CTA Coach has been a great catalyst in my personal growth and transformation. The single most noticeable change is in me: how I see myself and my environment. I have been able to identify and drill down to the source of my triggers. The more time I spend learning I am convinced that my decision to become a professional coach is in integrity with myself. I am, however, at the Conscious Incompetence stage, and excited to experience the journey. I can scale this mountain, as well, and I have the resources to do so.
Before the course began, CTA Coach offered me a pointer: “Trust the process”. As I learn various tools, principles, and concepts I am constantly telling myself “trust the process”. This shifts my reactions to emerging internal conflicts and questions from a place of worry/distress to one of trusting the process, in real-time. With time I can instinctively pivot to “let it happen, the picture is not complete, I am discovering what I did not know => there is a LOT that I still do not know. SO, let it happen.” I am constantly learning of my thought and behavioural patterns. It is also helpful to see myself mirrored by my coursemates and Coach. Zoom allows me to watch myself from the outside as well. I am becoming increasingly aware of my triggers and learning that allowing other perspectives defuse their potencies. Progressively, historical events in my life and the world are receding into the background. I am more present and able to detect moments when I am looking back in the past for justification of my present state. The framing tool has been particularly effective in disengaging from ‘blame’ and move into ‘empowerment’.
Here are some of my major learning:
- Coaching is not teaching, consulting, mentoring. It is a partnership. Accepting this definition of coaching is very helpful to remain focused.
- Reflective listening is a cornerstone of an effective coaching session. My understanding of reflective listening is when the listener is consciously setting aside emotion and filters (distortions, omissions, generalizations) and fully listening to what the speaker is sharing. Engaging in self-reflection is very helpful for me to build empathy.
- Creating a safe sanctum is critical. Rapport exists only within a safe sanctum.
- When setting the goal/s of the client the Wheel of Life is a very powerful tool. This brings clarity, prioritization, and accountability to the forefront for the client. The Wheel of Life is also very useful during later sessions when the client is struggling with new goals that were not visible before. This helps in interim evaluation/s of the coaching process and may point to an alternate direction.
I have discovered that my Primary way of perceiving the world is visual. However, the years of studying mathematics and statistics, followed by 22 years in the bio pharma sector, has forced me to live in the realm of facts, evidence, data, and logic. I am welcoming, becoming more holistic. During this course, I also dislodged a few rigidities of my own. The most notable one is when I was struggling with how a Visual person would make an Auditory observation! I just realized that Visual may be the Primary (or the Leading) perceptual avenue, but the other senses are still alive and functional. In fact, my emotional ‘plasticity’ will transform into ‘elasticity’ as I use more of my senses. I realize that this is how I feel when I experience ‘flow’; I am able to embrace inputs from all of my senses.
All these learnings are enhancing ‘grace’ in the way I carry myself in the world. To me, I am graceful when I am not judging (myself or others), while staying in my lane and within the communication process. I am being graceful when I am patient, but not a doormat.
I also am naturally empathetic. My task is to practice not ‘getting into the trench’ with other people and ‘feel’ for them. My awareness is helping me greatly. I am greatly benefiting from the guidance behind contracting, agreements and ethical aspects of coaching. There are many other aspects I must learn to establish myself as a competent coach, and I am open to all of that. I have discovered how my body has reacted to the intensity of the Fast Track Course. I recognize how my brain churns all night; difficult to fall asleep. This, like many other things, is a habit I am installing. I am being prepared for times when I will have to draw upon techniques of how I should pace myself and filter information that is fit for purpose. I realize that I am at that stage (of Conscious Incompetence) where everything is equally important all time. My life has taught me that that is never true. However, like an eagle, I will be able to rise above the maze and differentiate between nuggets of information for usefulness and relevance.
The composition of the participants has shown me more clearly who I am and how I fit in the larger tapestry of personalities, style, culture, and tendencies. This enrichment of my experience grounds my own perceptions while challenging my preconceptions. I am more readily accepting of differences. I am increasingly and consciously, able to remain compassionately empathetic.
Spending some time on ICF coach competencies has provided me with a good reference framework of what matters. I am going to apply the learning in both my private, and professional life. This will help me to continue to grow. In short, this will help me to transition into a professional coach. I will use all the acquired knowledge to enhance my coaching effectiveness.