What is the most powerful coaching session you have been a part of?
I’m not going to go into details or reveal confidential information at all.
I am bound by coaching ethics and confidentiality agreements, so I won’t break that trust, but I can give you an anonymous overview of something I found particularly powerful.
Powerful Coaching Session 1
I was working in Germany as an agile coach and had been with the organization for a little over a year. Once a week we would have a coaching mentoring session, but there was definitely an element of coaching that took place as well, and this was one of my most powerful experiences.
It was an interesting experience because it was my turn to practise coaching with another coach, and as we moved through the session he kept telling me what I was going to ask him directly after making a revelation or providing an answer.
I wasn’t going to ask him any of the questions that he thought I might, I was just listening intently.
This went on for about an hour. At the end of that session, he stood up and thanked me, and told me that he had no idea how I had pulled it off but that was incredibly useful.
And off he went.
I didn’t say a word the entire session. I said good morning and good bye, but that was it.
We had reached a point in the session where he was comfortable enough to talk openly and honestly about all of the elements that required his attention, he was astute enough to observe his own thinking and through his own analysis of what was going on, he came up with questions that helped him find the answers that he was looking for.
In essence, self-coaching.
It was a demonstration of just how powerful coaching can be, and just how effectively certain questions and techniques allow us to float above the mist and see clearly for the first time. It didn’t matter that he was asking himself those questions, rather than me asking, it mattered that the process and the techniques were powerful enough to illuminate what he needed to see.
Powerful Coaching Session 2
A while back, my wife and I had a book collection problem.
Our entire home was filled with books, pretty much every single book I had ever read, and I read an average of a book a week, so you can imagine how many books we are talking about.
Thousands of books.
My second most powerful coaching session was about how to get rid of the books in our home.
I was raised in a home with a reverence for the written word. Our heroes were authors. If we needed to know something, we turned to a book. If we wanted inspiration, we turned to a book. If we wanted to escape, we turned to a book.
From cooking to acquiring skills, books were the path to enlightenment and self-development.
I simply didn’t have it in me to get rid of a book. I didn’t have it in me to break those unwritten laws.
It took 45 minutes of coaching, and I was done.
I went home, sent the books off to a bookstore for to be donated or sold for charity, and that was the end of that.
I started purchasing via Kindle and kept digital copies of my books moving forward. If I did receive a book as a gift or decided to purchase a physical book, I would read it and then pass it forward for someone else to gain value from the experience too.
A lifetime of habit. A lifetime of belief structures deeply embedded in treasuring books. A lifetime of stuff floating around my head just evaporated in 45 minutes.
I’ve never had the desire to hoard books since, nor do I imagine I will hoard books in the future.
That is how powerful coaching can be. That is what can be achieved in just 45 minutes.
About John McFadyen
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