Transformational coaching is a journey. It has its ups and downs and unexpected turns. Some coaching sessions are truly a break-through experience, and some just make you go “hmm”. It’s all part of the transformational journey. There is no prescribed procedure. Each journey is as unique as the person experiencing it.
Equally important to the journey are the lessons learned along the way. These lessons, if not observed, given their due consideration and learned from, are missed opportunities in the coaching process. Like a mystery novel, you won’t discover the lessons your journey reveals until they are upon you. These lessons like the journey itself are precious. They are the rare gems to be discovered through your personal self-development, your inner work, and sometimes through trials and tribulations. Your lessons will certainly be worth every bit of effort it takes to discover them.
It’s About Lessons Learned
Here’s a practical ‘lessons learned’ example. At 5 AM our little Yorkie starting whining and I knew what that meant. I rushed her to the front door, hooked her to the tie-out lead and opened the door. She bolted out and went, traveled five feet and went again, and then another ten feet and went again. We had recently made a sudden change in her diet as a knee-jerk reaction to a frightful diagnosis from her vet, and the result of our panicked decision was now all over the front lawn. Life really is about choices.
The particular lesson learned from this morning: change the diet slowly – ease into it. We already knew that, but in a panic we had disregarded it. How many lessons have you already learned, but for whatever reason you’ve discounted their importance? Like that new special someone that your gut tells you is not right for you, but you let yourself fall in love anyway. Or that parental gut feeling you had about your child that you ignored because of another person’s opinion. Some of these oversights can cause hurt and some can create a real mess.
Continuing the Transformational process
Change – like a change in diet, a relationship change, a career change, or the change you’ll experience in transformational coaching – is a process. ‘Process’ seems like such a daunting word, does it not? Effort. Time. Energy. Ugh! That’s how it can feel sometimes – overwhelming; and who needs more overwhelm? We want to push a button, take a pill, or “click here” and have the entire thing over and done with. What if you didn’t think about the effort, time, and energy, and instead just let it unfold? See what comes. Trust it. Allow it. Whatever “it” is.
The Key Elements of Transformational Coaching
Like the change that comes about from transformational coaching, one must ease into it, and pay attention to the experience. An important practice for any coaching client: learn from the experience. Some clients don’t self-observe between coaching sessions. They pay attention to self-awareness during the session, but the sessions themselves are only part of the experience. Oftentimes the answers to personal self-development and the corresponding transformation that occurs emerge in the spaces between. What are you are thinking and feeling between sessions? Let your coach know about those thoughts and emotions. There could be juicy nuggets of learning packed into them. Expecting overnight change, rushing into it with unrealistic expectations, or not following a professionally guided coaching process could create, well, a mess. Remember that each experience will be different from one individual to another – making your transformational journey all the more extraordinary