I have been a coach far more often than I have been formally coached. Being a coach is one of the most rewarding acts I can take. My goal is simple – another’s success in a way s/he defines.
The early experiences where I realized how much I enjoyed coaching come easily to mind. A basketball game during a high school alumni weekend, where an impromptu stint at coaching led me to permanently bench myself to focus on something more rewarding. Back-to-back Outward Bound experiences, one a unique personal achievement climbing a rockface, the other belaying and coaching another to success, with the overwhelming awareness of the greater satisfaction and happiness.
Until recently, I have rarely been formally on the receiving end. As part of a formal training program, I have been gifted with three peer coaches. As I wrestle with my committed action program, I find myself thankful for their guidance! In each case, their contribution centred on the priceless gift of helping me find and open a door I otherwise would not have seen.
To do this, I realise they offered me a three-part gift.
Trust and confidence in my abilities. The path and doorway at the end of the path were always there, even though I struggled to see either of them. Each coach did not focus on this part of the problem. S/he was confident that I could find my way if they trusted our conversation.
Openness to discovery. They did not know my answer. I could not see my answer. Yet, both sides were open to discovering each other and more. With trust as a foundation, we explored together.
Action. Insights are never enough. Knowing is not the ultimate destination. Action, taking steps, learning, reflecting, and moving toward the future is essential.
Each guided me to a doorway. As s/he summarised insights expressed from within me, I heard each paraphrase Paul’s words from centuries ago, “The basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is!” (Romans 1.19).
The doorway is mine if I am willing for more.