We as coaches tend to settle into an approach and understanding of the competencies that can stunt our growth. One of my reasons for joining the faculty team at Professional Christian Coaching Institute was to keep me on my toes. I remember listening to the content for the Essentials of Life Coaching course and being in awe of the depth of knowledge on how to shape and ask powerful questions. I realized that my questions were quite shallow and minimally effective in comparison to the questions of the presenter. This experience began a quest to never settle in my depth of understanding and subsequent expression of the competencies in my relationships with my clients.
I believe that if we are working on one thing that we are in a sense, working on everything. When we first began content planning for our Mentor Coach Insights Bulletin articles a few years ago, our newest team member at the time, Brittany, was compiling the bulletin content. It was not a real challenging project, but in tackling this, she was learning about my style of writing, our method for naming our documents, the cloud services we use for communication and document storage and so on. One small project actually was opening the door for a great deal of learning.
Similarly, when we can focus on growing one competency and go deeper with that competency, it will open the door for a great deal of learning around the other competencies as a side benefit of that focused approach to learning.
A previous focus, for me, was on the establishes and maintains agreements competency. What a gift this focus provided for both me and my clients. My approach to planning and goal setting adjusted so much and my clients responded so well to these innovative and tailored modifications to my well-worn approach. As one example of a change I made, I decided to try and not use the word goal setting when setting goals with my clients. My clients’ results were quite impressive! Removing what could almost be a trigger word for them drew out such creativity in them and allowed them access places in themselves that were otherwise locked.
Then I chose to focus on evoking awareness. Working with so many senior leaders, I noticed that I was moving too much into telling mode – there’s that sloppiness showing up again! I found myself going back to the classroom experience and wondering what might be gleaned as I once again took a fresh look with an eager heart at how my questions could potentially profoundly and positively impact my clients.
What about you – if you were to focus on refinement in one competency, which one would be worth taking a deeper dive with the remainder of this year?
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