Co-founders of Empower World
Marie: Hello everyone. Here we are again. I'm really looking forward to speaking with Jeanine tonight. We're in Doha together, my name is Marie Quigley and of course you know my business partner Jeanine Bailey, she's been doing lots of lovely podcasts on her own recently with some fabulous guests. And tonight we're together.
Jeanine: Yeah. It's great to be in Doha with you Marie. We've been doing some fabulous work the last couple of weeks. We've got some more fantastic weeks to look forward to.
Marie: We have and one of the things we did recently was we put a post on our Facebook page, our coaching page, to see what coaches want us to talk about, what you want to hear about. And so we got some great topics to discuss and we'll move our way through them, and coaches if you're listening and want to add a few suggestions to the Facebook page, go on. Or just send us an email because we'd love to talk about what you really want to hear. But the one we’ve chosen tonight, we had a great post that said “we'd love to hear you do a podcast about what coaches do that can be considered leading?”. Leading a client.
Jeanine: Yeah. And that was based on some feedback that this coach got. So it's a great topic to explore tonight. And we recognize that, particularly new coaches, potentially are looking for some sort of support to get through a coaching session. However potentially for new coaches, as it's all new and that they're trying to find a way forward with the coaching conversation, that the competencies aren't in their bones yet. And so it might be a really easy go to tool to bring that to the client and potentially when we use these tools that we've been learning, it can be leading.
Marie: So let's define what leading is. Leading to me is that the coach is taking charge of where the client is going to go. Instead of the client being where they are and the coach then saying “this could be a useful tool to bring in, Client, what do you think about this?”.
Marie: And there's a different energy when the coach is taking over and fully in charge of where the session is going, has an agenda for the client which is saying “OK, I am going to take the client here. The client is going to reach here by the end of the session”.
Jeanine: And I think that's a perception that I know in our coach training we say it's not, and still people can get a perception that they have to get through a process. And as you say, it's not taking charge of the session. It's allowing the client to be in charge, it's allowing the client choice. And as you said earlier Marie, the coach may recognize a tool that could be really useful based on what the coachee’s bringing up and it's giving the client choice to explore it that way or potentially explore it another way.
Marie: And I'm thinking, we work with a client. The client comes in. The client tells you what they want to work on. And often that first goal is a superficial goal. Often.
Jeanine: Might be real.
Marie: Yeah. We want to understand what's underneath the desire to have this goal.
Marie: And so the client may state what they want in a way that is positive and moving towards what they want. So it might be, “I want to have a successful career”. So that's framed in a way that you can support a client to look at what success does mean for them. And of course the question will be, “So is this where you would want to go to look at what's possible?”. On the other hand, the client who may want success may say “I'm stuck. I feel really stuck and I am in pain with this I don't know where to go”. If the client if the coach then says “you know what, we're going to go to success here” or “we're going to go into a place of fulfillment”. That is considered leading because the coach is choosing for the client that they must go into that place of fulfillment and ignoring that the client is stuck, potentially in pain, and maybe they need to look at that first.
Jeanine: Yeah it's meeting the client where they are.
Jeanine: So we know that the ICF does want to us as coaches to support our coachees to understand what would be different when the goal is achieved? What would be success? And we also know that the ICF wants our client to be a choice. So if the clients not ready, As you said Marie, to go to fulfillment to go to success… then we be with them where they are.
Jeanine: And we may hear our client talk about the past. and again the ICF doesn't encourage us to take the client into the past, that's against the competencies. However, there is an understanding that if the client wants to go to past, if that's where they believe the healing can be done, we ask permission: “would it serve you to look at that?”. And of course we don't stay there for long. We support the client to learn from what they've experienced in the past and take that forward into their goal moving forward out into the future.
Marie: And that's an important distinction Jeanine. That we use the defining moment potentially in the past to understand what is happening in the present rather than lingering in the past, which other professions are qualified and certified to look at trauma and pain in the past experience. So that's a lovely definition that you shared about it being a moment in the past and then bring it into the present.
Jeanine: Yeah it's got to be relevant to what the client's bringing in. And for listeners who potentially don't know what "Defining Moments" is, it's looking at those moments that have defined a belief or a way of being, so that the person that we're working with can understand, “actually that's not true anymore. It might have been true then, but it's not true now and actually this is what I want to be going forward, this is what I want to do, this is what I want to commit to”.
Marie: And so some of the things that we hear when we're mentoring that shows us that the coach is leading are things like “here's where we'll go now”, “this is what we'll do next”, “I'd like you to go here”, “Okay, I want you to look at success”. It's those “I” words that puts the coach in the kind of… if you got a seesaw, imagine a seesaw… that the coach is raised higher than the client. Whereas if we refrain that into “Where would you like to go now?” You are putting it into the client to make the choice.
Jeanine: And that's a beautiful question to ask when we absolutely trust our client believe that they're naturally creative, resourceful and whole and they will come back with where they want to go.
Marie: Yeah. What are some of the things that you hear that will highlight that this coaches is leading?
Jeanine: We sometimes hear the coaches that we mentor, we hear them going into visualizations. And so again, they're taking charge of the situation. So those are the sorts of times that we want to support the coach to recognize actually that could be leading. Visualizations can work really well. I mean I do remember a client that was just so confused and didn't know what they wanted. They didn't know where they were going. So I asked “look this is what my intuition says. Perhaps doing visualization might help you focus. Do you believe that could work for you?”. And that coachee said “yes”. So we did. And it really supported him. He really recognized, and he was like “thank you this is where I wanted to go”. So again, we can use these different tools and it's listening to our intuition but it's asking permission.
Jeanine: First and foremost you're my client.
Marie: That's the distinction. You did not choose to do that without the client's permission. Yeah that's a beautiful explanation of how it can be leading.
Jeanine: Yeah. So there was there was something else that we heard from the coach that asked that question or asked us to discuss this topic. And it was around getting feedback about stretching her client and that she was told that that was leading.
Marie: So clarify that Jeanine what did that look like in a coaching session?
Jeanine: So towards the end of the session the coachee had said to the coach “this is what I'm going to commit to”. And the coach asked “what else could you do easily, effortlessly, outside of your comfort zone that will support you with your goal?”. And I believe she asked it again: “and what else”. So the feedback was that this coach was leading by actually stretching the client to commit to further stretches. And of course the coach is not holding a gun to this coachee's head to do more. She's simply asking the question to stretch the client to look at “what else have perhaps she hasn't she noticed that could support her to move into her goal and create transformation the transformation they want?”.
Marie: Yeah. And for me that certainly is not leading. That's challenging.
Jeanine: Yes exactly.
Marie: And that's our role as a coach is to challenge the client. Are you really thinking outside of the box? Is this going to make a difference in your life? We are checking in. And if we really believe that the client is naturally creative, resourceful and whole, asking that question means we trust that the client will say “I'm good actually this is exactly what I want to do”.
Jeanine: Exactly. And especially if we've made that clear in our ways of working with our client “you can say yes you can say no or I'll do something different”.
Marie: Right. So knowing that the client is always at choice, if we keep that in mind, whatever question you have, Coach, that you think might be useful, whatever way you want to use it. Turn it into a question and offer it to the client. If they say no, you go with that no. If they say yes, you go that yes. You trust them.
Jeanine: Absolutely. And I'd say the same for any tools that come up, any processes that come up. The same thing. You offer it to them versus taking your client down into a sausage factory. It is it is again offering it and giving the client the choice.
Marie: Yes. And notice the language you use. If you're saying “tell me”, if you're saying “I want you to”, those type of things are indicators to you that you're leading. So record your sessions, listen into your sessions. You get so much value being your own mentor, coach, listening in. It's amazing what you hear yourself doing that you can think “Wow that's amazing that I did that I'm going to redo or next time I have the client I'm going to pay attention to that”. So it's a great way to learn.
Jeanine: Beautiful. So Marie I believe we're probably getting close to the end of our session.
Marie: Yes we are.
Jeanine: Anything else that you'd like to add before we wrap up?
Marie: I'd say trust yourself. Practice turning everything into a question rather than a command.
Jeanine: Yes. And again I think that's great advice for our listeners and I think it's a really good distinction between coaching and potentially some of the NLP processes that are much more commanding. Now I'd say that's not everything but I know certainly when we did our practitioner there was a lot of the things that we learned it was commanding our client to do. It's good to be aware. And again you can use those NLP processes but look at how you can turn it into a question.
Marie: Fantastic. Thanks for listening everybody we hope you find it useful. If you did please like please share. We'd love to get this podcast out to as many coaches as we can. Thank you for your time.
Jeanine: Thank you.