“I see the light” (because I’m a Coach)

July 9th, 2014, by Francia Guzman, Managing Director, FBG Consulting

I know when I see the light. I could say it’s because I was born in a country that for as long as I remember has dealt with energy issues, but frankly it’s because I’m a coach. Very few professions allow you to accompany someone to “see the light” the way coaching does.

People come to coaching for multiple reasons, but whatever those are when they do they’re generally confused (whether they accept it or not). That feeling of negativity can range from mild to severe and the coach needs to provide comfort, inspiration, prompt action to change and hope to accomplish the clarity that is aspired.

You can say that’s coaching specific for troubled employees with bad behavior that needs to change. I differ because even if you’re coming to be groomed for the next executive role, you’re struggling with the fact that you’re not quite ready yet and the hope that you will be.

For more than a decade I have been doing internal coaching for two large global organizations and now in my private practice. Coaching came to me when I realized that just my natural skills and HR knowledge would not do. Coaching is extremely impactful and there’s no way I want to inefficiently mess with someone’s life. What I can say is that my love for coaching became such that I made it part of my personal and professional relationships. I not only trained as many HR and business people as I could, making it my commitment to expose them to this “magical” process; but, it has become such an important part of my life that in fact when I need to address behavioral issues with my husband he tends to start with “Ok, here comes coaching”.

My longest coaching relationship was for a few years and my shortest was probably for 10 minutes to support someone resolve a pressing issue. Regardless of length, the relationship that’s established with the coachee is permanent and the coaching skill becomes a way of life. There are people I supported along the way that still reach out when faced with career decisions -10 years later. The rest I hope continues to practice self-coaching to get them through challenges. There’s nothing more rewarding than someone positively referring to the support and guidance you provided for them at some critical point in their lives. Maybe you didn’t notice but they did.

What’s important is that when I’m sitting there in front of the coachee, I’m dressed with humility and good intentions. My senses become very keen and my level of observation becomes very deep. So much going through my mind: the next question, the process to follow, when to be directive and non-directive, etc.

But above everything a model could offer, I’m trying to see the light. I’m trying to understand the person. I’m trying to know where he/she is coming from. I’m trying to define what will prompt them to action. I’m trying to help them see the great person I see in them. I’m pushing them and tell them I don’t agree if they minimize themselves or think they’re less capable than they are. I can’t allow them to standstill in the resolution of an issue or to limit their dreams. I’m sitting there looking at the person they will be although I realize they still only see the person they are today. I’m seeing them in the future, their increased capabilities, their willpower, their commitment, their personal progression. I’m hoping I can influence them in a way to make their surge for action sustainable; something permanent in the way they live their lives. I see the light. The light I want them to see and the purpose of my coaching is to take them there.

As a coach:

  • Remember it’s not about you. It’s about them. They focus on the goal, you focus on them
  • Be willing to turn negativism into positivism; confusion into clarity; and defeat into hope and stay strong enough to not get personally stuck in the bad feelings
  • If you’re not great at it please, please don’t coach at all
  • You can’t sell it if you haven’t experienced things yourself or through others, so experiment and apply learning to your own life. Be the person you want them to be.
  • Remember, success is getting them to a point where they can see their greatness and understand their opportunities– that’s the optimum of self-awareness
  • Help them see they’re not alone in the world and what they do affects others, so they develop social-awareness
  • And surely if you’re successful you will both see the light that shines in your coachees

 

“Being a great coach is measured on your ability to get someone to see something in themselves, they don’t already see, and make them truly believe it” (Tim Sackett- http://fistfuloftalent.com/2011/10/are-you-a-coach-in-hr.html)