Last week we broadcast an invitation to blog on "Positive Practices in Coaching & Mentoring" with a view to sharing more widely the positive coaching & mentoring practices used or experienced by others.
Our first guest post is brought to you by Clare Manning, a Derbyshire coach and mediator. You can find her on Twitter here and read her blog here. Clare loves working with clients who want to reconnect with who they really are when they are most happy, calm and confident. She also firmly believes in the power of positive thinking... Enjoy!
Coach and Coachee: A Dance of Magnificence
Since David's invitation to blog, I've been thinking about positive coaching practice and reflecting on key things that happen in a session. It dawned on me that when I coach I think I'm trying to imbue my clients with a positive outlook and to get them to see themselves in the best light possible... Some of this is done on a subconscious level and some is verbalised and consciously practised by the coachee.
So, when I trained, I naturally took on board the concept that as a coach we must believe that our coachees have the answers to their own issues and are capable of reaching their goals. I embraced the NLP presupposition that 'people have all the resources they need to bring about change and success' . And this is all well and good but always felt a bit flat somehow, not really buzzing with positivity... And then I heard about an approach where you actively hold your clients magnificence in your mind while working with them and that made me sit up and take notice because this sounded wondrous and empowering at the same time. I've been practising this and have been warmed by the results. As a coach, it keeps you in a peak, positive mindset for the whole session and clients seem to read the subtle, yet powerful messages about belief and acceptance that flow through your body language and tone. This, in turn, shifts their mindset into believing that they are indeed capable of achieving anything they set their mind to. So for me, this is an exchange of positivity without words. It passes between coach and coachee at a subconscious level and is deeply powerful as a result.
Now, at a conscious level, a lot of my work focusses on building confidence with clients, working on their self concept, getting them to see and accept their own magnificence which they may have lost sight of over the years. And my sense is that, session by session, clients start to reveal little gems that they had forgotten about or overlooked. As a coach I feel myself catch these gems and hold them up for clients to observe, feel good about and to truly own. These can be achievements, skills, personality traits – anything which is unique and precious to them. By locking these into our self concept, our self belief and confidence grows.
And to pick up on 'uniqueness', I think there is something inherently positive in recognising who you really are, in those moments when you are completely happy in your own skin, content being you. For me, this is the big prize and as a coach, I work with clients to get them to reconnect with 'real you' because therein lies their strength, confidence and the ability to move forward with a positive outlook.... A client said to me recently that 'now I've tapped into the real me everything else seems effortless' and I thought that summed it up beautifully... Once we quietly accept our own magnificence, everything else seems to fall into place.
I could go on but I think I'll stop now and would love to hear your thoughts on how you bring positivity into a session and how you unlock it with your clients... What's your take on magnificence in a coaching relationship?