As noted previously we completed the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program course work back in June. In the process of becoming a coach, I discovered I needed A LOT OF work myself. What followed was a shocking revelation and, well, a transformation that I did not expect nor know the results of.
When I started the program, I thought coaching was one thing. My experience with the occupation of coaching was more prescriptive; I regularly coach people in swimming and personal training so I see a problem in a client and I tell them how to fix it and what to do next. It resonated strongly with my own passion for teaching others, and sharing knowledge. I also love learning, so filling my head with even more knowledge is something that I love doing. I did have some life coaching experiences far in my past but I think the discipline was different back then. It got me where I wanted to go then so it worked for me.
Throughout the course, we were told not to share information for a variety of reasons. As I look back, I think the teacher part of me even prevented me from hearing it. Certainly I wanted to use this information so that I could better service my clients – how could the information not help them? It slowly dawned on me that the coaching that ADAPT was trying to teach was not the coaching I was familiar with! Yes the two words are used in similar contexts but also one could say that they actually dramatically different meanings and manifestations.
After the course ended, I needed to stop prescribing and teaching which I love doing and have been doing for years and….do something else…
This leads to the shocking revelation: in order to become a well functioning coach, you need to be able to detach from your client such that they are in the spotlight (and not me), maintain a sensory connection with them (stop thinking and start sensing), and be curious such that inquiry is revealing and brings positive movement in a client. To do that, you need to remove all your own internal barriers that get in the way of that.
I needed to STOP THE URGE TO TEACH!
Sounds simple right? IT WAS ANYTHING BUT.
How do you get rid of the urge to teach? You engage a coach. So I engaged one of the mentor coaches in the program and started down the path of figuring out how to suppress this urge to teach while coaching. However, dropping down this rabbit hole then opened up new rabbit holes to drop down…!
Working together over the course of many months, and along with supplemental classes in more deeper and advanced coaching topics, I dug deep into my psyche and found many other things that I needed to resolve as well, in addition to addressing my passion for teaching.
Some of the things I needed help with, on top of the passion for teaching….
…getting out of my head and stopping to think but rather feel.
…touching my heart and letting feelings there guide my intuition in client conversations.
…not letting my own personal issues trigger reactions in my coaching.
…letting go of fear of the process and what can unfold.
There’s probably more that I’m forgetting, but unaware to me, all of the above was an entangled mess in my head prior to the coaching work. After several months of this, I finally started feeling good about client sessions and started getting some really great feedback from clients on their results.
Even the Practical Skills Assessment (PSA) recording was a major distraction. If you don’t know what the PSA is, it’s a recording of a client session of 30 minutes and the goal is to exhibit all 17 competencies of effective coaching. It’s essentially a final exam of sorts, a final demonstration of your skill and mastery of the basic elements of coaching.
So while my coaching was improving by leaps and bounds in lockstep with resolving my internal issues, the overhang of the PSA and its imposed structure and requirements weighed me down. Using some aids and suggestions from fellow students, I did manage to buckle down and get a decent recording down. Submitting that recording was like taking a huge weight off my shoulders; I hadn’t even passed it officially yet but the mere act of submitting it was enough to take the burden away. And instantly my coaching jumped another level, seeing some great results from clients and getting super positive feedback from them.
But then I noticed something interesting. A few days ago I was trying to think back to what I was like before all this coaching work on me. I was trying to remember all the steps I took, all the goals and tasks I set with my mentor coach, and all the insights I had thought about along the way. I could barely remember any of it! Luckily I had my notes, and I had recorded all my sessions so I could review if I wanted to, and I did a little bit. But I was astounded to feel that those memories were nearly gone.
This paralleled a result that another client mentioned to me. At the time, I took that comment to mean that it was evidence that the client was making progress and that they were moving from their past life to another one. So it was super interesting that I now was experiencing what my client had experienced!
I asked my mentor coach about this and she replied:
Remember me saying to you, you are making quantum leaps. That is often the result of that. When one significantly changes their coordinates in the universe by shifting their energies, they often loose contact with who they were before, how they related to life and often loose connections of friends, Organizations, etc.
If you wish to connect and reflect, your prior coaching recordings would be a reminder of that energy. Even though you may or may or remember everything, your voice, would carry that resonance…
WHOA! Yes, a bit New Age-y but I feel that it does accurately capture this memory losing experience.
Over the last few months, I do feel like I’ve undergone tremendous change on all fronts. On the path to becoming a coach, I’ve had to unwind so many of my own issues and come to resolution with others. I’ve had to learn a completely new language, the language of coaching, which was foreign to me. I’ve had to exponentially increase my intuition and sensing ability, to be aware of the ebbs and flows of a client’s energy. I’ve had to get out of my head and down into my heart, to stop intellectualizing everything. Basically I had to become a totally different person, activating parts of me that I had rarely or never touched before!
And one last shocking thing…my mentor coach then says:
We can speak more about this next time we speak. It is hard to explain all that energetic transformation on an email. But here is another thing for you to watch. When I shift significantly, my electronic devices won’t respond to me anymore. I have to reset them, either that is my computer, my phone or my car.
Two weekends back I went away for the weekend, leaving my Prius in the airport parking structure. When I got back, it wouldn’t start! And it should have, after only 3 days! I even took the car to Toyota service who checked it out and found nothing wrong.
A major coordinate shift and energy transformation in the universe indeed!
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