The Flows of Coaching
For a lot of coaches, the best feeling is when their client has their aha moment, breakthrough or an epiphany that turns the tide in their life. It is easy to become addicted to it, and when that epiphany isn’t there, a coach’s self-doubt may creep in.
Being aware of the flows of coaching is a skill that will ensure effectiveness and longevity in your coaching career.
Many times, a client comes to a session with a heavy energy. Their mind is brimming with tangled thoughts or a situation they are occupied with. Going deeper through coaching, the disentanglement happens and towards the end of the session, a sense of peace or resolution arises. The session ends with that calm state—a feeling that something has been sorted out, a sense of joy or a sense of immediacy to get to action.
Other times, a session can feel much less legato (smooth and flowing) and more staccato (stunted). Clients with more self-sabotage or stumbling blocks can create a staccato session. I’ve found that clients with an “I don’t know” disposition or front, tend to create this kind of atmosphere. Often acknowledging the sabotage, stumbling block or “I don’t know” response opens another route for the session to flow.
In a coaching assignment, one or more sessions may occur where there isn’t a perceivable breakthrough. Don’t be discouraged. A lot of the times the breakthrough happens after a session, during journaling or even after the assignment is finished. A good session or assignment isn’t necessarily directly linked to the epiphanies experienced by the client. Oftentimes we don’t know or are not told when those occur.
I have noticed many clients start off a coaching assignment with an optimism, a high level of energy and a willingness to do the hard work. Perhaps they feel a renewed sense of hope and joy, trying coaching to help them with their challenges. As the sessions continue, there is often a drop in energy and positivity in the middle sessions, but it picks up again.
As the coach, we go through our own biorhythms. Some days we are able to be truly in the present moment and guide our clients powerfully. Other times, it takes more effort on our side, since we are human and have our own processes going on. It is key to notice this. Take enough time off to rest, get your own coach to help you and participate in coaching supervision to make sure you are not working against your client’s process.
These flows happen—just as there is a flow to everything in life. As trained observers and coaches, we need to perceive these flows while being careful to not mirror these flows in the session or in our clients.