Does Every Good Coach Need a Coach?
by Natalie Tucker Miller, MCC (IAC)
Question: I've heard it said that every good coach has a coach. Why is that important?
Answer: One of the misconceptions about coaching is that someone needs to be struggling with a problem in order to benefit from the forward motion coaching can provide. This view is just a partial snapshot of coaching efficacy. Certainly a coach can help a client reframe a stressful situation, see things from another point of view and/or tap into the client's innate sense of self to solve a problem.
Yet coaching promises so much more than solutions to specific situations. When the focus remains on addressing the client's situation, time after time, there is a missed opportunity for the client to get to know themselves on an intimate level. The coach who understands this level of growth recognizes the benefits beyond solving a single issue.
In fact, single issues are rare. There are usually patterns that emerge in the client's reactions to situations—underlying reasons that stress recurs—and until the client makes an honest assessment of these patterns, stressful situations will continue to be recycled. Even though this process occurs for most of us, people are often stunned when they discover that their behavior is out of habit rather than awareness.
The idea of coaches having coaches makes perfect sense. In my experience, in addition to helping me uncover blind spots that might otherwise prevent me from being fully present with my client, the experience of being in the position of the client provides a 360 degree view of development.
Here are a couple of examples of how experiencing the Masteries as a client can support you as a coach. (This is not to imply that your coach's only function is to enhance your coaching practice, rather an illustration of how coaching can be a powerful part of your professional development.)
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Natalie Tucker Miller, MCC (IAC), is the Lead Certifier and a certifying examiner at the IAC, as well as Past-President. Natalie is founder of Ageless-Sages.com Publishing (www.ageless-sages.com), and creator of the literary genre, Picture Books for Elders™.
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