I could hear the pain in her voice when I asked what she wanted from her coaching.
“I want everything to be normal again” she said. I asked if things had ever been normal and she described that time with ease. When I asked what she wanted it to look like in the future, it was harder for her to tell me this in that moment in her coaching.
I let it be. Sometimes these things just need space and time.
When she came back to her next coaching session the following week, I asked how she had been.
The words tumbled out,
“Things can never be normal again can they? Not normal like they were?”
I agreed. She had experienced some irreversible changes. Changes that meant her life would never look the same again.
I love the power of the ‘space in between’ coaching.
Moments where insights surface like a diver from the depths.
Unexpected bubbles of truth.
As a coach I believe the ‘space in between’ is as powerful as the conversation itself. This space can be created both within the coaching conversation, as well as in the space between sessions.
What is the true value of this space?
Many of the coaches I supervise are keen to help their client find answers. It’s the job right?
The challenge I see with this, is when your focus as a coach is on helping your clients find the answers, especially fast answers, it’s easy to lead them in a direction that wasn’t intended for them. You start to guide and direct, rather than allowing your client to lead their own process. In doing this you contaminate the client’s experience. Preventing their own unconscious story from emerging. Looked at in this way, the value of space is that the client gets to go on the journey life intended for them.
How do you create more space in your coaching?
It takes an inner confidence to let go of the need to always help people find an answer. It requires you to be OK with your client’s upset and to understand that their desire for answers is often a desire to move away from their pain. The more space you give and the less that you intervene, the more opportunity you provide for you client to connect their mind and body. In doing this they become more able to access their emotions and intuition as well as their mind.
I know this sounds like a tricky thing to do, especially as space is most needed when a client is in difficulty so the desire to want to intervene is high!
Here are three simple steps that will help you create the space within your coaching sessions
The simplest tool I offer to any client. If you notice the need in you or your client to find an answer, take a breath and step back.
Give you client time to reflect. Keep breathing whilst you are quiet, and stay focussed and connected.
What would it be like for you to sit without an answer to that question? Give them permission to slow down and reflect.
Practice doing this and creating a space from which answers naturally emerge.
Enjoy creating some magical coaching moments!