I came to coaching sideways. One day, it seems, I was dropped from my own humble universe onto a different planet, fitted with a business suit, and put in a room with some Very Important People. I was told that they needed help doing some tasks. Tasks they had never learned to do effectively, and which I had already learned the hard way. So they considered me an expert on the matter.
However, I was heartily impressed by their status as Very Important People. So, when it came to the moment of action, in which I was supposed to give the great teachings that would magically make them better at stuff, I found myself doing three things:
I asked them - what do you want?
I asked that question to find a way through the daze I was in, to give us something specific on which to focus our efforts. Because I was so whelmed by their great Importance, I had ask a lot more: to understand exactly what they wanted, to unravel the jargon they used so easily, which was a foreign language to me, and to give them space in which to answer the question for themselves, because I certainly couldn’t answer it.
So I listened. I listened like a foreigner, like a child. I listened with all of my intelligences and none of my prejudices. I didn’t assess. I didn’t analyse. I didn’t believe I could. It wasn’t my world to judge. All I could do was listen, ask for clarification, deeper description, and honesty: What do you want?
And after I listened to everything, after they used my listening to clarify their challenges and elucidate their concerns, to refine the object and finally to answer it for themselves, I asked one more question:
What do you want to do?
Do you know what I did then? What else could I do? I listened. I listened to their frustrations, the emotions that nourished and entangled them. I listened to long lists of what they didn’t want to do. I listened to what they wished they could do. I listened and listened and listened. They used my listening, not my analysis or my assessments, to make decisions, to excavate what shackled them to inaction, and to commit to clear-headed whole-hearted precise and meaningful actions.
This is how I came to coaching. With humility, With respect for what I can and cannot do, and know. And this is why I love coaching. For me, it’s about embodying a deep compassion for another human being. It’s about listening. It’s about respect.
I want to coach you to understand how your own perfect inner compass works. To find ways to honour that perfect wisdom with practical action. To gain clarity, to trust yourself, to live to your own code, to make choices that honour your personal ethics. It’s a challenging process. It will probably change who you think you have to be.
You can coach yourself, you can get your friends to do it. And sometimes it works wonders. And sometimes it doesn’t. There’s quite a lot to listening with humility and faith in a person’s life. It’s a real feat to leave aside your personal agendas, especially if you’re full of hope and the desire to see someone happy, especially if you’re clever and good at solving problems. Especially if you can sympathise. So now and then, you need a coach. Not someone who knows you. Someone who knows more than you do about what is possible for you. Not a mentor who can tell you what they did. A listener. Not a teacher who can tell you how to do it. Someone who will ask all the questions that really matter.
What do you want.
So, in the interest of transparency, I will admit that I do have one agenda on your behalf. And this is why I coach. I want you to feel heard. I want you to know you are understood. I want you to have a life you can be proud of.
I am fascinated by the ways in which we do and don't embody our selves. I do my own kind of research, and coach people to live their truest lives. I practice healing and communication arts, and I write about all these things. I am a nomad, these days living and travelling on my boat in the U.K.
phone: +44 (0)7963898806