This week marks International Coaching Week, a global celebration of the coaching profession. Last night in Toronto, I attended an event that celebrated the impact of coaching at Up With Women, a charity that helps recently homeless women to rebuild their careers faster. The evening featured stories of tremendous transformation.
Transformation is what coaching is really all about. In fact, one of the cornerstones of the Co-Active Model is Evoke Transformation.
When clients begin coaching I start with an exploration of what is most important to them (their core values) and defining what they want to create (their goals). Coaching sessions focus on something specific and conclude with a commitment to action. And while we are having this specific conversation, I am holding a bigger vision about who the client is and who they are becoming.
Let’s imagine a client named Julie comes to coaching after being promoted to a manager role for the first time. She decides that she wants to focus on empowering her team to do their best work.
During one of her coaching sessions, Julie talks about having to deliver feedback to a direct report. This is something Julie feels uncomfortable doing and she has been avoiding the conversation.
At one level the coaching will help Julie get clarity on the message she wants to deliver. As well it will allow her to explore how she wants to act during this conversation with her direct report.
At a deeper level, the coaching will allow Julie to connect to her core values and find a way to deliver this message that is authentic to her. It will allow her to find a motivation and purpose for having this conversation that is compelling and calls her forth.
Julie returns to the next session having had this feedback conversation. Now is an opportunity to debrief and deepen the learning. Julie has discovered new strengths and created an experience that she can apply to other areas of her work and life.
I think of this as an “up until now” moment. Julie may have believed that she was a person who avoided feedback conversations. Now she can say “up until now” I was that person. And now I am a person who can authentically give feedback in a way that honours my connection to others.
What “up until now” moment have you had recently? Think about a recent action you took that was challenging and explore how you can now apply the learning to other areas of your life and work.
Janice Cunning is a Certified Coach who is passionate about partnering with fundraisers to help them create an inspired vision that transforms lives.