Something came up in a one-on-one session today that I had with my report. The planned topic of our session was covered, and we went into a deeper discussion regarding self-acceptance. I wasn’t prepared this time for this additional topic; because I had only discovered the need for it during our initial conversation. I instinctively followed my gut and went deeper with him, and started coaching. This unexpected shift in conversation meant I didn’t have my notes with me. My report had my full attention. I didn't jot down a single word. As a result of this session, he discovered something about himself, and I saw from the glint in his eyes that he saw the world slightly anew and felt more at ease with himself. These precise moments give me a feeling of warmth that I’m fulfilling my life mission; my bucket gets filled: Happiness.
Anyway, that wasn’t the point of this tail. But what is more important is what happened after this. At the end of my coaching chats, I ask how the session feels, if my coachie achieved their session goal, and if there were insights. When I asked my report these questions, he shared feedback that this was one of the best sessions he had had with me. He noticed he had my full attention, and he felt safer when he saw I wasn’t writing notes! Epiphany!
When I first started coaching, I relied heavily on my notes. I used them as sort of a crutch. I had points from the last session there I could reflect on; I had discovery and challenge questions to help me keep the 20/80 rule active, helping me to stay on track with asking more questions than taking up space with my talking. I used to rely on these notes heavily.
If I dig deeper, I think these notes were not only a crutch for me, but they were also a weapon, a weapon against my monster in the room. This monster that whispers to me, “stop interrupting; you are bad at listening; they are going to think you don’t care. “ It appears that as time has passed and I’ve learned to care for my monster while giving him words of self-acceptance, I have learned to accept and tame my monster. Those that are in my care know I care. I’ve gotten good at asking questions and naturally noticing signals and shifts, and I know how to bring these things to the surface. I’m giving those in me care space, and yes, because of my neurodivergence, I may sometimes interrupt, but that’s okay. Those that know me also know that it’s not meant any disrespect, that I'm listening, and that I care for them.
So, today I have concluded the following:
💀 when coaching others, I hear my own words, and I’m learning too
💩 when learning a new skill, it's okay that I have a crutch (or weapon) to help me stretch my skills
👻 after many years of practice, I’ve matured these skills and have evolved, and its time for me to be brave enough to try doing better at what I’m already doing well
👾 to allow space to stretch an already matured skill, I shouldn't fear to destruct the tools and methods of past creatively
👹 I need to let go of the attachment of my tools while keeping the lessons I’ve learned along the way
👺 it’s much better when I can give someone my full attention than having a perfect account of the conversation
and with the proper curiosity and deep connection, it's okay if I don't always have the ideal formed question
🐲 I can still take a small note after the session in case action points arise during the conversation
🐉 Growth happens no matter the age, no matter the maturity you have attained. Keep your eyes and ears open and listen with your full attention, vision, mind, and heart, and the student will teach the teacher. Tools are wonderful things to have when learning and growing new skills, but as we grow, we can start revealing skills to replace them.❤️🔥