The quality of our coaching is based on the quality of our relationship with ourselves.
Not a new subject to coaches, but one of deep importance is the quality of our relationship with ourselves – and that that is the foundation upon which our coaching is offered – we can either offer steady, solid, real, honest coaching, or, coaching that skims the surface, or offers a ‘band aid’ but doesn't touch the root of the issues. This may sound a bit harsh – but if we honestly reflect on this we may find it resonates with us all – whether we have been on the receiving end or we have been working as a coach ourselves offering our services to others.
Consider this – a professional, well presented, fully trained, accredited, regularly supervised coach, well versed in coaching tools and techniques who is up to date with CPD. To all intents and purposes this is the ‘bees knees’ But is there more to it than that? I don't know about you but some of the greatest coaching moments I have experienced have been from people in life who are insightful, self aware, self honest, fresh and committed to life in all ways, and who have a value, a worth whereby they take care of themselves and that foundation of self care is consistent. They may not have all the requisite qualifications, or be up to date with the latest tools or coaching process – but they stand on something solid where their integrity is palpable.
At the risk of being controversial here I have over the last decade met many amazing coaches. I have also met coaches who I would consider have all the professional hallmarks of being an incredible coach – but, despite the qualifications, accreditation, supervision, up to the moment knowledge and skills – they just don't cut the mustard – as something doesn't feel solid, either they look tired, or restless in themselves, they feel like there is a façade and coaching is a role, and that their depth of insight, self worth, and consistency in life is unsteady.
You may feel it doesn't matter – as either of these coaches will get you somewhere – but where is it that they get you to – particularly if they lack a true foundation of a relationship with themselves?
Our relationship with ourselves is fundamental and the first port of call in developing any service we offer to others. It starts with some basic foundation stones such as getting to know ourselves, understanding our way in the world, learning to self observe (without criticism or judgement) ourselves and others, and building a way of relating with ourselves in our every day living – a freshness, an honesty, a willingness to feel raw and tender when we realise that we react to the world in a certain way or that we have recognition needs, or that we lack self worth, and being willing to stay open, curious and live our life as a gentle loving inquiry. In that we learn how to truly nurture and nourish ourselves, through the whole gambit of self care – food, hydration, exercise, posture, rest, sleep, learning to say no, learning to say yes, learning to speak up and express ourselves, going to the toilet on time (and not holding on!) and so much more (Keep 2013). This in itself builds a solid foundation of care for ourselves, and that consideration brings a feeling of worth – that we are worth it, which builds over time.
The more we get to know ourselves, the roles we play, the needs we have (and why we have them) the ideals and beliefs we hold, the more we understand not only ourselves, but others, and life in general.
Perhaps then the development of that relationship to ourselves, connecting deeply to our inner essence, our true qualities, and learning to cherish our physical body holds the key to the difference between a professional, well trained coach (with out a solid foundation), and a coach who is steady, solid, consistent, regardless of how many tools and techniques they know.
In most professional training, development and supervision for coaches self care and self worth are usually part of the focus – as is our relationship with ourselves – but do we take it deep enough?
In the end – if ‘we matter’ and the quality of our relationship with ourselves is full of self responsibility, and tenderness – then clients feel that a mile off. And, when we are that way – we stay vital, well and healthy throughout our working days no matter what the workload is.
Aren’t we all worthy of deepening our relationship with ourselves?
Perhaps if we did then our next Valentines day dinner would be us taking ourselves out for a meal – as there is nothing more exquisite than appreciating and enjoying our relationship with ourselves!