Cherry on The Cake!

As we near the end of 2020, and the Catalyst Coach Certification program, I am humbly reminded of that fateful call with Coach Mel that transformed my life (and those around me) back in April 2020. I could follow the traditions, OR I could scribe my own journey, because I was ready to. I had the opportunity to complete a similar program waaaaaayyyyy back in 2012, however, somehow it didn’t fit into my life then, and I wasn’t ready too. I was more like a Ms. Know-It-All then with flashy workbags, popular job, travel to Paris, Shanghai and working for the biggest brands in the world, and in the past few years I would like to believe, that not just my mind, but my heart and being is also open to more learning once I started focusing on my calling, moving away from all the frivolous things stifling my life. It was good while it lasted, and perhaps, it is THE JOURNEY in the last few years, that has led me here today, connecting me with my values, my inner-self, my model of the world.

The most precious things in life are not those you get for money…

~Albert Einstein~

Through the practicum, and the LIVE coaching sessions, I realized and I expected that I will face the challenges of practicing the various techniques, finding the right coaching mindset, built the ability to incorporate the 11 ICF Core Competency, and mostly to try implement the various coaching models, especially GROW. As part of human nature, unless we try, we will not improve, and each coaching session brings up different and various points of learnings. Frankly, I’m also nervous before and after every coaching session. Hoping I covered every single item possible, what questions could I have asked, what else did I miss…

These past few months of working with various clients and coachees AND the biggest feedback, brought forth this important, pivotal, tipping point of the entire coaching mission, THE COACHEE, him/herself!

I had various coachees, and yet the feedback was similar. I WAS NOT COACHEE FOCUSED! Yeah, yeah, I had the right coaching mindset, I asked good questions, I listened well, I could do better with GROW, I need to set the focus / goal right at the beginning… yada…yada…yada… BUT THE MOST CRITICAL OF ALL, HOW CAN I BE MORE COACHEE FOCUSED! That was a real blind-spot for me.

The COACHEE is the main course, the COACHEE is the superstar, the COACHEE is the Eiffel Tower for your Paris Trip! Everything else is just the entre, sidekicks, and the sideline touristy spots.

#1: Is my coachee ready for coaching?

Typically, when corporates assign coaching as a development plan, it can be a case of what the organization wants to do, versus what the coachee is agreeable to. Readiness, expectations, motivations, level of self-awareness all will play a crucial role in ensuring that the coachee is gamed for this type of development intervention. So, you may have a coachee that has been briefed, and open to the process, but not sure of the level of engagement needed, the commitment and the openness that is required for change.

One of my first few sessions turn to a complaint session, rather than a coaching session. My coachee was going on and on about her problem, and though I tried to ask the different questions, to bring up various points of view, she was not open to listening at all. She was already steadfast in her views, and I heard myself getting tired at the end of it all.

I’ve summed up some coachee characteristics below from the perspectives of my experience, that we as coaches can check to identify the right coachee. I must remember, that though coaching is a growing trend, everyone may not be ready for it.

Highly based on Allen, Manning et.al. Source: https://www.ccl.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/CoachsViewCharacteristics.pdf and own experience.

#2: What matters to my coachee?

Whose agenda is the coaching session? Is it just a HR agenda? Is it my agenda to push the coachee towards their potential? Am I asking questions for my OWN clarity or is it for the coachee’s clarity?

Wow, this feedback blew me away. Here I am preening my feathers thinking that I had awesome powerful questions in my magical bag, this had me doing a 180, on what was my focus. Was I busy peddling for the next question to ask, or am I truly in the zone with my coachee, and checking-in on what matters.

What matters to the coachee is THE COACHEE themselves! What are their thoughts now? How do they feel? What actions can this bring about? Is the coachee feeling empowered? Is the coachee feeling challenged on their identity? Am I getting to the deeper woes of the coachee versus just going through the technical checklist?

Questions like “how will your friend feel when….? or “what will happen when you do that?” or even “what are your thoughts when you take that next step?” may bring the coachee deeper within themselves, questioning their emotions, values, identity and model of the world.

#3: What is the impact to my coachee?

I often get into an action-oriented conversation with my coachee, great in many ways, however, not so great when you have not addressed the impact to the coachee. Well, the coachee is seeking a coach because of some gap, and until that is addressed at the right level, inspired action will not take place.

For example, an action-oriented conversation as below:

Coachee: I will be meeting the directors next week, and I will get more clarity. Hence I will be able to assess the next steps of Project A.

Nothing wrong there. But what is the impact to the coachee?

An inspired action conversations maybe as below:

Coachee: I will be meeting the directors next week, and with the clarity, I will check with them how can I make Project A a success, as I have put in some time and effort to the project too. I think, I should also ask them, how do they feel having me onboard?

Here we can see that the coachee is thinking deeper, and there is some openness to receiving high level feedback, which could portray the coachee in a different light to his stakeholder hence, potentially a different outcome to that meeting and his career.

My key take-aways:

  1. Everything happens for a reason. Just as you are on a journey, your COACHEE is also on their own journey. What learnings did you find in them too?
  2. Everyday is an opportunity to be better than the moment of yesterday. What can we inspire with our coachee?

The purpose of life is to recreate yourself anew in the next golden moment of now, in the grandest version of the greatest vision ever held about who you are…

~Neale donald walsch~

3. Every person is placed in your life for a reason. You can seek to learn from them, or you can be a SOURCE to them. As part of the CCC community, there is so much to learn from everyone. As part of the Catalyst Coaches, there is so much we can do for everyone out there. One willing coachee at a time!

Finally, the cherry on the cake…

This has been ONE crazy year, THIS has been ONE AMAZING program, THIS has been ONE H*CK of A COMMUNITY!

Published by Shereen Kaur

Coach, Consultant, Wellness Advocate, Artist, Mom

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