Co-founders of Empower World
Jeanine: Welcome listeners. Thank you for tuning in today with both Marie Quigley and myself Jeanine Bailey. Welcome to another episode of the leadership and coaching podcast. And again we are both here in Doha together in the same room.
Marie: We are yet again, another rarity but here we are.
Jeanine: Yes. So it's great to be here and I'm looking forward to doing this podcast with you Marie.
Marie: Yeah me too.
Jeanine: So we were having a discussion before we started this podcast about what are the potential challenges that are coming up for some of the coaches that we work with. And we are both working with coaches in a coaching, mentoring and supervision capacity. And what we've noticed is that some of the coaches are coming to us with their challenge of potentially finding that they're not stepping into their power as a coach. That they are befriending their coachees and therefore finding it difficult to step into that role of challenger and stretcher of the people that they're working with and being nice and pleasing. And maybe dancing around what might be coming up for the client. So we thought this would be a good topic to rumble with today.
Marie: Yeah. And let's see where we go with it. As you are sharing that Jeanine, what I'm noticing with some of my clients in supervision is that they come with a case that their client isn't moving forward; their client is stuck. And so, of course initially, the coach thinks the client's not moving. But as we both know, we have an impact on whether the client is moving or not depending on how we are being in the session. And when they have been able to look at themselves, observe themselves in a coaching session with the client that's stuck, they realize they as a coach are trying to solve, trying to work it out for the client. Or they're trying to be so nice they're not reflecting back or giving feedback or they’re not challenging the client with what their beliefs are. So that's the interesting thing. You think your client's stuck, but it's the impact that you're having on that stuckness with the client as a coach.
Jeanine: And again you're really highlighting the power of supervision that supports the coach to recognize ‘I'm holding myself back and potentially not supporting my client to move forward’.
Marie: Yeah so that's an interesting difference with mentoring and supervision. Supervision: the coach gets to look at themselves and their relationship with a client. Whereas of course in mentoring we're looking at the competencies of coaching, and the impact we're having, but more specifically and we look at that reflection of self in supervision.
Jeanine: And that's a beautiful distinction that you've described there. And again it's that partnership and supervision that allows the coach to notice what's happening and therefore, through reflection, really appreciates who they're being as a coach. And how they're potentially holding themselves back in their practice. So what I'm hearing is that potentially the coaches are beginning to understand who they have been? What are they choosing to be in those sessions? And as a consequence can make a different decision based on that.
Marie: That's right and it's recognizing that when we don't have time for this reflection, we might not be aware of who we are being in the coaching session. So- your client is stuck, or your client isn't moving forward, or your client isn't going where you want them to be. The coach often feels frustrated with a client. It’s like “oh my god I need to bring in another tool, or I need to find another way to solve this for the client”. So if you're noticing that as a coach, and you're doing too much of the work, you are potentially being the ‘rescuer’ for the client instead of the professional coach who's able to take a step back and look at it from different perspectives and support the client to look at their life from different perspectives.
Jeanine: And I think that's what you touched on Marie is a really great clue for coaches out there. If you notice that you are de-energized, if you feel drained after a coaching session versus being energized and inspired and feeling like “yeah I've done a really good job today”, then that's potentially a signal that you're doing work for your client.
Marie: Absolutely. So when you notice those signals of draining your energy. There's something potentially that needs to shift within your energy and your way of being, as a coach. And as I said earlier, coaches who are doing that often look for more tools… but actually you need less tools.
Marie: You need fewer tools.
Marie: The requirement to have an effective powerful conversation where we are not rescuing, is our coaching presence. You go back to that beautiful core competence. If we are able to be present fully in our body and trust that the clients are present for themselves in their space, then we can ask powerful questions, then we can listen at a deep level, then we can say “actually I believe you are naturally creative resourceful and whole, client, and I don't have to do any of the work”.
Jeanine: Yeah. Absolutely, and as you say Marie, as coaches we don't need all of these fancy tools. I know when I first started out coaching, I felt that I needed to learn all these, new things that would support me to be an even more powerful coach but as we've gone down this journey to become master certified coaches, we recognize it's the core competencies, and as you say, it's that presence. When we're in that state it flows. And also trusting your client: it's the key. If we don't trust them, if we don't believe in them… that energy is going to be transferred across to our clients and our client is potentially going to feel restrained and restricted as well. So the more we step into those beliefs and that presence and that trust, the more our internal energy is going to be communicated to our clients. And we get that feedback from our clients from the participants and our coach training that they feel our energy and they feel that trust that we share with them. And it makes them believe in themselves.
Marie: Yeah that's right. And what's coming to mind is a short little story and maybe this will support coaches who are trying to be their client’s friend or trying to be their clients mother or father or brother or sister or just the rescuer. So there's a gentleman and he comes home from work every night and all the way home he pulls the car and gets out of the car and he talks to the lamppost and the lamppost listens. The guy who's talking to the lamppost, he works it out. And every night he gets out of the car, for about seven days, and he's listening talking to the lampposts and all the lamppost does, is listen. And he gets back in the car and he's worked it all out himself. He hasn't needed any support from the lamppost. And the lamppost was essential, as a partner, to listen.
Jeanine: I love that story. That's a great story. Thank you for sharing. So as we wrap up this podcast Marie what is it that you would impart to the listeners out there in terms of question they should be asking themselves? What would you like to share?
Marie: Well something I reflect on when I'm looking at who I am being in my sessions, especially if they're not going so great, and I feel like “OK how this can be better?”. The first thing I do is I ask myself “who was I being in that session? What did I look like and sound like when I was with my client?” I try to take that third eye perspective and I watch myself kind of in the moment with a client. Am I sitting forward on the edge of my seat when my client is relaxed and sitting back? Or am I matching and mirroring the client? What's my breathing like? What's my expectation for the client? What's going on in my head that I'm thinking he or she must reach this goal? If I'm doing that, I know I'm getting caught in the client's story and potentially getting caught in that drama. So by observing myself; what's happening inside my head, what's happening inside my body and also my physical movement. I start to know what's the difference when I'm with a client, when I'm not doing all of that. How do I differ? So I try and understand my patterns of behavior, patterns of being and doing so that I get to know myself a little bit better as a coach. Does that make sense?
Jeanine: It makes great sense. And wow what a gift to the coaches that are listening. That is a beautiful gift Marie, to support our coaches out there to learn how they can really get to know themselves and what's working well and what they could do differently. Thank you, I believe that is a gift of gold.
Marie: Thank you. Appreciate it. And of course sometimes it's difficult to do yourself. So supervision is a great way to do that because we are constantly looking. It is formative, normative and restorative.
Marie: So it's a place where we can take care of ourselves and understand ourselves so we can be even more powerful in our profession.
Jeanine: Yeah that coaching supervision journey we've been on has been incredible. It really has. so it's definitely something for coaches to consider to support them to step into their even bigger coaching shoes so to speak. And really develop self and develop their abilities, so I can't recommend it highly enough.
Marie: Right, and on a final note what's coming to mind is: you can support your client to go to the depths that you're willing to go yourself. So if you are doing your own work, your client is going to get so much benefit out of it and be able to do their deeper work too.
Jeanine: Yes. Absolutely Marie, well done. And I really enjoyed this podcast so thank you for Making this time for us to get together. And listeners we trust that you've got so much value from this again and we'd also love to get your feedback if you'd like to send that through to us on social media or to [email protected] We would truly appreciate. Good night. Good morning. Good afternoon. Wherever you are.