Some years ago, as one of us (BC) was concluding a coaching engagement with a client, the conversation turned, as it does, to how to carry the good work forward. What new habits and actions, what new questions or perspectives, had the client discovered or developed through coaching that client might want to keep using?
For some reason, the idea wasn’t resonating, so I changed the question. “What tools do you want to keep on your tool belt? What do you want to have ready at hand because you use them constantly—like a carpenter uses hammer? What will you want to keep in your tool chest, where you’d put the more specialized tools you need to be able to find but don’t necessarily need all the time?” This time, the conversation tracked.
As it happens, later, I enjoyed a good company and good meal at a conference for coaches, swapping anecdotes and answers with a group of five colleagues. We shared the best ideas we had been using or seen in use in coaching recently—the conversation pirouetted around advanced coaching courses, new perspectives, interesting questions to ask clients, what to do when stuck in a session. Like a group of carpenters proud of their tools and happy to share, we showed off some of the contents of our coaching tool chests, as we have invited others to do—and as we are inviting you to do!—in this issue of our magazine.
So, welcome to the 11th issue of The Future of Coaching! In the nearly three years we’ve been publishing this magazine, we’ve endeavored to add to the discourse of coaching—and to do so with joy. (We hope you have enjoyed it as well.) We’ve looked at research in coaching; we’ve remarked on supervision in coaching; we’ve explored coaching within professions, among other broad themes.
In this issue, in the collaborative spirit of coaching and the dinner we mentioned above, we intend to create a Coaching tool chest—a perennially open issue of coaching tools, approaches, perspectives, questions, etc. We are publishing the things you as coaches want to share with your peers. You might consider it a digital conversation of show-and-tell to contribute to people who, like you, are craftspeople of the soul. When you sit down for coffee or a meal with your coaching friends, what do you share about how you do your work?