There are two things I absolutely love to participate with regularly that reflect core values of mine: Bikram Yoga, and swimming in warm ocean water. These are among my favorite activities (along with watching high-performance athletes in action, and hanging out with my loving husband of nearly 14 years…)
A New Perspective Opens Up in Bikram Yoga
I’ve written in the past about what I’ve learned from regularly taking Bikram Yoga classes for over 7 years now. Well I recently had another new awareness in a class when I heard a Teacher say something that I swear I hadn’t heard before! I was able to improve a posture because I was open to hearing something new, even if it took me 7 years to hear it!
I’m always delighted when a blind spot is somehow illuminated because it opens my world to different experiences and new possibilities.
A Big Perspective Shift!
Now as for swimming in warm ocean waters, I lived and worked in Sydney for 16 years where the Pacific Ocean is warm in Summer and easy to swim in at around 23C /73F. My ideal water temperature to swim in is Caribbean temperature of 82F/27C. Delicious!
For the past 13 years I’ve lived in Southern California and the Pacific Ocean here is chilly (for me) in the middle of Summer, so cold that I’ve not done much swimming here and have often whinged about how cold the water is at 60F/15C right now, in July.
I was yet again whinging about coming home to cold ocean water after having spent 2 weeks cruising in June from Italy to Spain and swimming in warmer ocean waters. Then it came to me. Get a wetsuit!
So my husband and I bought wetsuits a couple of weeks ago and have been blissfully floating in cold ocean waters ever since! When everyone else (except the young kids) are staying out of the water, we are floating around playfully like otters!
So here’s me about to get into Laguna Beach waters in my wetsuit for the first time! What amazed me is why I didn’t think of this before? Again, you never know how long it’s going to take to have a new awareness, but then it very quickly leads to a solution and taking action. And now I’m as happy as can be!
So what has this to do with coaching?
Recently, I’ve been studying with ‘fresh eyes’ the ICF Core Competency of Creating Awareness, taking one sub-point at a time and exploring anew. My last blog article was on Creating Awareness sub-point (c).
Now I’m looking at Creating Awareness sub-point (d): “Helps clients to discover for themselves the new thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, emotions, moods, etc. that strengthen their ability to take action and achieve what is important to them.”
Then I notice this wording under Coaching Presence sub-point (f): “Confidently shifts perspectives and experiments with new possibilities for own action.”
The common theme is shifting perspectives, and not only helping the client to do that. But also as a coach, we need to be open and willing to shift our perspective and how we work with clients so that new possibilities can come for a different type of question, or observation, or intuition to emerge in us.
Coaching Presence: Be Open to Discovering Something New/Different
These sub-points really speak to me because one of my highest values is to be open to new learning. So somehow I was able to hear the Bikram Yoga teacher say something that I’d not heard before, even when I do my very best to be present and fully attentive and open.
I use my Bikram Yoga practice to strengthen my ability to stay present with the Teacher Dialogue, which you might call a Mindfulness Practice. This helps me with my Presence as a Coach, and reduces internal self-created stress because I’m listening and staying in the present moment as much as possible.
I view everything I do in my life to be an opportunity to be conscious about my behavior and emotions, and how they impact me and others. And that mindset is not something I can turn on or off when I’m coaching. It’s a 24/7 practice.
Coach as Ongoing Learner
As coaches, we need to be constantly learning ourselves, so we don’t have to put ourselves in ‘coaching mode’ with our clients. We live a 24/7 coaching lifestyle where we are curious about ourselves and how we think, feel, and react. We know our strengths, and our shortcomings, and how to engage with both. We are genuinely interested in others and what success means to them. And we pay attention to the whole person of our partner, spouse, friends, siblings, and peers so we can see them for Who they are.
This learner mindset is especially vital if you are moving toward MCC skill level and master level coaching. Your Coaching Presence has to be one that is naturally a curious learner about the “Who” of your client; their values, strengths, emotions, beliefs, culture, influences, fears, and aspirations. I assert that my role is to assist my clients to connect with Who they really are (strengths, gifts, values), and to remove any obstacles (beliefs, approaches, feeling, thinking) in their way to success, as they define success.
Here are a couple of questions to ponder:
- What is your Way of Being in your whole life that supports you to be the best version of yourself?
- How does that Way of Being support you as a coach?
- If it doesn’t, what might you need to address in your Self?
Are you preparing for your first or next ICF Credential? Or do you want to “Sharpen the Saw” of your coaching skills?
The next Group Program commences
September 8, 2015 – only 2 places remain!
Carly Anderson and Karen Boskemper offer an awesome mentor coaching group and individual program that has many exclusive offerings for our participants. Both have been trained by the ICF to assess using the new PCC Markers.
One of those offerings is an extensive library of MCC, PCC and ACC coaching sessions for our participants to listen to, evaluate, debrief, and learn from, along with The Target Approach to demystifying the ICF core competencies. These are incredibly valuable learning tools, and will accelerate your understanding of competency distinctions.
Here’s where you’ll find more about The Mentor Coaching Group
Carly and Karen also offer other mentoring options which you can find in the Store