Bring Your Best Self
Great coaching depends more on your best self showing up than it does on your skills. Here's a simple practice to ground and prepare you to facilitate a powerful conversation:
Five to ten minutes before meeting with your coachee, take a trip down memory lane. Think about a time when your support of another person had a positive impact. Because of your genuine interest in them, asking questions instead of giving answers, they discovered new solutions to old problems. Because that person felt truly heard and valued, they could move forward with a renewed sense of competence and confidence.
When you have that memory in mind, connect to the feelings associated with that success story. Those feelings could include excitement, a sense of purpose, satisfaction with a job well done, or the joy that comes from truly helping and being appreciated. Recalling and reliving those positive feelings grounds you in who you are, and reminds you of all you bring to this current coachee: your gifts, skills, and time--and the blessed assurance that you and God are in this coaching thing together, always.
When you place yourself emotionally in that knowing, you prepare yourself to be fully present. Your focus shifts from self-consciousness to self-confidence. Curiosity, compassion, and creativity replace concerns about getting the coaching process exactly right. Beginning the coaching conversation from this space of self-appreciation increases the odds that your coachee will feel appreciated by you--heard, understood, respected, and valued.
Does this mean that skill development doesn't matter? No. But when we focus first on the highlights of our helping journeys, on what worked and how that felt, we'll create the energy and optimism needed to improve and grow.
May you feel renewed in this New Year!