Invitation to coaching
Coaching means it's your turn.
I bet you can tell me what your nonprofit needs, and your community, but...
What do you need?
This is where coaching begins by asking...
What do you need personally, and
What do you need as a leader?
Take a moment to sit with these questions if you like, they can be welcome and unwelcome at the same time.
Sometimes I think of a coaching session as sacred time, because...
You don't have to put your game face on.
You get to tell the truth about what you need. You get to say it simply and directly. You don't have to dress it up or justify it.
You get to take a break from your inner critic.
You get to stop and think and think deeply.
You get to surprise yourself with the things you hear yourself say. And those surprises turn into your future.
The way I see it, my role as coach is to be...
Your advocate—someone who is on your side, always.
Your ally—someone who stands with you on the edge of the tough breakthroughs so you can stay the course when it would be so easy to give up.
Your champion—someone who keeps seeing what's possible for you, especially when you forget.
Your witness—someone who is backstage with you, someone who doesn't just see the results of your work, but sees who you had to be and what it took to get those results.
The point is not to fit yourself into any particular model of coaching. The point is for us to discover together how the essential spirit of coaching can serve you.
Coaching is not some big mystery. It's not a set of arcane techniques. It's pretty basic stuff. What makes it special is that it's gutsy.
Not tough-guy gutsy, but nurturing gutsy. It reaches deep. It lets you be vulnerable in the special way that you need to be if you want to find your deepest power.
If you asked me for my favorite one-sentence definition of coaching, I'd say...
Together the coach and client create a safe and courageous space.
I heard my teachers repeat this many times in my classes at the Coaches Training Institute. It's a basic principle of human development that...
The more safety and support you have at the core of your life, and thus the more vulnerable you can allow yourself to be, the more courageous you can be when you go out into the world.
And in a similar spirit, if you asked me about the soul of coaching, I'd say...
It's a loving thing to challenge yourself deeply,
And it's a challenging thing to love yourself deeply.
During my time at CTI, fellow students told me, "You have a very gentle way of doing very powerful coaching." I didn't pay attention until the fifth time I heard that same thing almost word for word.
This wasn't something I was trying for consciously. But when I thought about it, it made sense because more than anything I believe in the power of love.
I don't believe love can always work miracles. I don't believe it can't be defeated. But I do believe in living by love no matter what.
So when people ask me what kind of coach I am, I tell them I'm intense because I'm so very serious about my clients getting what they need. But I'm not a kick-butt coach. And that's because one thing I know for sure is that...
The most effective coaching is also the kindest.
If you resonate with what you've been reading here and want to consider coaching, I'd love to talk with you.
I'd be glad to give you up to an hour for free, so you can try out coaching and have the time to ask all your questions without rushing.
Some of my clients have told me they had no problem picking up the phone and calling me that first time.
Others have said it took them months to call...
"I was feeling shy."
"I was too busy"
"I was so far down, I couldn't imagine feeling better."
"I knew coaching was going to take me through big changes and I wasn't sure I was ready for that.'
I understand these hesitations. And that's I why I want to say again, if you have a deep desire to move forward in your leadership and your life, even if you've got lots of conflicting feelings going on, I really would love to hear from you.
© 2008 Rich Snowdon