Todays is an exceptional day – my entry in the coaching category. I’m here because I want to share a story of how I was preparing for my ICF PCC certification. But first things first – a few words about learning how to be a coach.
How to learn how to be a coach?
There are many important elements in a coach’s education, a set of connected vessels. There is theory, models, techniques, skills, attitude, ICF and EMCC competencies, formal rules, processes, … You will hear about most of those things during a training session but basically you could read about them in a book. In my opinion the most important thing for a coach during training, apart from gaining the theoretical knowledge, is to put himself in real life situations related to managing a session as many times as possible, to actually live through what he will experience in his practice. A future coach should experience events and feelings which are unknown, specific to coaching and sometimes difficult as many times as possible. To learn how to safely navigate this unknown area under the watchful eye of someone who has already been there.
This means that apart from stationery meetings, study-buddy sessions, webinars, intervisions and teleclasses, which are a normal part of a course or coaching school, it is vital to have an individual contact with an experienced coach. Then and only then, all of the attention is focused on the individual coach and it’s only then that we can touch on specific elements and needs of the student.
Learning by experiencing
Only a few moments ago this was an unexplored field – in fact, we didn’t even know it existed. And now, thanks to this guide – supervisor, we can do something called creating a map – the coach draws the map himself during the supervision. When an experienced colleague takes him somewhere, the coach will be able to go back there when working with a Client. He will know how to do that, because he has experienced it and more importantly, he has gained awareness of himself, the Client, the process.
I promised my story, so here it goes: I found my way to a supervision conducted by Ania Pyrek. I was already after months of training, a step away from my PCC exam, working as a coach. I was convinced I was great at it. And I probably was great… as great as I could be. But Ania, a supervisor who was at that moment focused only on me, my coaching and skill development saw that I could be better. More – she saw what exactly I could develop and even more – she knew exactly how to let me experience that. I remember that experience like it happened yesterday, the session took place over the phone. I was going above and beyond with my skills and suddenly I hear this on the other side of the phone:
– Szymon, I don’t feel like you are here with me. You have some sort of a distance and I want to know that we are sitting here together. I am a Client and I need to feel it. Try, and I will tell you when you get there.
Although I was sure from my previous experiences that I could not be closer to the Client, I tried. I don’t really remember how many times and exactly what I said but I remember the moment when I felt the change and knew how to be close to the Client, without unnecessarily exposing myself, and stay in a professional relationship. It was my deepest experience while becoming a coach. As a cherry on top, I received a report with references to specific competences with an assessment and commentary. Experience, focus on the coach, a thoughtful assessment.
This is how we want to conduct coaching education for you and it’s how it will be in the Kingmakers™ Leadership Coaching Academy starting this December. Trainers and supervisors are waiting for you. Join us!