One of the things I love the most about my work as a Transformational Coach is those times when ‘lightbulb’ moments occur within the coaching space. Experiencing a client making inner connections as insights about themselves emerge from their subconscious always feels rewarding. Insight is at the heart of the coaching journey. It is insight that leads to enhanced self awareness. Clients who are insightful and self-aware gain more confidence and have greater ability to grow and develop personally and professionally.
Insight is powerful. The purpose of coaching is to create a space in which it can more readily emerge, be identified and be translated into self awareness. I’ve been reflecting on what makes that space work, on which elements or ingredients need to be in place for insight to emerge.
Rapport – A key part of forming the coaching relationship is developing rapport, sharing back and forth, building mutual trust and using our reflective practice to develop a relational depth from which deeper insights can emerge.
Time – Another critical element is simply allowing space and time for insight to emerge. Protecting the time within the coaching session. Knowing that the sessions are a journey where the relationship and insights can develop over time. This includes transitioning into and out of the session (which can be a challenge in these times of back to back zooms!)
Presence – A fundamental part of the value of coaching for me is having someone who is present in the moment with you, knowing that you can feel heard and seen and that you have the time and space to articulate thoughts that perhaps are not yet fully formed. The coach withholds judgement, is aware of their own thoughts and feelings and is able to keep them in the background in order to hold the client in the centre of the process and to follow the client’s interest, not their own in where the conversation goes.
Curiosity – Another element of reflective practice, presence and active listening is curiosity. Genuinely wanting to go deeper into someone’s story helps the insights from the story emerge. And emerge on their terms. Being curious for and in service of the client.
Questioning – Curiosity goes hand in hand with active, powerful questioning, using this to explore preconceptions, biases or judgements that may be holding them back from their goals. On its own this challenging questioning can seem interrogative and be counter productive. As part of the blend of ingredients that make up the coaching space it can act more to reveal or frame the insights as salt or spice bring out the flavour of a meal. At times coaching is directive and draws more on the coaches own resources and at other times it is more non-directive and the coaches questions will pull rather than push the client’s awareness.
It’s the ability to combine these elements in exactly the right way that underpins the Coaching excellence our network of Coaches are able to deliver to individuals and teams in their everyday practice. The reward for excellence is witnessing more and more of those lightbulb moments, which don’t just spark insight but lead to genuinely transformational change in how individuals, think, feel, behave and act.
What are your experiences?
Those are some of my reflections and experiences on why the space we create as Transformational Coaches is so powerful in enhancing self awareness.
What do you think?
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