Coaching: A Learning Journey

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Mar 3, 2023

They say nothing comes easy. And it isn’t all that wrong. But, I’d like to add that if you can learn to enjoy the journey, the challenges become much more enjoyable.

What is challenging when you get started to train as a coach? From my experience, it feels like a road that goes uphill and looks exciting until you find a few bumpy turns, and puddles, and then eventually the cool breeze hits you and you enjoy the long winding green roads ahead. What does that mean, you ask? It means that it is as real as it gets – one experiences life through a lens of self-exploration. This is kicked in through a lot of curiosity to know more, understand more, strive for more, and then reach new levels of understanding that expose new realities- some sweet, some not so sweet. But, all real. And once you take in the reality and accept all that’s to come ahead, the road ahead becomes more enjoyable than ever. You’re truly on a learning journey of a lifetime after that.

After completing my coach training journey, I was curious to learn from my team members about their experience of coach training. I asked them a lot of questions from what coaching means to them, how their understanding has evolved, what they enjoyed the most to where they see themselves in the coaching space. And I have to say, I left with beautiful thoughts that only added to the greenery of the road that I am on.

So, here goes my learnings from all that they shared – summed up for you, with the hope that these add a lot more joy while you are building yourself up on this ever-evolving learning journey.

Everyone has a story

Do you agree? Well, I do. And I’d like to add that everyone has a powerful story if you want to hear them out. A theme that emerged while I spoke to my colleagues was being patient and curious to know the other. I see this as a big learning opportunity because I think most often the challenges that we face in life or at work emerge from a place of not knowing enough or not being curious enough to know more. Coaching gives you the outlook to pause and truly hold the space to see more than what is visible. How does that help?

I think it helps you to operate less from a place of judgment and more from a place of curiosity. This shifts dynamics and opens the channels of communication. Once you do that, you really learn that everyone does have a story. In today’s times when we are all more “connected” in different ways than earlier, we still may not feel as “authentically connected.” To build a coaching lens is like building a perspective to deepen that ‘knowing.’ And what better way to know the world than through people’s stories?

Power of an authentic relationship

Roy T. Bennett said, “We are all different. Don’t judge, understand instead.” What a beautiful way to connect the last part of stories and how not judging, embracing the differences and understanding each other builds authentic relationships.

How do you feel when you are in an authentic relationship? The word that came to my mind is, “safe.” When people have the space to feel safe, they are themselves – who they are in their thoughts, beliefs and attitude. And doesn’t the world need more of that? Workspaces more and more are focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion. How do you build that systemically? I think it starts with pausing, observing, knowing more,exploring, embracing realities and widening your lens. I could relate this to a lot of the coaching competencies of cultivating trust and safety, maintaining presence, evoking awareness and active listening. If we learn to bring these competencies in our lives at home and work, what do you think will shift?

Understanding ‘who’ you are

As you connect with others’ stories and create a space for authentic relationships to grow, you find your authentic self too – ‘who’ you really are. While playing different roles, we sometimes assume that we need to act a certain way in a certain setting and a different way in another. Can our core really change? And what truly is that core? Do we forget that sometimes while playing these different roles? Coaching is as much an inward journey as it is a journey with the other. As you unleash the truth, you unleash a new reality for yourself and others around you. I see this as the step that takes us from where we are to where we want to be. By applying coaching concepts to self, we continuously grow and see new versions of ourselves and as a result new versions of the world around us. How do you see this translate at home or in workspaces? I think it gives you a chance to bring your best current self forward. And how does it help others? It inspires them to do the same for themselves.

When I think of these learnings, I can’t help but think about how the coaching space builds you up from the inside out. A special thank you to my colleagues, Sweta, Merin, and Yamini for taking the time out to share their reflections with me that got me to put together this blog.

Kiwa S
Kiwa S

Kiwa

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