Coaching Report

2018 April Coaching Report

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2018 April Coaching Report
Coaching Report April 2018 - Courage
  • What is the most courageous thing you’ve done in coaching?
  • Was it speaking a truth to someone in power?
  • Was it  caring enough to confront someone in a way he/she needed?
  • Was it showing up authentically to present and create an environment that was an ideal balance of compassion and confrontation to help your client grow?
  • Are you aware of what can encourage your clients or yourself?
  • What kinds of questions, reflections or comments can we pull together at moments like these?
One of the things I love about coaching is how it offers clients so many different pathways to access their courage, and therefore, to make more choices available to them.
The field of psychology has a long history of treating anxiety and reducing stress. In coaching, we can focus on those issues, but more excitingly, we can also focus our work on helping our clients access the courage  they can’t connect with on their own.
I remember understanding this differentiation clearly in one of my very first coaching classes at Mentor Coach in 2003. My teacher was Bonnie Hill and she described the following vignette: 
You are working with a client who is deeply anxious about a meeting they have to run where the participants are highly important to the organization. We were to come up with questions for the client. We did the usual, what could you do to this or that.  After a bit, we petered out, the questions were all fine, but without realizing it, we were all hooked by the obvious solution to the obvious problem: the need to decrease anxiety. 
Bonnie posed a question that was very different, and with a tone of voice that was warm and challenging. She asked, “When you see yourself in front of the room, leading this meeting, who do you want to be?”
Think about that question for a moment. I’ve thought about it for over fifteen years now.
Who do you want to be?
This way of thinking is an entirely different pathway to development. It elicits an entirely different way of thinking and pulls on a different aspect of our identities. It also activates different neural networks in our brains. 
Coaching can help clients access their purpose, values and intentions in order to help counter the clashing assumptions that can block them. If we can be fueled by purpose, and led by our values, whether or not we feel confident (a subset of courage) isn’t what will make us successful. Confidence in ourselves can be replaced by confidence in what we are meant to be doing and to our process of coaching. Who we want to be is a conduit for what the people in the room need to hear. The more we are in the spotlight, the less it is about ourselves. It’s about the people we are there to serve. 
We will explore these concepts in different ways this month at the Institute. On April 19th, Eric Kaufmann (no relation!) will present his webinar: Showing Up: Courage, Presence and Power in Coaching Relationships. If you can’t make it – we will have it recorded and made available on our website. Eric has previously presented at our 2017 Annual Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare Conference. You can watch his conference talk: Beyond Beliefs: Going Further with Mindfulness, Courage and Compassion on our website, as well. 
Our featured research article explores what unlocks courage and reduces anxiety in coaching. It’s a great article written with academic sophistication and real pragmatism. Kudos to the author, Joanna Jarosz.

An integrative literature review on the impact of life coaching on courage, fear and anxiety artfully walks us through a number of theoretical perspectives and research studies. Joanna explores: 

  1. How are courage, fear and anxiety characterized in the theoretical and empirical literature on life coaching?
  2. What is the role of life coaching in enhancing courage, and helping with fear and anxiety?
  3. What is the mechanism for explaining potential improvement (or lack thereof)? 
  4. What results have been documented or suggested in the literature? 
A key aspect in Joanna's research is the coaching relationship. 
Who do you want to be in your coaching sessions? How can you create an environment that allows your clients to expand the range of what is possible for them?
Thanks for being with us,

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