Can you be a mindful coach?
In the business and professional world, it’s common to develop individuals and teams, enhance working relationships and boost productivity and performance. Whilst on a personal level we may go to a coach if we need help with a difficult relationship, or to unlock our potential and give us a different way of looking at things.
Mindfulness & coaching
Mindfulness is about being present and paying attention on purpose to the present moment experience, with an attitude of openness and non-judgemental acceptance of thoughts and emotions, whether positive or negative, accepting whatever is; whilst coaching can provide valuable insights into behaviours, patterns and the relationship between thought and action.
Mindfulness, however, is chiefly associated with non-doing and being. Coaching, on the other hand, is about doing and action.
So, here lies another paradox just as we saw previously in this series when we looked at mindful leadership and the question is, “From a practical perspective is being a Mindful Coach actually possible?”
When a coaching approach is coupled with a mindful approach, individuals are able to jettison judgement and start to question ingrained beliefs or perceptual blind spots that might result in what Dan Siegal, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine, describes as “oversimplification”.
And if you frame mindfulness as something that is overarching then the present moment experience and the awareness become fundamental. In turn, this also becomes the case for all steps that are part of the coaching experience.
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A universal space
Mindfulness provides a universal space between thought and action – and within that universality is the possibility of being able to move to a place where particular goals can be identified and acted upon.
Fresh eyes and a free mind
Mindfulness allows us to look at the world with fresh eyes and a free mind. It enables a coach to hone their mind to be sharp and aware of what is present so they can intuitively pick up on what is going on.
It also enables a coach to develop and maintain a focus within the coaching session and manage an emotional detachment; able to enter each session with those fresh eyes and free mind.
A big iceberg
Of course, this is only scratching the tip of a rather big iceberg. If you want to know more take a look at the book Uncovering Mindfulness, where amongst other things I also examine three aspects of mindfulness that are particularly relevant to the coaching experience.
More interseting articles from Paul Mudd:
- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
- It’s Official: Mindfulness Boosts Business Performance!
- Mindfulness: The Compassionate You
Until the next time, take care and Be Mindful! And don’t forget to follow on Twitter too @TheMindfulBook & @OfficialUMWPM