by Martha Pasternack
Recently, I dropped my husband off at our small-town grocery store to join a fabulous group of folks for a three-day, late summer river trip. After kissing him farewell I decided to go into the store and have a look around. It being a small town grocery store, I loosened up my loyalty to all-things-organic, sugar-free, vegetarian, and locally grown. I decided to make myself a pizza on one of those nights, so I grabbed some refrigerator pizza dough — you know the one in the tube with that cute little doughboy on the label — and all of the fixings. (I forgot the pepperoni.)
Ted doesn’t like pizza so this was my chance to eat outside of the “box”.
It was a beautiful drive back up to 9000 feet above sea level where we now live, and I was blissed out at the thought of having a few days alone in our cabin.
When I got home I unpacked a few of the groceries that needed to be put away immediately and left a few things on the kitchen table while I got distracted by the dishes I had left in the sink. I washed up the dishes and, forgetting my groceries, sat down on the couch to read some mail.
While I was sitting on the couch reading my mail I heard an “explosion”. Yeah, you guessed it. The tube that was left on the kitchen table exploded and became an unwieldy, oozing pile of pizza dough right in the middle of my kitchen table. What a mess. It must have been the altitude and I should have known better. My next thought was, “I guess I’m having pizza tonight.”
The deepest lesson I learned: “Next time, Martha, remember the pepperoni!”
Why am I telling you this sad story? Because I’m wondering if you guessed my lesson before I told you what it was. Too often coaches reach a conclusion before our client does based on our biases. We get ahead of our clients and ourselves. Mastery #4, Processing in the Present, reminds us to allow our clients to finish their own thoughts, as does Mastery #3 Engaged Listening. Yet, processing in the present empowers us to be “…highly attuned to subtle communications from the client” and to “…remain open to the client’s perspective” and to be aware if we push our own point of view (bias is my word) or agenda.
Forgetting the pepperoni may lead to more profound insight than any other part of the story. When practicing IAC #4 the coach “trusts the coaching process” and “adapts the coaching style, energy, or communication to support what is needed by the client in the moment. IAC Mastery #4, processing in the present, is pivotal and engages all the other masteries.
That’s my opinion. What do you think?
Martha Pasternack, MMC www.CircleofLifeCoach.com