Presence can be Learned
An important aspect of a coach’s professional development is continuous learning. A recent article on learning in the Harvard Business Review suggests that “through the deliberate use of practice and dedicated strategies to improve our ability to learn, we can all develop expertise faster and more effectively. In short, we can all get better at getting better.”
Writer and marketer Mike Fishbein correctly states that “learning takes time. You’ll inevitably face failure and even boredom along the way.” Fishbein quotes author Robert Greene of Mastery: “Practice, particularly in the beginning, is never exciting. To persist past these moments, you have to feel love for the field, you have to feel passionately excited by the prospect of discovering or inventing something new.”
The takeaway? It takes time to learn. There’s no finish line. Whether you’re a new or experienced coach, you’re always learning and evolving.
Coaches aren’t robots; you may have an “off” day. Show yourself the same compassion and acceptance that you give your clients. Acknowledge that you’re doing the best job possible at that moment in time. Be kind to yourself. If you’re not already doing so, take time to pause, breathe and reflect on being in the moment, the dance of coaching and letting go—even when you’re not at the top of your game. Focus on what you did well and learn for next time.
There were times in my early days of coaching when I talked too much and was too solution focused, too eager to “show” my client my value. It was my mentor coach who taught me that my presence was truly the gift of coaching. Yes, brainstorming strategies, tactics and action plans are all important, but what moves and inspires people is your presence. That has always stuck with me. If you intentionally prepare your mindset before coaching and develop and learn to enhance your presence skills, it will continue to bloom. Trust that your presence is enough.
This article was originally published on ICF Coaching World.