Sunday, July 17, 2011

Spiritual Coaching I

As a spiritual life coach, I belong to a few groups on LinkedIn and the recent discussions have been around spiritual coaching and core competencies.  I am excited by the fact that we are openly and courageously bringing the word “spiritual” into serious coaching conversations and deeper yet, trying to define the core competencies that would be related to it.

Today, I’d like to write about “coaching presence” or the first coaching competency as defined by the ICF (International Coach Federation): sees many ways to work with the client, and chooses in the moment what is most effective.

When I work with my clients who happen to be professional women in the corporate world, the word spiritual is not something that I loosely throw around.  I am careful with my words, extremely careful, and so, I usually don’t use words that my clients are either not familiar with or might be uncomfortable around.  I believe, that if I have to define it, it is probably not worth using.  I rarely use the word spiritual and yet, I consider most of the work I do to be spiritual.  It is spiritual because it is not about the words, the mind, or the emotions that are the result of an over worked mind. 

I always assess where the client is at the moment, not yesterday, last session, or where I hope they are based on what they said last time.  The coach has to be present and in the now for coaching to work.  In order to facilitate the coaching presence, the coach has to be present in the now moment.  This is a spiritual concept, because in order to truly be in the now, you have to let go of what happened, your judgments, your hopes, your analyses, the notes you took from last time, your ego, what you want to accomplish, your need to feel important … 

You have to let go of it all, in order to be present.  You have to be an empty vessel for the client to feel confident with you to empty her vessel.  During the client’s emptying is when learning happens.  In those sacred moments all that is there, is an empty space. 

That is coaching presence as I practice and understand it to be, and this is a spiritual exchange or connection.  Stripped from our egos, minds, thoughts, judgments, analyses, other people’s words, fears, beliefs, we are free to recognize what we already know.

So, yes, the core competency of coaching presence is indeed addressed during an effective spiritual life coaching session.

Questions to Ponder:
1)    How present are you on average? 
2)    Can you relate your “presence” to your level of satisfaction with life?

If you are interested in spiritual life coaching, please contact me for a complimentary 30 minute session.

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