Can Coaching Awaken Joy for Our Clients?
That depends on your definition of joy. Does it mean pleasure? Being carefree? Happy? Giddy? Blissful? When you feel joy, do you rejoice? Laugh out loud? Cry?
Merriam Webster defines joy as “The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.” I define joy all the above as well as a delightful feeling. Being joyful is being delighted with the present moment. Because life is mysterious, joy can be part of any experience whether it is surrounded by sorrow or glee.
I once worked with a client who, after years of debilitating self-doubt, had the insight that she was still in control of decisions and opportunities. Yes, she cried when she realized this even though she felt the grief around lost time. She also felt joyful because she felt like she broke her self imposed glass ceiling. Subsequently, this client went on to risk pursuing a career as a professional nurse, which meant befriending her self-doubt.
My experience of the sorrow of unexplained infertility opened me up to the profound joy of self-acceptance. That ultimately led me to adopt my two children as infants. When I opened to the potential of becoming a mother this way I cried.
Neurochemically speaking, tears of sorrow and tears of joy serve the same purpose, and that is to bring us from an extreme emotion to a centered place, an emotionally neutral if you will, so we can think clearly about next steps. Don’t be afraid of the tears.
In a coaching conversation, a client may have an insight into a perceived dilemma. That doesn’t always mean our client will experience happiness or giddiness and it may even bring on tears. They may still feel joyful because of their success, and because of the well-being emerging from their insight.
The IAC Coaching Mastery® #2, perceiving, affirming and expanding the client’s potential, guides the conversation towards insight and has the potential to unlock the delightful experience of forward motion on the pathway of empowerment. It might not feel “good”, yet it may feel joyful.
The IAC Path to Mastery supports us to deepen our understanding of ways we can integrate The IAC Coaching Masteries® into each coaching session. The IAC Coaching Masteries® are intertwined, belong together and provide practice opportunities for masterful coaching.
Masterful coaching opens our clients to what is possible and offers opportunities to honor intentions for a life well lived. What could be more delightful than that?
Now you know that in my opinion coaching can, in fact, awaken joy for our clients.