Friday, July 09, 2004

Looking Within Myself

The other day I asked two colleagues if they would read my case study and critique it before I submitted it. They agreed to happily, without a moment’s pause and really gave of themselves, as they always do, to help me look at what I’d written from all perspectives. Leave it to two other Coaches to ask a gazillion questions along the way : ) I got way more than I could have hoped for. Not so much for the feedback which in itself was fantastic, but for the self-awareness it brought.

One thing that came to mind, was how I am so focused on my clients and their growth, speed of learning, challenges and victories they experience every day, that I don’t realise the impact coaching others has on me, and how much I learn from it.

Today it really hit me. I was in a strategy and debriefing meeting with 4 clients and when I shared with their boss my own feedback about facilitating a retreat with them all, it occurred to me how I rarely see myself in the context of learning and being coached, especially as I am the Coach.

When I was talking to her after the meeting (and subsequently shared this with one of the group as well), I learned how a collaborative partnership between a Coach and willing client goes way past the coaching experience, level of newfound awareness and growth. For me it was the realization of how they trust me absolutely. This group puts themselves in my hands, no matter how many buttons I push or bizarre exercises I ask them to participate in. They do it, knowing they will learn from it. Oh they tease me to death and know the unusual is the usual when it comes to working with me, but they do it and do it happily and can’t wait to share the results afterwards.

So now I have to learn to balance being mindful of my clients as I shadow and coach them through their day, as well as myself and how these new insights can enrich the experience for us both.

Thank you Danielle and Sylvie……you did it again….opening my eyes to what I was missing! A Shadow being shadowed….even long distance. Working with you is like “looking through a wide-angle lens that lets you see the entire forest, not just the one tree limb you walked up on.”

So of course, as I sit here translating that to various scenarios….I wonder how you would all benefit if you let your colleagues shadow or observe you in various situations and help you become aware of what’s right under your nose. Just how powerful would that be?

.........a deep in thought, wishing you the best…
Donna Karlin

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