Today, I had a great experience of sitting with some of the finest coaches and coach trainers in the world in a discussion of how we can take this expertise together to the next level where it really matters, and where we can authentically and positively impact the world and the humanity that connects us all. Impacting and empowering the world has been the most fundamental vision with which Coacharya was founded many years ago by my mentor and it has traveled a great distance since then and still has a long way to go.
It was truly heartening and exciting today to see a panel of some amazing role models, global citizens to have joined hands to bring this inspiring vision to fruition.
We all did spend some time trying to understand the space that needs to be present for us to engage with the world in creating more leaders and coaches and impacting various pockets of society. After about 30 mins of 33 brilliant coaches sharing ideas, we came up with a powerful list of all the attributes that need to define that space. Right from compassion and empathy, connection and deep listening, creating safety to unconditional positive regard, vulnerability to ruthless compassion, etc., etc. I found that as we discussed the qualities, the space felt more energized and the discussion got truly invigorating.
It was a powerful 90 mins that got created by all the participants. After I finished the call, I went on for my daily 60 mins Niko-Niko run and found myself all charged up. My thoughts kept going back to the stories and journeys of these amazing participants. Right from the most inspiring accounts of how Leah Black has been relentlessly serving the children and the youth in Africa, helping them better their life-skills for the past 15 years, to how Kelly Wendorf has been tapping into nature and horses or any ‘third thing’, to help coaches and coachees find their center. I could feel a train of thoughts just hitting me one after the other as I embodied all the energy and the potential of what a world, we could all create together.
All of a sudden, I was drawn back to the question that Cindy posed right at the beginning of the session and that was, “What is this space all about?” and “What characteristics or attributes should this space have?”. These questions kept flashing in my head as I kept running, completely consumed by the richness and the purity of this space of service and empowerment for others, future leaders, future coaches, and space-holders of a newly emerging world.
One of the biggest revelations that I took away from Coacharya was, that it is not the accomplishments, the credentials, the achievements, the knowledge, or the skillsets that make a better coach, rather it is “the lack of its presence” when we are being coaches. That is what really matters. It took me quite a while and a lot of reflection on my coaching journey to get, that one really needs to come from a space of “Nothingness and Emptiness” to truly help another person as a coach. What Ram terms this as “Mindlessness” as opposed to “Mindfulness”.
By the end of my run I was clear that above all the qualities, the traits and the mindsets that we discussed today, what a coach truly needs to embody is the ability to hold the space of “Nothingness and Emptiness”. Coachees then truly stand a huge chance of finding themselves in that safe holding space and of nourishing themselves back to wholeness and completeness, without getting directly hit by the vast knowledge and the superior skillsets of that of the coach.
At times the biggest hindrance to being an effective coach is when we come from a place of ‘immense knowing’ and ‘immense doing’. As coaches and mentors, we oftentimes go on a journey of acquiring more and more qualifications and endless hours of pursuing, building up our arsenal of theories, skillsets, frameworks, tools, and templates. But what came up for me today is that it is not the endless knowing or the skillful doing that really matters as much as the “Being”, and more authentically the being of “being nothingness and emptiness”.