This time I’m sharing a guest post I wrote not long ago concerning how we can build supportive coach communities with Twitter, based on my experience of being involved in the #coachingHE Tweetchat – an initiative organised by a dynamic group of coaches working in Higher Education settings, backed by the Staff Development Forum (SDF) here in the UK. As a vehicle to bring together and preserve the ‘wisdom’ of a widely geographically-dispersed cohort of coaches it has been highly successful. I hope this post encourages you to look into this form of community building as well, in order to promote CPD opportunities for coaches in different settings and an additional sense of coach well-being.
The guest post first appeared in Coaching World in April 2018, published by the International Coach Federation (ICF). You can see the original publication here, and I’d like to point out that copyright is held by the ICF (meaning it should not be reproduced or reblogged without gaining permission from the ICF first).
Building Supportive Coach Communities with Twitter
Coaches work in different contexts; some in relative isolation, which can lead to negative impacts on professional well-being and development. But, with the use of social media, we can create a supportive culture of “community” among coaches.
We’ve all been there. The brain goes into slow mode, a fog descends, and we can’t seem to crank it up any more with our normal levers and tweaking. We’ve had enough…
Don’t think I’m referring to burnout here. As in my previous post discussing the times we just don’t feel like coaching, by homing in on the occasions we don’t even feel like thinking, I’m not including burnout. Burnout requires specific help and action that’s well beyond the scope of this blog, or of coaching itself. What I’m talking about is the kind of ‘slow processing’ the brain defaults to when we’ve just finished a project, or we’ve been firing on all cylinders for a while and need to call time out. In our usual busy ‘thinking and doing’ mode we may not recognise this, and we may start to berate ourselves or begin to worry something ‘serious’ is afoot.
How often do we fall into analysing what might be ‘wrong’, and examining ourselves for even more inadequacies than we know about already? Or look around for those nefarious culprits that we’re sure are ruining our health and lives – usually our bosses, colleagues, family members, the dripping tap that keeps us awake at night… anything that can explain this reluctant brain which appears to have gone on strike?
This time I’m sharing a guest post I wrote not long ago concerning how certain aspects of a mindfulness practice can become useful tools for coaches in dealing with distractions or emotional reactions that may arise during or after coaching sessions. These ‘tools’ have been useful to me, and I hope they’ll be useful to you too!
The guest post was first published in Coaching World in January 2018, published by the International Coach Federation (ICF). You can see the original publication here, and I’d like to point out that copyright is held by the ICF (meaning it should not be reproduced or reblogged without gaining permission from the ICF first).
Mindfulness as a Coaching Tool?
What’s a coaching tool to you? Something you pull out of your “toolbox” and “apply” to a client? Like MBTI? The GROW Model? Or, a perspective on coaching that provides a whole variety of questions and approaches?
Let’s face it, sometimes coaches don’t feel like coaching. Have you ever greeted the prospect of giving a coaching session without any enthusiasm at all, wishing it would just go away?
I’m not talking about burnout. Hopefully we’re all self-aware and self-compassionate enough to notice changes in our inner state which might indicate such problems ahead, taking action to protect ourselves from pushing ourselves too far. No, here I’m talking about those occasions when we might feel distracted – by the thousands of other things we have to do today, by not being in the mood, not quite in the right place mentally or emotionally, or having the feeling that the session might just be more taxing than we can take at that moment.
Coaches aren’t superhuman. We’ve all felt tired, disgruntled, preoccupied with our own concerns. Here I’m going to take a look at how we might think about and approach this state of affairs, and what we can do if and when we find ourselves facing it.
What do you think of when you picture mindfulness? Something fluffy and soft, like a comforting pillow?
I ask this because these days mindfulness is talked of widely as a solution to almost every ill. If we’re mindful, we might eliminate depression and stress, cultivate clarity of vision, influence our surroundings to the good, run better companies, and possibly live longer more healthy lives. Practising mindfulness for even a few minutes a day could increase our sense of well-being, helping us to be comfortable in our own skins, as well as accepting of life as it really is, as opposed to being fretful because things aren’t what we’d like them to be…
If this were the full story, mindfulness really would be the ‘grand fluffy pillow’ of development interventions. The problem is that the story’s a little more complicated than that. What if mindfulness weren’t so fluffy after all?