An impact is defined as “The effect or influence of one person, thing or action on another person, thing or action.”
When we hit a nail with a hammer, we see the impact of that force.
When the winds blow, and floodwaters rise, we experience the impact of nature.
When we take bread from the oven, we smell the impact of heat on the dough.
When we soothe a crying baby, we hear the impact of a gentle touch.
Words have a tremendous impact as well. They can influence us and others in a variety of ways. Words can create change. Words can elicit and convey emotions, ideas, and potential. Words can empower us or disempower us. For example here is one of my favorite quotes from Michael Bridge:
“When my eyes see my hands doing the work of my heart, the doors of my soul open wide, and Love flows in to heal everything in sight.”
How do these words impact you?
What do you feel when you read these words?
Do you have images in your mind that the words inspired?
Can you relate to these images or are they uninspiring?
We know the impact coaching can have on our clients personally, professionally, and socially. Many of us are empowered by a vision of serving others and the future in this impactful way. We have plenty of stories we can share about how our work influences others. We have stories about our own transformative experiences resulting from being coached. Sometimes the changes are dramatic and sometimes subtle.
The words we choose to communicate with our clients are powerful. Psychological studies have proven this time and again. Our words impact the person spoken to, and they also influence the speaker. The words we use to engender trust, openness, curiosity, courage, and recognition of potential are foundational to the coaching process. They influence the coach as well as the client.
Sometimes our words are predicated on biases we hold about another person or situation, and that is why the thoughts behind our words are as important as the words we use. We can harm or heal with our words. The masterful coach realizes this takes responsibility for continued professional sensitivity and development.
When we, as coaches, are mindful of and responsible for the words we use, we potentiate The Coaching Mastery™ #8 which is: Inviting Possibility.
The definition of the IAC Coaching Mastery™ #8 is as follows:
“Creating an environment that allows ideas, options, and opportunities to emerge.” The key elements of this mastery are “Trust, openness, curiosity, courage, and recognition of potential. The coach and the client communicate through exploration and discovery.”
This definition and the key elements remind me of the definition of “impact” we used at the start. In all of our verbal communications, personally and professionally, we must choose our words carefully because the power they have to impact, influence, harm or heal will follow the exploration and discovery of what is possible.
Martha Pasternack, MMC; My passion for witnessing the beauty and mystery of life, healthy healing and the promotion of Peace on Earth are integral to my daily life. I have been life coaching since 2004 as a Fearless Living Coach after working 30 years as a health care professional.
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