The breakthroughs, the ‘A-ha’ moments, the smiles, the tears, the transformation. Facilitating the growth of those that I work with, helping them to find their own answers and in turn effect profound change in their lives is a dynamic which I am eternally grateful to be part of. And I’m sure I don’t just speak for myself when I say that while it can be challenging, I find the work that happens in the coaching space energising, enriching and fulfilling.
The coaching session is often where we feel the actual magic happens. It is where we get to see, or hear our coaching at work. It is where we bring in our skills, tools, knowledge and experience; the deep listening, the mirroring, the open catalytic questions, and it is in this space that many of us feel in our element. Yet recently I have spent some time thinking about what happens when the session ends, the impact that we have even after we part ways with our clients, and it led me to really reflect upon what we as coaches do outside of the coaching space itself.
Working outside of the space
I am sure that a lot of you would agree that the coaching session isn’t where all the work happens. There is the thinking, processing and action that takes place outside of the session itself which are all key to the work that we do with our clients. In effect, the coaching session becomes the catalyst for change and the accountability buddy too, but often this is just the start point of the journey towards change.
With the idea that coaching continues outside of the space, it made me think about how we can continue to support that continued exploration and action. Perhaps we don’t have to, simply creating the space for the coachee to return might be enough! However, I begin to wonder about the tools that we might create that continue to support their thinking and development after the session ends.
This may be a simple workbook or reminder cards, it may be the notes the client took in the session that we invite them to review in between sessions. It may be the tools that we build together in the coaching space, the structures to frame and hold the continued reflections and learnings.
Moreover, it might also be the blogs and articles that we create, the continued story of change and development, of achievement and action. The videos and images shared online, that continue to have an impact long after we have seen our coachee, that continue to inspire and support new thinking for all those that come across our work.
Quality over quantity
As I reflect upon this, I begin to realise that we all leave something in our wake.
In our connection with others through our work, our conversations, our blogs and videos, we leave an impression.
What we leave our clients will vary from one coach to the next, and some will almost certainly leave more than others, however, it is not the amount that matters, for it doesn’t need to quantitatively impressive.
As I write this, it feels clear to me that is not so much about how much we leave our connections with when we part ways, but the quality of what we leave behind.
The quality of our conversations and interactions.
The quality of change in relation to their worldview, mindset and self-awareness.
The quality of our work, our tools, blogs, videos and social media updates, all of this can form parts of our coaching footprint, and through this we provide our clients with the means to continue their development long after the coaching session ends.
So, with this in mind, I ask you: What might you leave in your wake?