'Don’t forget how privileged a position you have as a coach. Your coachee offers you their trust, their honest thinking, their genuine feeling. In doing so they unlock the potential in themselves yet need to be courageous and determined in doing so. Respect the effort they are making and be mindful of the discomfort they might occasionally need to navigate.'
Continuing to develop expertise as a coach is a combination of a range of activities: self-reflection, coach supervision, self-directed CPD and coachee feedback. I have never known a profession that is so committed to CPD. I have racked up over 500 ‘contact’ hours in the last four years myself.
Then there is coach supervision – a conversation with a professional supervisor to test thinking in ethical and coaching delivery areas, all without breaching client confidentiality.
Supervision is high value and often now mandated by institutional clients who see it as a method of ensuring the coaches they employ are keeping up the standard of their practice.
Self-reflection is a daily experience for me know as I keep my finger on the pulse of my own skills development.
Coachee feedback completes the set. Although the nature of the coaching conversations sometimes precludes feedback it is always worth asking for. There is an element of validation in pursuing it yet the thing that I find most helpful is to be reminded just how challenging it is to be coached.
Feedback on my coaching always underscores my mental ‘note to self’ about my position as a coach. The note reads something like the paragraph in italics at the top of the page.
One recent endorsement is reproduced in full below with the permission of my coachee. I am grateful to them for that. It was a fascinating coaching journey.
‘I had the unique opportunity to receive coaching from Jeremy over two years and in that time I have managed to explore a range of opportunities to enable me to adapt more efficiently to my environments (both at work and at home).
Understanding and completing the Lumina Spark Portrait was the first step in understanding where I sat comfortably and where more thought and consideration was needed. This enabled the coaching sessions with Jeremy to be more thought-provoking whilst providing a range of alternative methods that I could apply in practice. Understanding and working through with examples was more insightful than I had given credit for.
It isn’t until you reflect back on how you dealt with situations and how you deal with them now that you come to realise how the techniques Jeremy offers in the coaching really start to influence how you cope in the real world. My confidence has grown since working with Jeremy and his approach to coaching requires a lot of self-thought, self-motivation and dedication.
Sometimes this felt uncomfortable but with Jeremy’s support and insight these conversations probably became the most rewarding. Tapping into and making connections which you never thought would be linked is like a ‘light bulb’ moment in your head. Everything starts to become clear and opens up even deeper conservations about how to make positive changes and re-direct my approach, behaviour and attitude in future situations.
The coaching has enabled me to apply techniques at home as well, and even with my family and friends.
For me, the last two years have been immensely rewarding and have enabled me to overcome my low confidence and self-esteem (and I still have lots to learn) whilst also recognising that there is always more room to adapt and try out new techniques and methods.
My path now is forever changing and I feel I have the confidence and motivation to deal with these situations, which is all thanks to Jeremy’s patience, support and expertise.’