In our group mentor coaching classes, everybody coaches, and everybody is coached. When you’re not coaching or being coached, you’re observing the coaching.
Typically, I hear feedback about the insights people gained about their own coaching, and how they were able to hone their skills. It’s all about the learning, learning, learning.
Recently, I heard a very different response. For this group, it was about how great it was to BE coached. Even though these were relatively new coaches, just preparing to be credentialed, they had already fallen into the pattern of coaching others but not being coached themselves.
That led to a lengthy discussion about just how important it is for coaches to be coached regularly. We got into the value coaching holds for them as a person, and also as a coach. I’m glad it came up because it speaks to an important need for all of us.
As the ones being coached, I could see people’s energy change as they became excited about whatever topic they were coached about. Their coach served as a thinking partner, not someone telling them what to do. Like our clients, we coaches get caught up in day-to-day life and we don’t always get (or take) the time to just think.
One coach shared that this was a reminder of why she is a coach. The experience was so helpful for her, and this is what she can bring to her clients. It’s a wonderful feeling to get clear about something, even if it’s only about the very next step.
The ethics of coaching require us to be aware of our own stuff and not have it interfere with our coaching. Because it CAN interfere, and working with our own coach helps that to not happen. This is not just for coaches who are starting out, but for all of us who are coaching, or who are in leadership roles.
We all need that outside voice. I still work with a coach, yet I’m not sure how many coaches do. I hear master-level coaches talk about working with their own coach, but not all other coaches.
My daughter gave me a plaque that hangs in my office for me to reflect on every day. It reads: “Who coaches the coaches?”