Coach Approach Blog
What do professional coaches listen for?
Some of you have expressed interest in finding out what exactly happens in a professional coaching conversation. What makes it different from the way a friend would listen?
In the coaching process, after connecting human-to-human, the coach's main focus at the beginning of a conversation is, "What is the desire? What is the objective of this conversation?" "What opportunities are wanting to emerge now?"
Yet what often happens is, that a conversation may start with venting... the client comes i…
What's your happiness practice?
Some people believe that when you're on a path of personal and spiritual growth, it's important to find out to root causes of unhappiness in order to make improvements. And yes, it's wise to rise above and observe emotions, to feel them, to be kind to them, and to allow them.
But it can be just as important, if not more so, to focus on our moments of happiness and really settle in to enjoy them, remember them with gratitude, renew them, talk about them, and experience them even more fully.
Becoming a lake
"An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.
“How does it taste?” the master asked.
“Bitter,” spit the apprentice.
The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in th…
I didn't finish today's Wordle. What a heartbreak. What a loss.
I just couldn't think of a word that had a 'V' and an 'I'. I was stuck. And by the time I thought of it, the day's Wordle had passed. "Vivid" came to me hours too late and the board was reset. What's more, I lost my 19-day streak. It felt like a public humiliation and failure. (to whom? so weird)
So I began ruminating on all the life lessons that have emerged for me since beginning to play this five-letter-word guessing game some …
Is prayer more about talking or listening?
It's good to be with you right now. You might want to slow things down a little bit and let this be a time that refreshes you.
When you think of prayer and meditation as "talking", you might be imagining a connection to the divine, in which you are bringing words and content to the experience. You might be reaching out to God or the universe, often using language, to bring your questions, pleas for help, gratitude, and praise.
When you think of prayer or meditation as "listening", your experi…
Who are you controlling these days?
Being in control is a key survival skill and a big step to self-leadership. Learning to take charge of how you use your body and mind to be a blessing in the world is important for building a more brave and loving place for us all.
Being controlling, however, is what happens when people reach beyond their own boundaries and into the lives of others. Many people do this with the belief that they are helping.
Some parents still try to force their grown children to behave in ways that they find …
Are your tears sometimes fake?
I just had a wrap-up session with a client, which is a time of great celebration and gratitude for all the learning, change, and growth that's happened during a season of coaching.
What surprised me the most was when this person especially thanked me for calling her out about "fake tears".
She said that now she can easily recognize when her tears are a helpful movement through real grief or joy, and when they're a sign of believing falsehoods. She even tells her friends, "Oops, those are my f…
How focused are your desires?
I remember being in a session with my spiritual director one sunny afternoon in Nairobi when she asked me to "focus my desires".
I had a visceral reaction, thinking that she must have asked me the wrong question. In the world I had grown up in, desires were evil. They were to be shut down in favor of God's will, which was assumed to be in direct opposition to anything I would want.
What possible good would come from focusing on my own desires?
Imagine that you had a desire for pizza. You can …
Loving-kindness or compassion?
If you've been around Awaken long, you've probably heard the word loving-kindness. That's the way we like to be. But how does it relate to compassion - another of our favorite words?
There's a saying:
"When the sunshine of loving-kindness meets the tears of suffering, the rainbow of compassion appears."
That means that when situations of sorrow happen, and you remain in the kind and caring state that you've built up in your life, it will naturally manifest as compassion.
The more you streng…
Peace and a pair of scissors
I just had the most beautiful, presence-filled conversation with a coaching colleague, Joan Leteipa, who was describing her spiritual journey and how she feels while coaching.
Visualizing the analogy of a pair of scissors, she brought out a real pair to illustrate each point.
So much of the time we live in the drama of the “muscle end” of the scissors. That space where the thumb and fingers are set through those two large holes. Working so hard. Endlessly and vigorously moving the muscles an…