Sharn Atherton, 5th May 2020.
This week is the start of International Coaching Week and as we embark on this in uncertain times, I have been reflecting on my role in supporting others and in creating a new normal. What is it that is important for us to continue in the here and now and what do we need to begin planning to move forward?
Last week I was working on creating some training materials when my 7-year-old daughter wandered in on her break from home schooling. She sat on the sofa and said, “Mummy, people need your coaching right now.”
I looked up from my desk, curious to what had promoted this statement and I asked her to tell me more. She said: “Your coaching makes people calm and that’s what everyone needs right now to help them.”
This got me thinking about being ‘Calm’ in this unprecedented world we all find ourselves in and how a state of calmness supports us in overcoming the daily and future challenges we face. It enables us to think rationally and approach situations from a more balanced perspective, removing some of the interference that blocks us from seeing a way through.
In times of uncertainty, our minds can become overwhelmed with the unknown and worst-case scenarios. Our usual outlets for creating space may not be available as contact outside our homes is limited. Like many others, I experienced this as I wrestled with the new reality and as we dare to consider what the next phase will look like; it begins again!
I have noticed from coaching people in organisations for over 20 years, one of the key enablers to promoting a feeling of calm is to provide a ‘safe thinking space’, a place for people to talk, think, share their fears, hopes and dreams without judgement or interference. I often describe myself as a ‘facilitator of thinking’ as experience has shown me that real change comes from having the space to think and someone to really listen. Allowing someone to have this space creates a ‘calm’ mind as they begin to break down their fears, problems and dreams and come up with practical solutions.
At this moment in time, to support others in creating ‘calm’ is one of the most important roles for me as a coach, to listen, encourage and support others in their unique journeys. For some of my clients this might be providing them with a thinking space to share their thoughts and feelings, others might get a sense of calm from identifying what they can control and influence, whilst others find calm from taking action and putting into place practical actions. There isn’t a magic formula as this is unique to all of us, it is about finding what calm feels like for you! So, I invite you to think about what makes you calm? When was the last time you took some time to create that calm?