Coaching By The Sea (Hee Hee!)
What follows is a very early transformative coaching example. By the Scarborough sea. Between me and my coaching client. On train, by the sea, and on the train again. A coaching based around the 3 Principles understanding that I was training in (I was training to be a transformative coach).
Transformative Coaching Example – Introduction
I’m currently in training to be a transformative coach – I enrolled in Michael Neill’s Supercoach Academy in April 2013 (finishes Sept, 2014).
The transformative coaching training is comprehensive, and I won’t go into details here other than to say it’s based around an understanding of the nature of the human experience. I will say, though, that part of the training includes small group (pod) calls online, where we share our experiences of coaching, etc.
Now I missed my pod call this Monday, however, because I had a coaching session with a client that clashed with it – a transformative coaching-by-the-sea session, that was quite the loveliest, gentle exploration into what it means to be a human being, and how we are always guiding ourselves – always! – if we would but listen!
What follows, then, is the contents of an email I sent to my pod leader (Sara Murre) a few days later, that describes my transformative coaching experience. It’s not exactly a typical example of my coaching (yet!), but it is what more or less transpired on Monday, March 31st, 2014.
One Transformative Coaching Example
My client had her first free coaching conversation with me, and from doing so then agreed to have some more coaching. And it occurred to me, as I’m a big fan of the sea (and I think she is, too), for us to have the next coaching session by the sea. (The sea can be such an inspirational space, after all.)
So we decided to go to Scarborough (in the North East coast of England), by train.
I had the idea to have 3 separate conversations – one on the train, one by the sea, and one on the train home – out of curiosity, to see whether differing insights occurred because of the differing locations/times.
It didn’t turn out that way, exactly. But it still ended up being a fascinating look into what it means to be human, and how the act of doing so can transform our day-to-day lives. In particular, we had quite the most delightful exchange over our respective ‘inner voices’…
COACHING CONVERSATION #1 (30 minutes) – Train Ride from Leeds to Scarborough
Okay, so it might be a bit lazy and disorganised, but I decided to print out a basic client intake form and get the client to fill it in on the train (the 10.12am from Leeds to Scarborough). I thought I could then use the intake to perhaps guide the coaching conversations.
She duly penned her responses, whilst I gazed out the train window (one of my favourite awe-inspiring activities) and waited.
Naturally, the intake form revealed all the issues you’d expect a human being to have:
- Family issues
- Energy issues
- Focus issues
And there was a feeling of needing support; of wanting help with a plan going forward; of wanting to feel unblocked.
ALL great examples of various forms of thinking that look particularly real.
But I didn’t say this to my client.
Instead, she mentioned something about having changed and wanting to change more, and I simply asked her what ‘change’ meant to her…
(NOTE: Even though I originally wanted to do the coaching on the train, I changed my mind before getting on the train, and just let her fill the intake form in. After she’d filled the form in, though, it felt like a good idea to talk about her form – for us to be in a coaching conversation – so that’s how we ended up having a half hour transformative coaching session on the train.)
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COACHING CONVERSATION #2 (60 minutes) – Sitting by the Edge of The Sea
The train arrived in Scarborough 11.29-ish, when we decided to head directly towards the sea via a walk through some kind of park-space. (Note to self: I am not a travel writer, and never will be! Hee!)
The tide was coming in. So we walked to the sea, touched it with our hands, then headed right, along South Bay. Half an hour of coastal meandering later we found ourselves sat on a bench, alone, on the edge of The Cleveland Way, with this wonderful view of the sea below our feet.
Great Transformative Coaching Example Questions (?)
It felt like a really good time to start our next coaching conversation, with the sea in front of us. So I started by asking some questions, naturally, about the sea:
“What does the sea know?”
…”What do you think it would feel like as
part of you evaporated up into the clouds?”
…”What is the sea afraid of?”
Here, as we pondered what life would be like if we were the sea, we found ourselves also talking about some of her fears. And I explained how I shared those fears, sometimes – I just didn’t make quite so much of them as she did (even managed a mime to explain myself), didn’t feel the need to define myself (with a label) because of it.
She mentioned the word ‘flow’, and I shared my understanding of this word.
That flow isn’t just the ‘good stuff’ happening to us – the good moods and good feelings – it’s everything happening to us. So being in flow is being with the ups and the downs of life – where we don’t try to hold on to the ups, or push away the downs; we simply let our experience flow through us, as is, as best as we can.
She liked that understanding. A lot. “Ahh!”
And then… And then we had the most wonderful conversation about her “inner voice” (and mine)…
COACHING CONVERSATION #3 (60 minutes) – “My Inner Voice and Me (Hee!)”
I don’t know about you [Sara], but when you go to the seaside in England you simply have to eat fish and chips. Hmm. It’s a crime not to, actually. Well, it ought to be. So that’s what we did – we walked back into Scarborough, next to the sea, and found ourselves a great fish and chippy! And ordered the Fish and Chips special!
And then we headed northwards, past Scarborough Castle, for another magical coastal walk.
Where my client continued her delicious sharing about her inner voice experiences. (I shared my experiences, too – it was simply delightful, the conversation we had.)
We talked about:
- The time she bought her house on a whim (that she still lives in over 10 years later). And all because of an ‘inner stirring’ (that came from nowhere) that she decided to listen to.
- The time I bought my house: the certainty I had it WAS my home; the speed and timing of the sale (happened just weeks before a significant, but temporary, downturn in my business).
- The most recent time she changed jobs – she went for a job interview (and got the job) despite the mental chatterings, just because “the voice inside” simply, and unequivocally encouraged her to do so.
And all these significant events happened because we’d both listened to a voice that doesn’t use words – to a feeling (once felt) that cannot be ignored!
We didn’t cover all of her issues, granted – but we made a start. And she glimpsed an all-powerful ally that literally made her giddy!
TRANSFORMATIVE COACHING EXAMPLE – My Reflections!
My full experience of these coaching sessions is sketchier than I present above. (I’m writing this to you a few days later.) But something magical happened between us – some kind of sharing of what the formless intelligence behind life can look like, for she and I both.
So a lot of insights were shared between us, many of which I’ve forgotten (for now); it really was a deep human sharing, at times – my most enjoyable coaching experience, so far!
The highlight – I’m sure for both of us – was just how excited my client was in her actual sharing of this inner voice: that this voice/’feeling’ existed; that she could share its existence with another.
And I’m really curious where our conversations will lead us concerning this all-powerful force that is inside us both, that is also inside her family members, that is even inside the man she yearns to finally meet; curious to see how her life (and mine) will transform.
I would finally say – and this probably won’t surprise you! – that talking with my client/friend helped me see myself more clearly, too!
Thank you, Sara, for reading this email, and I’d love to know what occurred to you as you did so. 🙂
Transformative Coaching Example: YOU?
Hey, how about you?
How about taking your turn, now, when it comes to a transformative coaching example conversation?
How ’bout it, then?…
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