When a coach coaches a coach
Thank you, my dear colleague, Phuong, for introducing so beautifully this particular encounter between two coaches who have the willingness to coach each other.
You are talking about “appearance” in your introduction and certainly the coach is perceived by others in a certain way, from the reality of the one who looks at him. The coach appears to be a stable, balanced person. In coaching jargon the following words are often used: alignment, authenticity and meaning. This is an essential part of the coach’s attitude.
Nevertheless, isn’t he also subject to questioning, doubts, fears and even anxieties? He is a human being with his strengths and his clumsiness. He too would need from time to time to confront himself with a mirror to clarify some issues. And he would need to unveil dark areas and to soothe tormented seas. This is why in our collectif les argos, we coach each other in a regular and committed way. Doing so, we improve our sailing techniques and we better understand the influence of winds and breezes in our lives.
Co-coaching or coaching between two coaches is, in my opinion, the answer to this search for meaning. It helps me keep my stance, discover myself and also to discover a little more about the fellow colleague with whom I am going to perform this exercise.
Opening a window
Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham invented a representation of communication between two people: “Johari’s window”. The model shows that we have blind spots in our behavior. These are points that bother us. They are areas of shadows that we would like to illuminate. This is where the coach can, by questioning the right aspects, bring the sensitive points to light.
This commitment to do this work requires everyone to also strive for humility and trust. The coach has learnt the mechanisms that are around personal development, motivation, leadership. And suddenly he finds himself being the coachee. He exposes himself and dares to say, dares to state that he has difficulty on this or that matter. The maze that he shows can also be a metaphor for interviews, for questioning. Do I take refuge in a “dead-end street”? Do I gain height and decide to take options that help me grow.
Training to welcoming oneself
In my experience, this work with you fascinates me, because I discover another way of welcoming, of being listened to and of imagining possibilities. Behind the appearance, I can dare to discover certain fragilities, awkwardness, and the benevolent greeting is a source of appeasement.
Our regular meetings invite me to go further. You speak of an “ah” or “whaou” effect and that is what we can experience in this secure space where feedback, reformulation, empathy, silence, questions lead to nourishing feedback and actions decided for better living.
To hear gratifying feedback from clients is for me a beautiful recognition and also a pleasure of a useful and meaningful work carried out in a time and space of disorientation. The emotion is also intense during our feedbacks, because they come from a peer. Emotion on the one hand and on the other a fulfilled need : clarification occurs at the interspaces, on the inside of a few folds that you will have preciously unfolded.
Co-coaching is a space of friction where talent is revealed and an impression (in the photographic sense) is made. It is an opportunity to develop trust between peers, to consolidate our bonds and to get to know each other better.