Coaches: Trust the process not the tools or techniques
As a coach I have no idea what I will say or do that will ensure that my client has the level of transformation that they are hoping for or that I am being paid to deliver.
Over three decades of learning I have picked up hundreds of tools and techniques. I have a full library of resources at my disposal, but I do not know which of these will generate an insight for my client. Coaching is not a linear process, whereby if you ask X then Y will follow, where Y = an insight. And it’s insight that brings about any transformation in a person.
What is an insight?
An insight is a thought or an idea that comes from within. It’s a realization or a revelation, like a lens has been changed, or the lights have been switched on, or the mist has dissipated from our eyes, when we see something in a whole new way and this seeing changes our life. It’s a new thought, one that you’ve never had before, or it’s a new perspective on an old thought that changes what you once believed to be true.
I cannot plant an insight into someone’s mind and believe you me I have tried. I have no control over the arrival of an insight or its content. Often, it’s not possible for the person to put into words what they have seen, yet they know that it has made a significant difference.
I’ve seen this for myself when the boot has been on the other foot. I remember a particular life changing insight.
“The plant turns at a right angle and continues to grow past the window.” Dicken, my coach and mentor said. He was telling me about a flower that had grown outside his house. I felt a rush in my head, like all the lights on the planet had been switched on. Something shifted in my heart, like a key had been turned and all the locks in the world had turned to open. “It’s the intelligence of life.” I said. I don’t know exactly what I saw, nor do I have words to describe it, yet even now six years later, that insight has brought more ease into my life than I ever could have imagined.
Dicken could not have predicted that his words would generate that insight or that level of transformation in me, yet I have seen that same effect, multiple times in my work.
When I get caught up thinking that I know what insight my client needs to see, I know I’m off the mark because that’s not within my level of capability.
If I don’t know what’s going to trigger an insight, then how can I call myself a coach. Isn’t a coach supposed to know what they’re doing? Well yes! But it’s not what and how you might think.
My job is to hold a quiet safe space, to be in a state of presence and from there, listen and talk to my client. Tools and techniques may or may not show up. In this space an individual or team can take the time to quieten their minds and open up to the possibility of seeing something new, that will help them to move through their life with more grace and ease. In that space they can access their inner wisdom in a way that often seems impossible during their normal day to day lives.
My trust lies in the power of insight
My trust lies more in the power of insight than it does in the limitations of what I think I know. This liberates me to be present in a way that is not possible when I believe that X + Y = Z. And I have seen the profound effects of that trust on the people that I work with.
If you’re a coach who wants to move beyond the realms of tools and techniques, please do contact me to find out more about how you can effect deeper transformation for your clients.