The success of our coaching relationship will depend more than anything else on the strength of the connection between us. That doesn’t mean we have to be friends, though most often my coaching relationships have that flavour. It means that you must feel safe with me, trusting that I will handle your material with care, commitment, curiosity, compassion, confidentiality, and competence. It means that you are confident that I understand what you are telling me, have the courage to challenge a perception while continually checking that the journey remains relevant and the outcomes are useful.
At the beginning of a session I will check whether you have a specific intention (sometimes you might, sometimes we might feel our way organically), and come back to it before we close. The dialogue is one of acceptance and curiosity – there’s no room for any agenda but your own, nor any judgement other than how well a thought or action meets your needs.
Sometimes the conversations are painful, travelling to subjects which like to lie dormant and sometimes they’re fun; most often a bit of both. Always my intention is that you learn about yourself, building understanding and strategies that will stand you in excellent stead long after our coaching relationship has ended.
The main task, as I see it, is to be as a mirror. The more clearly you are able to see yourself, your default responses, your values, ideas, emotions, coping mechanisms, the more able you will be to reflect on their place in your life right now. I use reflective listening, Nonviolent Communication and Compassionate Inquiry, plus everything else I’ve learned along the way, to help you find what you’ve come to me for.
As I say, a lot will depend whether you think you’re someone you can get on with. Why not book a 40 minute meeting, to make sure?