startled by emotional endings or bracing ourselves for the end, we let things transition while staying fully aware and present?
What would it take to see the change objectively versus feeling subjected by the ending?
We are always at choice with change. We can choose to hold it, grip it, or let it gently go. Subtle shifts in the mindset can create new reactions, and awareness always brings learning.
What endings are you facing?
Carrie Arnold, PhD, MCC, BCC
In no particular order: Author | Dog mom to Moose | Speaker| Reader Mom to human offspring Wife | Lover of Learning Leadership coach & consultant, The Willow Group | Fellow, Institute for Social Innovation