Understanding how to ‘own’ your role and step into your power as a coach can be a game changer in terms of building your confidence and your coaching practice. Many coaches face the challenge of differentiating between the role of a friend who is kind and supportive and that of a coach who challenges and stretches - particularly at the start of their careers.
When reflecting upon clients who may share they are not moving towards their goals, it’s important to recognize the impact you as the coach may have on hindering or empowering them to move into action. And as a coach, stay curious about the way in which you are approaching the client’s dilemma; and whether you are trying to solve the problem for the client. Are you being too ‘nice’ and therefore unable to provide stretching feedback or challenge them when this halt in development occurs?
A great coaching conversation empowers the client to make the decisions for themselves and progress in a way they are in control of. If you come out of your sessions drained of energy and worried about your client, this is a signal you might be caring too much about the outcome than what your client is.
The coach is not there to do the work for the client. It is not our role to be the ‘rescuer’. If you go to the gym, you do not expect to get fit by asking your trainer to do the work for you. It’s the same for coaching success. It's the client who must determine what they want and then put in the work of understanding themselves deeply so they can decide new action – which feels right or makes sense to them - to create the experiences they desire.
It’s essential to carve out time for reflection of your work as a professional on your own and by partnering with a coach mentor or a trained and credentialed coach supervisor, for example. The value of partnering in reflection with a trained professional is one of the best investments you can make in your own development to start to pay attention to who you are being as a coach.
The professional space of mentoring and coaching super-vision enables coaches to either seek advice (mentoring) or confidentially bring client cases to reflect upon and explore using various psychological models and discover the different aspects at play in the coach and client relationship (super-vision).
Reflecting on your practices, philosophies and professional behaviours through many different perspective can uncover your ‘blind spots’ and support you to get clear about when you are holding yourself, and potentially your client back from creating success. It can also enable you to identify when you are your most powerful and how you can bring more of this confidence into your work, which can have a positive effect on your client.
Below are a few questions to ask yourself to do your own self-reflection:
As we choose self-reflection and begin to uncover our own patterns of thinking, being and doing, we can learn and grow and move ever closer to our own personal mastery by deciding to take new actions and ways of being with our clients.
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