Originally published in Coaching for Transformation
Leaps of insight, awareness or creativity are spontaneous. When a natural opening presents itself, we can mine the vein of gold. To be in the natural flow, we recognize openings, let go of our agenda, follow our intuition and respond in the moment.
For example, a client says she is sick and tired of the same old same old. Rather than trying to fi nd a solution the same old way, the coach hears that new felt sense, interrupts and acknowledges, “What’s the easy way out of being ‘sick and tired’?”
If we get an image of the client flying, instead of deliberating the pros and cons, we can respond to that moment by saying, “I see you flying,” which may open the client to a whole new way of seeing life.
Natural openings are not thought out. We simply respond. After we learn coaching skills and processes, we can eventually let go of logical practices and flow with our clients, meeting them with what is called for in the moment.
Being in the flow means we pay attention to opportunities, which are often verbal—a slip of the tongue, saying the same thing twice, or talking about other people as a means to explore the self. When the client says, “A bird just came to my window,” we can see this as a distraction, or as a natural opening. “Talk to the bird...” can be far more empowering than asking, “What are you avoiding?”
Awareness of body language often supports the natural flow. When a client picks a piece of lint off her clothing, the coach can explore the natural opening by connecting the action to what she is saying. The coach might ask, “What would you like to get rid of?” or “What’s annoying you?” With a client who is highly aware and attuned to self discovery, the coach might simply say, “You just removed a piece of lint,” and leave space for her to explore or make her own meaning.
As coaches, we have hundreds of options when it comes to ways to go with the natural flow. Connecting the natural opening to the client’s agenda for the session, tying the micro-movement to values or vision, or making the connection to the client’s goals supports the natural flow of coaching.
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