Thursday, May 13, 2004

Observation and Intuition

I've been coaching quite a long time now. For a new-ish field I think I was coaching before it was called coaching, at least in the realm of executive, work/life balance, personal coaching as opposed to sports. From the traditional model I became a Shadow, not a model many use as it takes an incredible amount of mental and physical energy to be a part of a client's day, chaos, sometimes turmoil and uncontrollable schedule. It's running at their pace processing and being mindful of every interaction to use in my coaching. I have to be aware when my client isn't....and find a way of mirroring that behaviour back to the client in a nonjudgmental way. It's showing behavioural patterns so my clients can choose on their own if they want to maintain or change them and which would give them more value.

And in running through the day and Laser Coaching ™ them throughout, I realised it's like having to be the eye in the centre of the storm, and to share that calmness with my clients so they can see it's not only possible, but beneficial. What came to me this past week was that after all this time as a Shadow, what is a hidden dynamic for me is the use of intuition. It's not easy to find enough clarity in an insanely busy day for the intuitive senses to come out and make themselves "heard", but each time I do, it proves to be invaluable. It's not necessarily what's happening in the moment that strikes me. It's more a natural rhythm of the day and interactions. If I know there's a challenging situation at play and all of a sudden there's silence in that area, something is brewing and it's something to take notice of. While questioning my client about perceptions, insights etc, that's when I bring this up. It's taking notice of energy around you, both positive and negative. When they can be in tune with that, they are no longer reactive to a situation but on top of it and can work with it rather than fight it. If they're having difficulties with someone in their staff for example, and all of a sudden all is quiet in that area for no reason whatsoever, it's something to look at and carefully.

For me, what I learned is not to fight the intuitive thoughts as they come, or to talk myself out of them with logic. It's to incorporate them into the whole picture and work with them to benefit us both.

One of my clients recently told me I look right through him. I think he meant I see past the obvious and actually discussed this with him. One of the benefits of working with a Shadow Coach is to know your Coach will be aware of what you were too busy to pick up. These mini conversations during the day go a long way towards achieving my goal as a Coach which is when my client, through the coaching experience, feels coached 24/7 especially when I'm not there. I'm not treating my client as transparent or one dimensional. It's taking into account all the intricacies of a personality and how that person changes with everyone person, situation and experience they have and seeing what isn't there as well as what is.

How wonderful would it be if we all let our other senses come out to play? I think pleasantly surprised.

Donna Karlin

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