From ‘mindset’ to ‘zone’:
As coaches, one of the main qualities that we need to imbibe is the embodiment of a coaching mindset. Even though all coaches aspire to be in that mindset, achieving it is no easy feat. A coaching mindset requires us to be completely non-judgmental, fully present, curious, empathetic and in complete sync with the client and the client’s situation—and yet we are not involved with them. In other words, be ‘Zen-like’. zone
As coaches, the aspiration to achieve that state is an ongoing process. We require a conscious effort of ‘conduct’ in our day-to-day life. The work starts from the self. We need to let go of our anger and frustration, our judgments, our limiting thoughts and beliefs, and be ready to welcome uniqueness. We need to usher in an all-engulfing openness that welcomes the Universe and its ways.
The catch here is, all of us are brought up in a certain way which is dictated by our geographical location, cultural background, parental dictates, communal affinities, childhood experiences, financial abilities, etc. Each and every condition mentioned above forms layers to our character, and in turn, shapes our thought process and mental abilities. The mindset that we operate from is almost embedded in our DNA. Addressing that is a huge task. Most of the time, we are not even aware of what combination of layers we are operating from. While identifying and acknowledging them may be a process of a lifetime, effective coaching needs to happen here and now— by people like us who have promised ourselves to wear this beautiful mantle of ‘being a voice of the mind’ for the people we are trying to help.
This is when we need to understand the concept of being in the zone.
Being in a ‘zone’ is stepping into the mindset of an embodied coach, irrespective of what your character conditioning is. Understanding that it is a prerequisite to the profession will facilitate a consciousness to the desired direction. This zone can be achieved through conscious effort, but mostly, and it’s my personal protocol, by following certain rituals.
Creating a conducive space for yourself that is exclusively for coaching sessions is very helpful. This may include your favourite chair that you sit in, lights, candles or incense if that is to your liking. Maybe a certain flavour of tea that you save only for your sessions. An exclusive corner that you prepare for yourself and your client. This whole ambience can put you in the zone.
How do I enter my zone?
I have a separate set of clothes that I wear only during my sessions – white and other pastel shades that feel fresh and neutral. To me, it adds a little spirituality to my presence, and I believe that it can have a calming effect on the client. I think appearance matters.
I like to read a couple of pages from spiritual books just before a session. If I can read for at least half an hour, it’s good. It puts me in the zone. I usually read an already read book of mine and earmark a few pages that have the power to move me and put me in the zone.
I have this beautiful bowl of shiny stones – red, green and blue — with a light inside it that makes the bowl glow. Once in a while, I pick up a stone and close my fist gently around it. It anchors me to my purpose– my role as a coach.
I do this little act of closing my eyes and rubbing my palms against each other and chanting ‘everything is beautiful, everything is perfect’ thrice before I sit on my chair. It’s again a ritual to get me into the zone.
Last, but not least, I mediate. Nothing beats meditation if you want to find your centre or align your mind, body and soul. As a coach, that’s all you will need– a centred you, with your mind, body and soul present.
As a coach, the more neutral I keep my emotions, the more effective I will be to the client. And that neutrality is not just in what I say, but every bit of my non-verbal too will communicate. The client may not be consciously aware of it, but his subconscious will not miss out on a single thing and the session will never reach its full potential.
Make your rituals and find your zone to become the coach that you have always aspired to be. Align yourself and have trust. The rest will follow.