Coaching Moments

"Coaching Moments" takes a
thoughtful, and sometimes lighthearted, look at how coaching
can be interwoven into our daily lives. 

all kinds of gardens
by Janice Hunter

I love our garden in
May. Last spring, I spent hours outside with an MP3 player, relishing
the coaching sessions my colleagues had sent me to critique. This year,
I've been blessing the person who invented the wireless laptop that
allows me to work outside on ebooks, websites, teleclasses and articles
and to correspond with friends and colleagues from all over the world.

Scotland's not renowned
for its glorious weather – it's lush and green for a reason! But when
the sun comes out, there's a flurry of activity as people celebrate the
chance to spruce up and preen their front gardens. Lawnmowers rev and
back gardens become relaxed outdoor living spaces where laughing
neighbours, friends and families spontaneously gather around sizzling
barbeques to chat and drink beer. As I sit on our back steps with the
sun on my face, gently crushing the fragrance of rosemary and mock
orange blossom between my fingers, my garden always reminds me of my

The mossy, winding path
of weathered paving stones we laid years ago leads into little secret
patios inviting me to pause, still my thoughts and enjoy the birdsong
or a breeze rustling through the branches. Bordering this path is a
tall, dense patchwork of planting which pretty much takes care of
itself now. I'm not the world's best pruner or weeder so I play to my
strengths and plant evergreens, easy perennials and ground cover.
Reliable old favourites and the odd surprising newcomer. As I'm a coach
who talks too much, it'll come as no surprise that I'm a gardener who
plants too densely. My narrow strip of garden's always teaming with
birds, bugs and grubby kids and you never know what you'll discover

Slim, blue-green
conifers, purple tipped hebes, laurels and rhododendrons form the
evergreen backbone of the planting. Softening the hard edges of the
paving are delicate pink flowering alpines, fat green elephant's ears
bearing spears of mauve flowers, burgundy heucheras and deep purple
daisy-like blooms set against a crown of arching, russet cordyline
spikes. A few well chosen plants, but all working hard. Flowing colour
harmonies, contrasting heights, leaves and shapes all combining to
serve more than one purpose in a small, confined space. Over the years,
I've learned by trial and error what works and what doesn't and now I
just trust my instincts, have fun and play it by ear when I plant. I've
learned to do the same with my coaching.

Everywhere I go in my
garden, every day, every season, even in the winter as I gently brush
the snow off branches bowed and about to break, I hear, see, feel and
smell something different, something perfect. Every coaching session
has its own rhythm too, its own harmonies and unexpected treasures,
just as every coach has their own reliable evergreens and well trodden

Many coaches are anxious
about whether their coaching style is a ‘fit' with what the IAC is
looking for in a thirty minute exam submission. Yet, while each of the
IAC examiners must wander through all kinds of ‘coaching gardens',
savouring sounds, silences, shapes, colours, movement and fragrances
that resonate with their own unique perceptions, we all know that true
beauty can show up in the smallest of spaces – and when it does, it's
unmissable, carrying with it the power to unite hearts and minds across
time and space. A truly masterful coaching session can do the same.

My thanks to all of you
who wrote to comment on my piece last month and apologies to anyone who
tried to respond but got their email sent back. I had a server problem
for a few days. I'd be very grateful if you could resend anything that
was bounced back as I love hearing your input. ~ Janice

Hunter is a writer, teacher and IAC certified coach who
currently specialises in homelife coaching – helping people
create authentic, spirit filled lives and homes they love –
and in supporting coaches on their certification journeys.
She lives in Scotland with her husband and two children.



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