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The Conscious Coach as Midwife

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Guiding and Caretaking: Guiding is the process of directing another person along the path leading from where they are present to where they want to be, providing a safe and supportive environment without unnecessary distractions or interferences from the outside.

Teaching; Teaching relates to helping a person develop cognitive skills and capabilities, and the emphasis is on learning. It focuses on the acquisition of general skills, rather than on performance in specific situations. A teacher helps a person to develop new strategies for thinking and acting.

Mentoring; A teacher instructs, while a coach provides specific behavioural feedback, to help a person learn or grow. Mentors, on the other hand, guide us to discover our unconscious competences and strengthen beliefs and values, often through their example.

Sponsorship; Sponsorship involves creating a context in which others can act, grow, and excel. Sponsorship is about the development of identity and core values, awakening, and safeguarding potential within others. It involves the commitment to the promotion of something that is already within a person or group, but which may not be manifest in its fullest capacity.

Awakening; Awakening goes beyond coaching, teaching, mentoring, and sponsorship to include the level of vision, mission, and spirit. An awakener puts other people in touch with their missions and visions, and thus the coach needs to know his/her vision and mission and purpose.

This last role of ‘awakening’ moves beyond the traditional competency model of coaching into a space that is not easily defined, which requires intuitive presence and deep trust between coach and coachee. There is an element of risk, unpredictability and I dare say adventure in the coaching relationship. This metaphor for coaching offers more generative opportunities for diverse and more in-depth coaching conversations.

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