Did the earth move?

As a Leadership Coach of a number of years, I may be about to say something that upsets my fellow coaches, or worse, loses me future business as a coach! But, I’ll risk it for the sake of sharing what I believe needs to be said.  As coaches (and probably as clients too) we shouldn’t expect too much from the ‘coaching session’ itself.

What do I mean by this?  Well, I know there are coaches (and I have had this feeling too at times), who worry that, if the ‘earth doesn’t move’ for their clients during the coaching session, they must being doing something wrong.  We dream of our clients having ‘eureka’ moments, where the lights go on, and the path to their future vision becomes clearly illuminated.  Not only is this an unrealistic expectation (at least on each and every coaching engagement), it also ignores the fact that people are very different in the way that they process information and how they deal with issues of change.  I speak from personal experience in this matter.

There have been times, when I have been receiving coaching, that I have worried about how I have been showing up in the session. Sometimes I have felt less than engaged, or sensed that I had made the session unnecessarily challenging for the ‘poor coach’. I know (with my coach’s hat on) that I needn’t have worried about that. Coaches, are, after all, professionally trained and skilled in both supporting and challenging their clients, as appropriate, however they show up.

What I do know, from personal experience, is that my ‘eureka’ moments have tended to happen far away from the coaching session, and at moments when I am least expecting it. You see, I like models and frameworks. I enjoy concepts, paradigms and theories. My preferred method of processing information Continue reading