Learning about coaching

Last week I participated in The Coaching Stance class with Lyssa Adkins, Michael Spayd, Cynthia Darst, and a wonderful team of fellow students. I was amazed to have this opportunity to learn a bit and practice what is means to coach.
It’s funny, going in I wanted to learn about coaching…and somehow felt that it was too lofty a goal to achieve any measure of skill in just two days. Boy was I wrong. Happily!
I had previously read (skimmed) the Co-active coaching book which is of course excellent, and not enough to really allow one (ok me) to practice. On top of that I could not imagine becoming an “executive coach”… that’s not what I want to do! I want to be right in the thick of the problems, the opportunities, the content, and the context. I like to be right there in the mix.
What I learned is to really apply the practice of asking powerful questions, to approach a conversation with more curiosity than answers. And to listen systemically, where the listening forms a picture of a system…or at least pieces of a system.
Now rather than always saying “I have an idea” and thinking – “hey everyone listen to me.” I am instead learning to practice blurting… I’m getting a picture or an idea, or seeing something… would it be appropriate to share? Is this a good time to share? So the idea is more part of the conversation that is a possible path, but not the only path. I can also see how this fits my style of being a person that like to quietly starts to draw frameworks on the board or type into shared virtual “whiteboards” …when the a large meeting conversation gets complex. It’s a way that I can suggest a direction, without insisting. Interesting.
Over the last year or two I am also learning that it’s not so much that I want to see my ideas implemented… rather I want to see the direction that I am encouraging to be close to the way that we go. I see bigger ideas now, ideas that are about levels of collaboration and community.
It’s a great time to be here.


One Response to “Learning about coaching”

  1. lyssaadkins Says:

    Yes, it’s a great time to be here – in your circumstances, with your positive intent and – now – with lots of new skills and perspectives on board.

    Go, Margaret, go!

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