One of the things I love about training and mentoring coaches in having the transformative conversation with others is that I’m continually pushed to explain exactly what it is that we do. During a mentoring intensive with one of my coaching apprentices this week, we came up with a simple way of talking about the process that I thought might be fun to share and see what it sparks inside you.
There are essentially two things to understand going into a transformative coaching conversation – what we’re up to, and what we’re up against. This week, I’ll share some thoughts on what we’re up to when we sit down with someone to begin a coaching conversation…
Part one: What we’re up to
Many years ago, I came across an ‘affirmation card’ in the Mystic Trader bookshop in London, and something about it has stuck with me over the years. It was a plain grey card, and written in simple type across the middle was this quote:
While the sentiment sounded arrogant and irreligious, I was struck with a deep feeling when I read it, and I stuck the card in my wallet and carried it around until it was old and worn.
Over the subsequent twenty or so years, I have seen time and again the truth behind the statement. There is a deeper part of all of us that seems to exist outside of any concerns we may have about our past, present, or future circumstances. Most people seem to experience this part of themselves as a quiet feeling – a sense that all is well and of being deeply connected to the world and the people around them.
In the moments when we are in touch with this deeper self, we have access to an inner wisdom that guides us moment by moment. Life seem simpler and more intuitive then when we’re living out of the suitcase of old ideas and theories inside our heads. Challenges don’t seem so challenging; problems dis-solve before we can solve them; inspired ideas and insights are our constant companions. From this place inside of ourselves, we can and do take on the world, all the while realizing that there’s nowhere we need to go and nothing we need to accomplish to be happy, loved, and whole.
In my conversation with my apprentice, it became apparent that what we are up to as transformative coaches is a continual redirection of our client’s attention towards that “super self” – the space inside of us where ‘when you are in that place in you and I am inside that place in me, there is only one of us.’
In other words, the solution to whatever problem you seem to be facing in your life is to ‘remember that you’re God’ – that there is a part of you which is always connected to the divine unfolding of life – and to re-view your life from that space inside you.
We even came up with this simple (albeit somewhat tongue in cheek) three step coaching model for people who really want to have a map to follow:
1. Listen deeply to really hear what your client is dealing with in their life
2. Remind them that they’re God
3. Get out of the way and be amazed at the way things unfold from there
Of course, step 2 can sometimes take a bit of time, especially when you take into account all the things you’re up against, which will be the subject of next week’s tip. But for now, I invite you to reflect on moments in your life where things unfolded effortlessly and you felt unstoppable, almost as if the power was coming through you instead of your having to “make things happen” on your own.
This week, as best you can, hang out in that part of yourself more often – your innate mental health, wisdom, and well-being. See if you can get a feel for what it’s like to live from that space and what it is that takes you out of it. And in those moments where you find yourself ‘at home’ in a beautiful feeling, enjoy the moment, stay out of the way, and prepare to be amazed at what happens next!
With all my love,