Open – Curious – Flexible – Client-Centred
Diving into this session, in the midst of Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Malaysia, had me rethinking my whole approach towards my development as a Catalyst Coach. What does it mean to be a coach?
In my years of working, and the last 13 years in Human Resources, I believe that I’ve met my fair share of coaches, from all walks of life, realms and talents. Some getting acquainted quite easily, some had a distinguished air about them, whilst some were more down-to-earth. And as I reflect back, it’s very interesting to see how organizations place their own filters to review, measure and evaluate coaches, through their credentials, clients, and yes, of course their fees.
What makes a coach, a coach?
- Experience, knowledge, persona?
- Communication skills, ability to question, raise radical topics?
- Getting results, putting action plans in place, driving solutions?
Now, the word embodies hit me like a tonne of bricks. The meaning itself demands ‘to include or contain as a constituent part’ hence, giving it an archaic reasoning to that it is almost at a military-like inclusion for strategy.
So? As a coach, I feel that there is even a deeper sense of accountability and responsibility for discharging my services, to my clients. It’s not about what hat you are wearing, it’s not about which persona that you carry today, it’s not about switching on/off as needed. It is truly about living that life that you have chosen as a coach.
Now, that makes me reflect on the context of serving the client as a coach. There are indeed 2 levels here – the coachee and sometimes, the stakeholders/the organization. With personal coaching situations, it seems quite direct and easier to manage. However, when it involved corporate coaching scenarios, then it can get slightly more complex.
Think about it, in corporate coaching situations, a coach will need to abide with the organizations schedules/routines, negotiate terms and conditions, and the outcome of the coachee’s success is subjective to the situation in the office.
How can a coach be a good and effective coach? This is where this new competency of embodies a coaching mindset will help to steer the ship steady.
The direct definition from ICF for this new competency is – Develops and maintains a mindset that is open, curious, flexible and client-centered. It calls for coaches to work on their mental positioning of being neutral, non-judgmental, inquisitive, adaptable and most importantly – focused on the client.
A unique way to cluster the application of the sub-competencies into the coaching cycle – before, during and after.
- Before the coaching session – preparation is key – mentally, emotionally, physically – clients are responsible for their own choices
- During the coaching session – being mindful – aware of context & culture – regulating emotions
- After the session – reflection – developmental – continuous learning – seeking help
For reference – the sub-competencies are as below:
- Acknowledges that clients are responsible for their own choices
- Engages in ongoing learning and development as a coach
- Develops an ongoing reflective practice to enhance one’s coaching
- Remains aware of and open to the influence of context and culture on self and others
- Uses awareness of self and one’s intuition to benefit clients
- Develops and maintains the ability to regulate one’s emotions
- Mentally and emotionally prepares for sessions
- Seeks help from outside sources when necessary
What are my key take-aways in this journey:
- There must be a conscious shift of my coaching mindset, from head to embody it to heart.
- To move from just client servicing to client-centred servitude, always the who over the what.
- I cannot serve from an empty vessel. The importance of self-care, continuous learning, mindful emotions, and humility to seek help when needed, becomes pivotal to ensure I am grounded.
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