Coaching Presence: A Way In

    As coaches, we recognize the pivotal role coaching presence plays in masterful coaching. Coaching presence cultivates trust in the client relationship, supports deep and active listening that leads to powerful questioning, and models the awareness we wish for our clients to bring into their lives. We’ve all experienced this presence in those moments when we suddenly recognize what’s truly called for — whether that’s offering a resonant moment of silence, reflecting back a word or phrase that has deep meaning, or offering a question to draw out what’s so far not been explicitly voiced.

    So, as coaches, we know that we have this capacity, and we know the importance of this type of presence to our craft. However, for most of us, just knowing this isn’t enough for us to be this. At least not with regularity.

    Mindfulness training offers a way for us to develop our ability to tap into this innate presence more consistently. Rather than leave it to chance we will get lucky in the next coaching session, we can become proficient in the tools we are each equipped with as human beings: attention, awareness, and the reflective power of mindfulness itself.

    One of the most effective ways of becoming proficient in these tools is through meditation. Mindfulness meditation is not an end in itself; it’s not meant as an escape from the stresses of our everyday lives. Although it’s true that as we develop these skills in meditation, we discover we have access to a sense of inner joy and peace that in itself is deeply satisfying, what is most transformative is the ability to take what we learn from the practice into our interactions with others. Including, of course, our interactions with our coaching clients. 

    If you’d like to experiment with mindfulness meditation in the service of developing your coaching presence, there are many great resources available. In some ways, we now live in a time when there are so many resources it can be a little bewildering. So this sentence is a link to a short mindfulness awareness practice on the app Insight Timer you can try. Enjoy!

    Patrick Briody, ACC, is a certified Hudson Institute coach, and certified teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. He works with individuals one-on-one and delivers training to groups. If you’re a coach or counselor, please consider joining the live online Mindful Awareness Practice For Coaches course coming up in October 2019.


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