My first coaching call as a coach was some ten years before I took my Martha Beck Life Coach training and certification. I was still working as a prep school teacher and was taking a diploma in coaching with Newcastle college. The course covered the fundamentals of one model of coaching and then required that we go out and start coaching. To me, at the time this was a terrifying prospect as I had no help in preparing for such a call and my coaching skills were limited.
A friend of mine put me in touch with one of her friends and we got on the call. The one thing I remember now is the misunderstanding there was. The client was speaking passionately about fencing and how it took up all his thoughts and dreams. I thought he meant fencing that goes around a yard and determined not to judge the gentleman’s fascination with wooden and metal enclosures.
We talked about how he might integrate his love of fencing into his career and he explained that he didn’t see fencing as a career, that it was much more a hobby for him. It was when he said that he was part of a fencing club and was in training that I finally twigged. (doh!) He didn’t mean garden fencing. He meant the noble sport of fencing with foil, epee and sabre.
Can you imagine if instead there was a club for making wooden fences and they had coaches to ready them for Olympic participation?
Oh, my! Well, it was a rookie mistake. I share it here because it’s important that you know that you are not going to get it all right on your first coaching call.
When you’ve had your first coaching call think afterwards about what went well in it and what didn’t. You can even have a special notebook to keep track of the calls that you have had. Note the date of the call, who you spoke to and then what went well in the call and what you would like to work on for future calls. This isn’t about beating yourself up and telling yourself that you’re no good as a coach. Instead, it’s about reflecting on your work so that you can grow and develop as a coach.
In my call, I notice that at least I kept my judgement out of it when the client was raving about fencing and I don’t personally find wooden fences that thrilling. I notice that I could have asked more about the fencing and the part it played in the client’s life before jumping to conclusions.
You can also go through a similar reflection with coach buddies and have a session where you discuss the calls that you have had with them. If you do this you can also benefit from learning from each other’s successes and areas for growth.
Finally, in your notebook, I also suggest you write a note about how you personally felt when you were working with the client. If you know how to use Martha’s Beck’s Body Compass tool then you can give it a rating of how it felt within your body from minus ten through zero, which is neutral to plus ten which is how your body feels on the best day/at the best time of your life or how you imagine it might feel in those circumstances.
Doing this over time will help you get really clear about who you want to work with.
If you’d like to talk with me about the possibility of me being your coach as you work your own way towards being a coach please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be in touch.
Until next week,
Resources I am loving (not affiliate links):
Habitica: game based play app to encourage good habits. I am on a bed by ten winning streak and my avatar not has a magic potion wolf and enchanted robes.
The Happiness Track, a book by Emma Seppälä PhD about how all the ideas about how we can be successful by working harder and harder are flawed and with research to back this up.
Clean Eating Alice Eat Well Everyday by Alice Liveing, my new cookbook which is taking its place beside my ‘Deliciously Ella’ cookbooks as to live well you need good fuel.
Michael McIntyre clips because finding your favourite comedians can help you add more laughter to your life. (watch with earphones if little ones with you)