I am in an interesting phase of my life. One part of me tells me that I have to go on with my life. Stopping means death! The other part of my brain tells me that I have done enough, and now I should hang up my boots and take it easy. Till the pandemic hit, my routine was almost 50 days of travel in a year and living out of a suitcase for 150 days.
Interestingly, I don’t miss any of that and am content being just with myself and pursuing my hobbies. As I love to be busy, I am now in an exploratory stage and trying my hand at pursuing my interest to see if I can take it up as a full-time activity. Consulting and mentoring have been a part of my work life, and I thought coaching was a natural extension.
However, in the coaching class, the first thing I realized is that coaching is totally different from whatever I had been doing before. It requires me to just shut up and listen. Everyone is an expert in his field and knows what is to be done; they only require someone to help them give a structure and a path to those thoughts and find an answer. I am used to giving ideas and thoughts to whomsoever I interact with, and this process of helping someone to internalize is totally new for me.
As I am not from an HR background, I have learned a lot of new interesting things. A particular thing that interested me is that listening involves looking at body postures, eye movements, breathing, and any other involuntary movement of muscles or limbs. It was amazing to see how an equal amount of information can be gathered from this holistic listening rather than just focusing on the words.
At the moment, I am facing difficulty in getting past a certain level. While discussing with the client, I understand the needs and what the client’s requirement is. After this, my mind acts up and wants to give a suggestion as to how to solve the problem. At this stage, I seem to have a slowdown in thinking, and I need time to find the right question to ask the client. I still need more practice at getting the client to give his own solutions. I will continue practicing the powerful questioning techniques and reference material or readings that will help further.
The practice sessions on coaching with fellow learners are of particular interest. I value the coaching session in which Dr. Haris is taking up and how patiently he deals with the client leading them on a path of self-discovery and self-determination. The recordings of these sessions were great reference material.
The way the whole activity is designed, from the code of ethics to setting up SMARTER goals of giving the maximum value to the client, resonates very well with my own value system. The structure of goal setting and offering more excitement and reward to the client has also been a part of my value system.
The brief discussion on NLP has kindled my interest. There are lots to learn in this field. I have used only body language to communicate with my clients. The ability to communicate with clients in the same visual or auditory, or kinaesthetic way for them to understand better was a learning experience. I knew about metaphors, and there is a lot to learn.
In other words, coaching is making me a better person. I am already getting compliments from my wife and kids that I am at least hearing them out and not speaking first. I was not aware that in all these years, when they brought problems to me, they didn’t want solutions. They just wanted to be heard and only wanted me to help them in structuring their priorities.
This brief journey in coaching has kindled my interest, and I have realized that all I needed was an introduction, which has just helped me scrape the surface. I now wish to continue this journey.