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Sugar Coaching

While on vacation in Spain one of our luxuries is making time for coffee and tostada con tomate. Part of that luxury is simply in the slowing down for breakfast while the taste experience is something to enjoy too. Coffee, is something we choose not to have much of at home but here we take it either ‘cortado’ or ‘con leche’. Alongside, comes a huge sachet of sugar which, when added in full, momentarily gives enough support for my spoon to stand upright! In one hit there is enough sugar & caffeine to bring tears to the eyes of public health campaigners. Ah well, tomorrow is another day to return to better habits….hopefully!

Often the sugar packet carries a quote in Spanish that forms the basis for our early morning philosophical reflections. One from Victor Hugo that struck me this time around was as follows: ‘El futuro tiene muchos nombres. Para los debiles es lo inalcanzable, para los temerosos lo desconocido, para los valientes es la oportunidad’. My translation of this is: The future has many names. For the weak it is unattainable, for the fearful, the unknown, and for the courageous it is the opportunity.

It set me to thinking about my work as a leadership, development and life coach. Does my coaching offer something to my coachees who may be, at the time of our conversation, in any of these mindsets in relation to their own future? For me the answer is a resounding yes. I have listened to people who have transformed a personal view that their future goals are unattainable to one where they have a clear sense of purpose, an achievable sequence of actions, and a personal commitment to their own success. For those who find uncertainty unsettling (and let’s face it that applies to all of us in varying degrees) the chance to think out loud may not provide certainty, yet it does develop resilience and adaptability that underpin the ability to thrive in an uncertain world.

Perhaps more surprising to many is the value of coaching to those with a courageous mindset – for these people coaching is of value in testing their thinking about all the opportunities they see and which one(s) are most relevant to pursue to help them to move forward purposefully. Coaching tests a coachee’s assumptions relating to the range of opportunities and which are most relevant to pursue.

I thought about my coaching approach and how this would translate onto a Spanish sugar packet. I hope that Confianza, Apoyo, Desafio, Cambio is the correct translation of the key elements of my approach: Trust, Support, Challenge, Change.

We had quite a lot of coffee so there were many quotations collected during our days away. One more to leave with you is a metaphor for an aspect of the coach/ coachee relationship: ‘There are two ways that you may distribute the light – be the lamp that emits it or the mirror that reflects it ‘. A great quote to start any number of philosophical discussions although I am afraid that I have forgotten who said it!

If you are interested to find out more about how my coaching might be of interest to you both personally and professionally please have a look this at this short video

While this short commentary might be considered as ‘sugar coaching’ you can be assured that being coached by me is not a sugar coated experience – it is one that can add real value by offering real challenge in a conversation offering support to your thinking in a working relationship built on mutual trust. Do get in touch if you would like to know more.

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