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This past weekend I attended CTI coach training. For three days I was able to experience coaching from an entirely different perspective. This experiential training in a group setting was very powerful. During this weekend I didn’t just meet a new group of people – I met myself! It was amazing to experience the insight and deep intuition of people on a level that made me feel understood, seen, and heard. There were times when I felt like they knew me better than I knew myself – or maybe they were willing to pull out of me what I have spent so many years burying.
During one session, we did an activity where we took turns sitting in the focus seat and others called out what they were seeing in you. It was amazing and encouraging to hear the impressions that people had of me after just 14 hours together. Then, they shifted and identified what they caught glimpses of but really wished would emerge. In the next step, the class began to suggest metaphorical archetypes that captured the part of you that isn’t being fully embraced – who you really are deep inside that needs to be tapped into.
My archetype is a wild child on roller skates. It stands for the part of me that needs to learn to let go of being responsible and selfless and fully embrace having fun, being free, and taking what I really need for myself. This is who I never dare to be – the one who I dream of being able to become when I need her to show up.
The next part of the exercise was to coach and be coached from the perspective of that archetype. How would that person show up as a coach? What would they do? How would they present themselves? The power of this exercise was amazing. I coached from a place that I would never dare to go with most clients. I pushed hard. I challenged them to go further. I became someone on the edge. I dared them to do things I would never suggest to a client. I was relentless in helping them see what was possible if they just let go!
It was really interesting to be in this safe environment coaching in a way that I have never considered coaching a client. But then, I realized that for some clients this might be exactly the coach they need to show up in a session. The exercise wasn’t about me changing who I was as a coach; but about being able to embrace every part of who I am and bring it when the right circumstances presented.
Being coached from this perspective was a pretty powerful place to be also. What would happen if I just got selfish in some areas and stopped giving everything I had to other people? What would happen if I took what I really need and stop giving myself completely away? How would my life and the lives of those in my world change if I allowed that woman to emerge?
The reality is: I can’t be that person all the time. But being able to see the possibilities for just 16 minutes caused a new awareness to rise up in me. The impact that part of me had on the person I was coaching was incredible and scary. The impact it had on me as the coachee told me that it is okay to embrace this person deep inside me when I need her to show up. She is good for me. And she is good for others in my life. When I show up as my authentic self they can become who they are deep inside without me getting in the way.