My role as a coach has many aspects. First, I challenge my clients to pursue fulfilment, regardless of circumstance and in spite of those voices (some of them internal) that may stand in their way by offering them bad advice or contrary agendas. I then support my clients while they move beyond those obstacles, into action. Together we generate clients' perspectives and choices that differ from those in the past, and develop a strategy. The client then commits to action. Finally, I help my clients experience difficult emotions that may arise from this process, with the goal of enabling clients to manage and include a range of emotions greater than they experienced in the past.
There is a very special "listening" in the coaching conversation that lies beyond listening to someone speak. I am conscious of working with a client's best self,that is, the person he or she aspires to beThis self does not emerge only through verbal communication. During coaching, I am not only attentive to everything that is said. I also notice how things are said, and intimate things that the client might leave unsaid.
An important aspect of the Co-Active Coaching conversation is creating a space between the client and the coach that allows for authenticity and truthfulness. The courage to speak the truth is an essential part of the coaching conversation, all for the sake of the client. In order to help clients move in the direction of their dreams, a coach might challenge them. For example, as a coach I hold my clients accountable to their promises and to the process of coaching in general. In this way, we can work together to keep them moving on their paths of self-realization.
One of the things I love about the client/coach relationship and conversation is that it empowers the client. I never assume that I know what is right for the client. After all, everyone is different: who am I to know what is right for others? Coaching involves an "eye level" conversation, and is not about advice giving. Rather than asking a client to depend on me for answers, I help them develop the self-awareness, curiosity, and understanding of the variety of choices, leading them to find their own answers. By encouraging clients to find the process that suits them, I ensure that they will always have the tools to make choices that suit their self-designed goals and vision of themselves.
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