What I am most present to right now is a new and evolving concept of what it means to stand for another human being. What do you think it means?
Until recently, when I thought about standing for someone else, I thought of it like cheerleading. Putting aside that the thought of me cheerleading is comical (if you’ve seen my dance moves, you understand what I’m talking about), my idea of standing for someone was some combination of loyalty, support, love, validation, protection and caretaking. It definitely also involved attending to the person’s feelings so as not to hurt them. By the way, I am great at this role and take tremendous pride in it.
But this is NOT coaching. This is probably more like friendship. And I’m not passing judgment on friendship because my friendships give my life profound purpose and meaning. But coaching is different.
If coaches do their jobs, there is co-created trust and intimacy in the relationship such that coach is not always nicey nicey to client. That’s not why people hire coaches. We have plenty of nicey nicey people in our lives. People hire coaches for transformation. Transformation REQUIRES discomfort and confrontation. Why? Because the whole idea is to be and do something new- something outside of our comfort zones- something in the realm of possibility instead. You hire a coach because you are stuck somewhere. Who you are being and what you are doing are not getting you the things you want. SOMETHING ISN’T WORKING. Therefore you must step out of what you know. And because it is new, it can feel- at times- uncomfortable.
If you hire a coach, you will be confronted. I guarantee it. You may not always like what the coach has to say. You may experience discomfort in response to some of the questions he or she asks. It’s ok. It’s more than ok- it is essential. If as the client you empower the coaching relationship, you will know that the coach is standing for you- for your highest commitments and intentions- and will hold you accountable in service of YOUR stated goals. Where and when support is needed (it is often needed and it is a key part of this process), you will co-create that support too.
What does this standing thing look like from the coach’s perspective? Well it is expansive my friends but here are some words and phrases that come to mind: saying bold things; pointing out ways in which the client is self-sabotaging; reminding the client of his or her intentions and commitments; putting the client at choice to create a new path; calling clients out on their shit :). Not because we are mean, but because we stand for your greatness in creating the life you want.
These learnings come not just from my training but from my personal experience being coached and shifting my life in so many ways over the past 6 months. I’d be happy to share my journey more specifically with you if you’re interested.