Scenic Turnout

September 29, 2008

Today I rounded a corner on the Twisting Road and came across a wonderful view. I pulled over to get a better look and realized there was space cleared out to the side of the road to park. I got out, looked a long time at the scene before me, and breathed in. As I breathed out, I let go of tension and worry and enjoyed the moment. It was just the right time and place for a scenic turnout.

My allegorical scenic turnout was the pause I took today after the final class of my intensive coaching skills course. In our final class we coached each other in short, quick sessions and discovered we had developed more confidence and clarity as coaches. Each class member then spoke to classmates and our instructor about the way they have touched our lives and improved us as people.

I have been looking forward to the end of this course as a milestone in my coaching career. During the many months of basic coaching training, I found where my knowledge and personal traits help me as a coach and where I needed more information and experience. I studied and practiced the skills until I was able to coach competently. The intensive skills class challenged me to improve rapidly. As it ends, I know I am a much stronger coach who can help people change their lives dramatically.

One of the last classes we had was on the skill of celebration. We learned specific ways to focus clients on their accomplishments and help them appreciate their own effort overcoming obstacles. All of us tend to look at the to-do list and get frustrated with ourselves for all we haven’t gotten done. Celebration has us look at the all-done list, or the “ta-da!” list, to see the value in our progress.

I thanked my classmates today for their willingness to try things that felt awkward or uncomfortable at times as we practiced skills together. I also thanked them for their kindness and gentleness with me so that I felt safe trying new things and taking risks. We have to take risks to stretch ourselves. That’s tough to do if mistakes are criticized. It’s much easier when grace is extended and mistakes are just steps on the road to mastery.

I especially thanked our instructor, Anne Durand. I have heard several coaching demonstrations and read coaching transcripts. I understood coaching pretty well through these examples and was able to see in general where I was headed as a novice coach. Anne’s coaching was above anything I had heard or read before. She manages the skills of coaching with elegance and ease. Her heart and her intuition are fully engaged and she creates a very safe space for people to explore and challenge themselves. She is the beacon on a hill, the standard to which I will aspire in my coaching career.

You can learn more about the field of professional coaching at the MentorCoach website. The basic coaching class is called Foundations and will prepare you to begin your own coaching business. MentorCoach has its own certification program recognized by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Courses taken through MentorCoach count toward ICF certification if you take courses from a variety of programs.

May You Know the Joy of Sharing Your Gifts,

Steve Coxsey

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