Some days back I received a feedback for a coaching session, which made my jaw drop. It was like a dream feedback anyone can receive and read and reread it many times and jumped with joy like a kid. Not that I do not receive positive feedback, but it was different. Keeping intact the client identity, I am taking the liberty to shar it below.
It is very difficult to find someone who genuinely listens. Komal gave me such space to open up that things I myself didn’t know surfaced and I could understand something very significant about how I function and why I function that way and what can I do about it. Really Really Grateful to her.
While I am gloating in the positive feedback for the coaching session, I am aware that I am not the only one who deserves this. This feedback reflects a lot on the way the client has been present during the session. While my work is to be present for each person I coach, the overall experience and success of sessions can be impacted greatly by each person. I can say it with most confidence because I also sit opposite the coach and get coached. Yes, I am a coach and I get coached too! To keep exceling in my work; to keep working on my skills, I keep an active reflection mechanism and coaching is the best modality that works for me.
Having reflected on the experience of clients who have coached with me and my own experience of getting coached, I have come understand a few ways in which a client can best utilize the time spent with the coach. It is not just about the money that you pay for each session. More than that, it is about the time and energy you put into your own self and you should make the most of this time. Here are a few ways you can make the coaching work wonders for you.
- Find a Coach that is a right fit for you – Though coaching is a process, a journey whether it is taken to achieve a better professional life or personal life, what makes a difference is who is your guide in this journey and what rapport you have with this guide. Rapport is also something you build along the way. Therefore, it might not be something you will judge before you choose to work with a coach. So, how would you know if you should go ahead with a coach? Always have a detailed conversation with the coach before signing up. Focus on how you feel in the coach’s presence. Do you feel heard, understood, accepted, challenged, respected. Or do you feel judged, hesitant. Does the conversation with coach lead you to clarity or confusion? Do you get the confidence that this coach will be able to help you? Is the coach open to address your concerns, doubts, questions? And is the coach doing so with patience and understanding? Try and see how you feel and it will tell you whether you are the right fit or not.
- Create your safety – Starting the journey of change can be a difficult, exhausting, challenging and triggering process. Therefore, to support your own transformation, you need to create physical and psychological safety for yourself. It is also the coach’s responsibility to discuss with you what is required for you to feel safe and encouraged to stay focused on your goals and actions. Be very candid with how you receive and give feedback; how much can you be challenged; what language and expressions are safe for you. This may also be an opportunity for you to address important facets of your behavior that may support or sabotage your effort. Share with your family or co-workers or friends (who you think suitable) about the journey you are taking and the changes you might anticipate so you have their support.
- Set your Intentions for every session – Coaching is not a place where the coach would suggest you what you should do. It is a modality that begins with you and ends with you. You are the in-charge of your journey. So, you bring the agenda for each coaching conversation. And I am not saying that you set the goal for each session because at times you may not be that clear in your mind about what outcome you are wanting to achieve and the coach would help you define, clarify and reflect through it. However, you would always have a feel for where do you want to reach. So, always set an intention for a desired outcome state of being before each session.
- Stay Open in mind and heart – role of the coach in conversation is of a mirror or a sounding board. The mirror shows you the truth but you will see when you are open to see. Take time to reflect on every response, query, challenge and thought that comes your way. It might be contrary to your tendencies, patterns, and ways. It ay feel uncomfortable. Just sit with it for some time and notice your thoughts, notice your feelings and sensations. Share these with your coach and you may surprise yourself as in all likelihood, you will find something new about you.
- Have an accountability partner – Just like you share about your journey to create safety, you need people around you who are your accountability partners. People with whom you share your action plans with the purpose that they can hold you accountable. Your coach can also be this accountability partner if you wish or you can choose family member or friends. Idea is for you to take actions that you commit for, otherwise the coaching will make you aware but the real change might not take place.
- Journal – journaling may seem simple or mundane, but it is one of the most powerful tool for self expression and reflection. Journal can be used in many ways- as a thought log; as a tool to clear the thinking by cathartic writing; as a creative tool to inspire thinking and reflection; as a record to monitor the progress during the coaching journey. You may like to discuss and enquire with your coach on the most effective way of journaling for you.
With all this you are set up for an incredible journey with self. So, enjoy!