Living the Masteries is a regular column where we invite coaches to share their experiences of Living the Masteries in their everyday lives. As we become aware of the Masteries and really understand and use them, we realise just how powerful they are and how, used effectively, they can truly make a lasting difference to the world.
This month we shine the spotlight on Mastery #5 – Expressing
Expressing is all about how we communicate, how we communicate our commitment, intent and ideas to others. It’s about asking ourselves, "Just how effective is my communication?"
I have often been frustrated and irritated by my interactions with others. I’ve felt unheard, misunderstood and bored. In fact this has happened to me a lot. Studying Mastery #5 has helped me to understand what these people were mirroring to me. It’s given me the opportunity to clean up my communication and express myself much more effectively. This benefits me as well as those I speak to, whether professionally as a coach or in all the other areas of my life. This is what I have learnt:
Good listening isn't enough
In order to express myself effectively, I need to listen well. However, even if I am an effective listener, I don’t automatically add value to a conversation through my words. Good communication helps put others at ease and helps them to trust. When I express myself well, I also leave room for others to ask questions and interact with me.
Communicate FOR not TO
The Masteries e-book encourages us to communicate FOR the client not TO the client. What does this mean?
When I choose to share information or interact with another person, I find it helpful to ask myself, "What is my motive for saying this? Am I just sharing this information to make myself seem knowledgeable or will this information enhance the exchange and serve as a springboard for further discovery? Am I speaking just to fill the gaps or would a moment of silence here enable us both to deepen our understanding of what is going on?"
Communication is collaboration
Effective communication with another person is collaborative when we both feel heard and respected. I find it helpful to pause from time to time and to make sure that I give ample opportunity to the other person to share with me and to express themselves. If I interrupt I make sure it is in the interest of clear communication between us versus just to get my point across or to have my say. My experience has taught me that when I am mindful of all of the above, I am more authentic in my communication too.
When we become able to express ourselves masterfully, we add value to all our exchanges not only by what we say, but also by what we don’t say. Conversations expand our relationships and the way we say things can be a springboard for more open, meaningful and satisfying discussions.
I’d now like to invite Alberto J. Calderón to tell us about some of his experience of using Mastery #5 with clients.
Having effective, clear and friendly exchanges with my clients, or with others in my life, has entailed commitment, focus and deep self-awareness. Learning how to express myself has invited me to become more attentive to others and to appreciate all of who they are. With my clients it has meant that they feel the freedom to be themselves. I have noticed that they then begin to assign new meanings and interpretations to their experiences and move forward at their own pace. I invite my clients to design respectful communication spaces in their lives, focused on who they are and what they want, according to the different situations they find themselves in. Interactions become more confident and exciting and ideas flow freely.
Expressing is a special Mastery that enables the coach to adapt to the client’s rhythm, using his own resources to help him move forward, without imposing anything on the client.
Effective expressing helps me to look for the best in myself and to offer it to my clients. It invites me to study, know myself, transcend, and cultivate inner virtues and qualities and to develop new abilities. It is a permanent invitation to move my own excellence forward. Each client provides a new opportunity to serve, enabling me to contribute to creating a better world.
I invite you to think about your conversations. Do you impose your ideas or opinions, or do you help open up new possibilities and synergies, where the ideas of your clients flow freely?
Alberto J. Calderón, MCS, PCC, OC, MBA, doctorate (Social Anthropology) is the President of MORE Global, CCS-Comunidad de Coaching Sistémico and the IAC Chapter of Mexico. Alberto is a coach, consultant, teacher, trainer, researcher and life learner, seeking to improve personal evolution, the productivity of organizations and quality of life. www.morecoach.com
This is your column, it can only continue if you share your experiences of Living the Masteries. Would you be willing to share how you were inspired to see new possibilities for yourself and your life or how you helped others do this? Please send us your stories—you will inspire others by your sharing, and by talking about the Masteries, we create an echo chamber where their power takes on new meaning in the world.
Send your contributions to Alison Davis at Alison@foundationsforliving.com, so she can share them for you in the Living the Masteries column in the VOICE each month.
Alison Davis, IAC-CC, is a certifying examiner at the IAC, coach, mentor coach and founder of the IAC–licensed virtual coaching school Foundations for Living. Discover more at www.foundationsforliving.com.