Coaching is the art of partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. I’m currently training as a life coach and 10 days ago, we completed the Trauma-informed Coaching Basics course with Moving the Human Spirit!
After one of the most transformative one and a half months of scribbling down powerful and curious questions, coaching each other again and again (till we started running out of topics), diving into the TICC methodology and the core competencies of the International Coaching Federation, filling out reflection forms — chasing learning opportunities, starting bigger conversations for change in Zoom chats across continents. And this was just the start of the journey.
The creative process of coaching — a lesson in uncertainty, mirrors and space for curious questions
Since coaching isn’t just a technique, but a creative process and a way of being, there are a few powerful things that I learned. Not even as a coach, but as a human in relationship with the world (team leaders, this is also for you) – universal:
- The power in dancing in the moment, recognizing the quality of improvisation across disciplines and reconnecting to the moments in which we experienced it. Whether we were running an emergency humanitarian project, painting colours, facilitating a key session, or having a (coaching) conversation. It’s reassuring to have a solid toolkit to fall back on – in coaching it’s fuelled by questions – while knowing that the work happens in the present moment. Filtering, mirroring, caring. Holding the big view/vision and the powerful words of the person, so they don’t get lost in the action.
- The power in stating what we see, speaking out what appears to be true. As a responsibility and commitment. Letting go of the need to be right. Our intuition at the service of supporting the coachee. The power in asking curious questions and trying differently if they don’t land. And the realization of how many questions we have inside, if we give them space. In the end, the power of language and presence put together.
- The power in asking curious questions and trying differently if they don’t land. And the realization of how many questions we have inside, if we give them space. In the end, the power of language and presence put together.
- The power in backtracking instead of paraphrasing, talking the language of the person in front and mirroring the essence of what one heard them express. Letting them know they just acknowledged something in themselves.
- The power in giving ourselves space, making that the priority before doing any of the work. Of letting go of any idea of needing to “perform”. Of holding myself fully capable just as I do with the client / person in front of me. Pushing through the insecurities. Do you trust yourself fully?
Letting go is courageous by definition.
➜ Of certainties, preconceived ideas of what could help, flows, outcomes, anything really. It takes courage to dance in the moment and not know where it’s all going. Embracing the uncertainty of the shared space – between continents, cultures, communication styles.
Now for three months straight, we’ll dive into the Trauma-Informed Coaching Certificate, building an understanding of trauma. With topics spanning brain activity and trauma, neurotransmitters, tools for grounding, post-traumatic growth, shame, restorative coaching and everything in between to become trauma-informed coaches.
“What if you fall? But what if you fly?” — by one of my training colleagues. I’m inspired by all of you! And happy to exchange about coaching with everyone interested.
PS: do you want to understand trauma-informed coaching better? Reread this previous post.
Hi! Besides being an aspiring coach, I’m a comms professional and creative for social impact. On my CV, I have life experience in leadership. Off it, I know about some hard edges of life. Through it all, I write to connect the dots and help bring out the best in people.